Steering Committee Members

The Steering Committee is a high-level body that provides strategic direction and guidance to the Secretary-General to ensure visibility and success of the Global Education First Initiative. The United Nations Secretary-General, with the support of the Deputy Secretary-General, chairs the High-level Steering Committee, which meets twice a year. 

Ban Ki-moon - Chair: Secretary-General, United Nations

Ban Ki-moon is the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. His priorities have been to mobilize world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy and water. He has sought to be a bridge-builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and to strengthen the Organization itself.  Mr. Ban took office on 1 January 2007. On 21 June 2011, he was unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly and will continue to serve until 31 December 2016. 

Irina Bokova - Executive Secretary: Director General, UNESCO

Irina Bokova has been the Director-General of UNESCO since 15 November 2009. Before being elected as the first woman to head the Organization, she was a Bulgarian diplomat and politician. She was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Coordinator of Bulgaria-European Union relations (1995-1997) and subsequently Ambassador of Bulgaria (2005-2009) to France, Monaco and UNESCO. While serving as State Secretary on European Integration and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Bokova always promoted European integration. As an active member of many international expert networks and of civil society, she has worked to overcome European divisions and to foster the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and human rights.

Alice Albright: Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education

Alice Albright is the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education. She brings over 27 years of international experience in the private, non-profit and public sectors to GPE. Ms. Albright previously served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank), and the Chief Financial and Investment Officer for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI).

Chernor Bah: Youth Advocate

Chernor Bah is a former refugee from Sierra Leone. Following years of civil war in his country, he founded and led the Children’s Forum Network, Sierra Leone’s children parliament. In that role, Mr. Bah presented a report on the experience of Sierra Leonean children to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2002, he served as Junior Executive Producer of a UN Children/youth radio project, designed to involve young people in Sierra Leone’s post conflict discourse. Since then Mr. Bah has worked with youth in Liberia, Lebanon, Haiti, Uganda and other emergency settings, leading efforts to strengthen youth voices in development and policy processes. A former UNFPA Special Youth Fellow, he co-wrote a report titled “Will You Listen-Young Voices from Conflict Zones” and co-led the Youth Zones initiative. Mr. Bah holds an MA in Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelors degree from the University of Sierra Leone.

Gordon Brown: Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Global Education

Gordon Brown  served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2010. Previously, Brown served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007. His time in government helped to shape his views on the importance of education as a fundamental right of every child in the world and an engine of future global economic growth and prosperity. Brown co-chairs (with Graca Machel) a High Level Panel on global education, has authored a number of papers on education issues, and currently serves as the Member of Parliament for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath. He also serves as Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Issues Group and as a Board Member of the World Wide Web Foundation. In July 2012, Brown was appointed UN Special Envoy for Global Education by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Helen Clark: Administrator, UNDP

Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group. Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving three successive terms from 1999 - 2008. Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres.

Camilla Croso: President, Global Campaign for Education

Camilla Croso is a Brazilian human rights activist, and President of the Board of the Global Campaign for Education (GCE). GCE is a civil society movement which aims to ensure that states act to ensure realization of the right to education, through provision of free, quality, public basic education for all. GCE's members include national education campaign coalitions in nearly 100 countries, alongside regional and international networks and international organizations. Ms. Croso is also the coordinator of the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), has been a consultant for several organizations including the European Community, and is the author of a series of articles and books in the area of education and rights, the latest being Equality of Ethnic Relations in Schools (2007).

Bill Green: Executive Chairman, Accenture

William D. Green is the current executive chairman of Accenture. In his 34-year career with the company, Mr. Green has built a reputation for his strong work ethic, results-oriented consensus building and exceptional ability to forge and maintain major client relationships. Mr. Green represents Accenture in a number of external venues including the United Nations’ Secretary-General’s High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All, the Initiative for Global Development, the Business Council, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and the G100. He is also deeply involved in many business groups supporting education in the United States and around the world.

Susan Hopgood: President, Education International

Susan Hopgood is the current President of Education International (EI), a global federation of about 400 unions in more than 170 countries and territories, which represents 30 million teachers and education employees in education institutions from early childhood to university. Additionally, she is the Federal Secretary of the Australian Education Union (AEU). Not limiting her commitments to education unionism, Susan is also extremely active in the broader Australian trade union movement. She is a Vice-president the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and a member of a number of its committees.

Jim Yong Kim: President-Designate, World Bank

Jim im Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D., became the 12th President of the World Bank Group on July 1, 2012. A physician and anthropologist, Dr. Kim has dedicated himself to international development for more than two decades, helping to improve the lives of under-served populations worldwide. Dr. Kim comes to the Bank after serving as President of Dartmouth College, a pre-eminent center of higher education that consistently ranks among the top academic institutions in the United States. Dr. Kim is a co-founder of Partners In Health (PIH) and a former director of the HIV/AIDS Department at the World Health Organization (WHO).

Anthony Lake: Executive Director, UNICEF

On 1 May 2010, Anthony Lake became the sixth Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, bringing to the position more than 45 years of public service. Over a career spanning 45 years of public service, Mr. Lake has worked at the most senior levels of the U.S. government, including his tenure as National Security Adviser (1993-1997). He also served as the U.S. President’s Special Envoy in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Haiti. Mr. Lake’s experience in international development began in the 1970s, as Director of International Voluntary Services, one of the world’s oldest peace organizations. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Save the Children and the Overseas Development Corporation. Over the past ten years, Mr. Lake has been an International Adviser to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Chair of the Marshall Legacy Institute. From 1998 to 2007 he served on the Board of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, with a term as Chair from 2004 to 2007, after which he was appointed a permanent honorary member.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Executive Director, UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She has worked in government, private sector and civil society and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her home country of South Africa. From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a particular focus on women. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as part of South Africa’s first democratic government. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva, where she established a global programme for young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser: Chair, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has been actively engaged in education and social reform in Qatar for many years and has played a major role in spearheading various national and international development projects. In 2003, UNESCO appointed her Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. In this capacity, she actively promotes various international projects to improve the quality and accessibility of education worldwide. She currently serves as Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a private non-profit organization founded in 1995 on the personal initiative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Babatunde Osotimehin: Executive Director, UNFPA

In January 2011, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, a Physician and Public Health expert became the fourth Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Before this appointment, Dr. Osotimehin had served as the Minister of Health of Nigeria. Prior to that position, he was the Director-General of the Nigerian National Agency for the Control of AIDS, in which capacity he coordinatedthe HIV and AIDS response in the country of about 160 million people, as a result of which he was awarded the Nigerian national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger. At UNFPA, he has introduced major reforms to make the Fund more focused and results-oriented as well as intensified efforts to promote the rights and agency of young people to build a better world, in the context of sexual and reproductive and and reproductive rights, including family planning.

HE The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu: Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town

Desmond Tutu was born in Klerksdorp, in the South African state of Transvaal. He dedicated his life to church and human rights protection. In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. After the country's first multi-racial elections in 1994, President Mandela appointed Archbishop Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, investigating the human rights violations of the previous 34 years. In 2007, Desmond Tutu joined former South African President Mandela, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, retired U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan, and former Irish President Mary Robinson to form The Elders, a private initiative mobilizing the experience of senior world leaders outside of the conventional diplomatic process. Desmond Tutu's historic accomplishments and his continuing efforts to promote peace in the world were formally recognized by the United States in 2009, when President Barack Obama named him to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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