Dr Qian Tang was born in Beijing, China. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Shanxi University, China in 1976. In 1985, he became a Doctor of Philosophy in biology from the University of Windsor, Canada.
Dr Tang joined UNESCO as Senior Programme Specialist, Section for Technical and Vocational Education, in 1993 and became Chief of the Section in 1996. In this position, he assumed the overall coordination of UNESCO’s International Project of Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC) and organization of the Second International Congress on Technical and Vocational Education (Seoul, 1999). From 2001 to 2005, Dr Tang was Director of the Executive Office for the Education Sector. In 2005, he became Deputy Assistant Director-General for Education, responsible for overall coordination of the Education Sector's strategic planning, programme implementation, finance and budgeting as well as human resource management.
Dr Tang was appointed Assistant Director-General for Education in April 2010 by UNESCO’s Director-General, Mrs Irina Bokova. Since then, he has led the efforts to revitalise the Education Sector in order to raise the visibility of education on the international development agenda and provide concrete assistance to UNESCO’s Member States.