Qian TANG (China)
Mandate: November 2009 – present
Born in Beijing, China, Dr Qian Tang obtained a B.A. in Education from Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China in 1976. He then taught at high school level for two years before moving to Canada where, under a Chinese Government Scholarship, he obtained an M.A. in Exercise Physiology and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Windsor.
In 1985, Dr Tang joined the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa, Canada, first as Second Secretary and subsequently as First Secretary for Academic/Educational Affairs, responsible for promoting bilateral cooperation between Chinese and Canadian universities.
Dr Tang returned to China in 1989 and worked at the Ministry of Education in Beijing until 1992, first as Director of the Division of Policy, Planning and Coordination in the Department of Vocational and Technical Education, and then as the Assistant Director-General, where he was responsible for planning and designing the national policy formulation of the technical and vocational education systems in China. In 1992, he became Deputy Director-General in the Bureau of Science and Technology of Shaanxi Provincial Government in Xi’an, China.
In 1993, Dr Tang joined UNESCO as Senior Programme Specialist in the Section for Technical and Vocational Education, Education Sector. He became Chief of Section in 1996 and was responsible for overall coordination of the implementation of UNESCO’s International Project of Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC) and the organization of the Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education, held in Seoul, Republic of Korea in April 1999, where he served as Secretary-General.
Dr Tang was appointed Director of the Division of Secondary, Technical and Vocational Education in 2000, where he was responsible for the implementation of UNESCO’s programme activities in general secondary education, science and technology education, and technical and vocational education.
Between 2001 and 2005, he was Director of the Executive Office in the Education Sector, and was promoted to the post of Deputy Assistant Director-General for Education in 2005, responsible for overall coordination of the Education Sector's strategic planning, programme implementation, finance and budgeting, as well as human resources management.
In April 2010, Dr Tang was appointed to the post of Assistant Director-General for Education by UNESCO’s Director-General, Ms. Irina Bokova, becoming one of the key members of her senior management team, and responsible for leading UNESCO’s Education Sector, which includes staff in Headquarters and field offices as well 7 global or regional educational Institutes.
Dr Tang has led his team in the implementation of the Organization's overall education programme, in particular coordinating the global initiative of Education for All (EFA), with its six goals targeting the provision of learning opportunities for children, youth and adults. Under his leadership, UNESCO's Education Sector has been the driving force in formulating the new global education agenda, as set out in the Incheon Declaration adopted at the 2015 World Education Forum convened by UNESCO and six other UN agencies in Incheon, Republic of Korea. As well as leading the UNESCO team at this milestone event, Dr Tang co-chaired the Drafting Group for the Declaration and the Framework for Action of the Education 2030 Agenda, encapsulated in Goal 4 of the overall Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
Currently, Dr Tang is leading UNESCO's Education Sector, in facilitating its 195 Member States in the implementation of Goal 4 (education) at global, regional and country levels.