Our Council


The Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society is supported by a council of advisors and members, comprised of education and business leaders from Asia, the United States, and around the world.

Honorary Chair

Irina Bokova (Bob Krasner/UNESCO)Irina Bokova

Irina Bokova was the Director-General of UNESCO from 2009–2017, after being successfully reelected for a second term in 2013. She was the first woman and the first Eastern European to lead the Organization. She has been a leading advocate for ensuring quality education for all and a champion for gender equality.

As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova actively engaged in international efforts to advance gender equality, quality education for all, and combat terrorist financing by preventing the illicit traffic of cultural goods. A leading champion in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism, Bokova spearheaded UNESCO’s activities on Holocaust remembrance and awareness and was the first Director-General of the Organization to appoint a Special Envoy for Holocaust Education.

She has been a leading advocate for ensuring quality education for all and has championed gender equality, making this her own personal priority for the Organization while serving as Director-General. Other fields of action included enabling scientific cooperation for sustainable development, such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements and global advocacy for the safety of journalists and freedom of expression.

Having graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and studied at the University of Maryland (Washington) and the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), Irina Bokova joined the United Nations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria in 1977. In charge of political and legal affairs at the Permanent Mission of Bulgaria to the United Nations in New York, she was also member of the Bulgarian Delegation at the United Nations conferences on the equality of women in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and Beijing (1995). As Member of Parliament (1990-1991 and 2001-2005), she advocated for Bulgaria's membership in EU and NATO and participated in the drafting of Bulgaria's new Constitution.

Irina Bokova was Minister for Foreign Affairs a.i., Coordinator of Bulgaria-European Union relations and Ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO and Personal Representative of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria to the "Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie" (OIF). As Secretary of the Council of Ministers for European Integration and as Foreign Minister a.i., Irina Bokova has always advocated for European integration. She is a founding member and Chairman of the European Policy Forum, an NGO created to promote European identity and encourage dialogue to overcome divisions in Europe. This is an example of her work to endorse the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and human rights. Irina Bokova is Executive Secretary of the Steering Committee of the UN Secretary-General's Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) and co-Vice-Chair of the Broadband Commission.

Irina Bokova has received state distinctions from countries across the world and is Doctor Honoris causa of leading universities.

In addition to her mother tongue, she speaks English, French, Spanish and Russian. She is married with two grown children who live and work in the United States.

Advisory Co-Chairs

Ido Leffler

Ido Leffler

Ido Leffler is a serial social entrepreneur known for building standout brands centered around three key pillars: incredible people, kick ass product, and awesome cause. Ido believes that in order to start a company within an industry that already offers customers a lot of options, it has to be something that’s innovative, different, and most importantly, centered on impactful cause.

Ido is the Co-Founder and CEO of Yoobi, a company that creates bright, vibrant stuff for school, home and office that gives back. To date, Yoobi has provided free school supplies to over 3 million kids. Ido most recently unveiled Brandless where he is Co - Founder and Chairman.

Brandless is a consume r goods company that makes better everyday essentials at fairer prices: non-GMO food, clean beauty, non-toxic cleaners and home goods, all for just $3. He is also the Co-Founder of Yes To, Inc., Cheeky, and Beach House Group.

Ido is an emeritus member of the United Nations Foundation Global Entrepreneur Council and was named to the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society where he is the Co-Chair of The Center for Global Education. He sits on the corporate boards of Spark New Zealand (formerly Telecom New Zealand), Joyus, and Soma, among others, and serves as an advisor to several startups, including Dollar Shave Club and Birchbox.

Ido attended the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, where he recently was awarded with both the Chancellor's Award for Excellence 2015 and the Alumni Award for Excellence. He is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book, "Get Big Fast and Do More Good," and appeared as a cast member and investor on Oxygen's TV show, "Quit Your Day Job." He currently lives in Melbourne with his wife and "three little monkeys."

Yu Lizhong (NYU Shanghai)Yu Lizhong

Yu Lizhong is the Chancellor of New York University (NYU) Shanghai, where he serves as Chairman of the Board. He joined NYU Shanghai from East China Normal University (ECNU), where he served as president from 2006–2012. Prior to his presidency at ECNU, Yu also served as president of Shanghai Normal University.

Chancellor Yu's research focuses on environmental processes, environmental change, and sustainable development. He has published over 180 refereed papers in major journals. Dr. Yu has been actively involved in international cooperation of both research and higher education. He was UNESCO Chair Holder for Teacher Education, and awarded Legion of Honor, Chivalric order by French Gove rnment. Dr. Yu is the vice chairman of Chinese Geography Association, chairman of Geographic Education Group of Chinese Education Society, chairman of Shanghai Science Promotion Committee for Youth, and senior adviser of Shanghai Association of Science and Technology.

A skilled researcher and dedicated teacher, Yu is also an experienced administrator, having served in several important administrative capacities throughout his career at ECNU. It was under his leadership and forward-thinking global vision that ECNU embarked upon an ambitious path of growth and internationalization, cementing ECNU’s reputation as an institution of higher education with global impact.

Chancellor Yu received his undergraduate degree in Geography from ECNU and his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Liverpool. He also holds honorary doctorates from Montclair State University, École Normale Supérieure, the University of Loughborough, and the University of Liverpool.


Tom Boasberg Education Advisor

Tom Boasberg

Tom Boasberg will become Superintendent of the 4,000-student Singapore American School beginning in July 2019. SAS is one of the world’s largest, most diverse, and academically innovative international schools. He is currently an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Boasberg served for ten years as Superintendent of the 94,000-student Denver Public Schools, stepping down in October 2018. As Superintendent, Boasberg led dramatic improvements in opportunities and outcomes for Denver’s students. During his decade in leadership, the district's graduation rate increased by 28 percentage points, the number of students of color graduating high school and going to college more than doubled, and the district's dropout rate dropped by half.

Academically, DPS went from having the lowest year-on-year student academic growth among major Colorado school districts to consistently having the highest, with 8th graders in Denver now outperforming statewide averages. DPS saw its strongest gains among its Latino students, who constitute the majority of the district's students, and Boasberg was honored as the national Hispanic-Serving Superintendent of the Year in 2018.

As a result of the improvements in the quality of the city's schools and an expansion of early childhood education opportunities, Denver saw the largest enrollment gains of any urban school district in the country during Boasberg's tenure, with enrollment growing by over 30%.

At the core of Denver's improvement was its focus on teaching, leadership and, innovation. Denver developed the nation's largest teacher leadership initiative, opened more than 80 new district-run and charter schools, and was recognized for the strong collaboration among its district-run and charter schools. The Denver Public Schools were the focus of a Harvard Business School case study on innovation in education.

Before joining DPS, he served in Hong Kong and Denver as global head for corporate development for Level 3 Communications and also served as legal advisor to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC. He began his career as a middle school teacher at a low-income school in Hong Kong’s New Territories.

He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in History from Yale College and with Distinction from Stanford Law School.

Anies BaswedenAnies Baswedan

Anies Baswedan is an Indonesian politician and has been serving as Governor of Jakarta since 2016. He started his career as an academician and later served as the 27th Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia. He was Rector of Paramadina University in Jakarta, whe n appointed by Indonesia's President Joko Widodo for the position in 2014. He is the initiator and chairman of Indonesia Mengajar (Teaching Indonesia).

Baswedan holds a PhD in Political Science from Northern Illinois University, a Master of Public Policy degree in International Security and Economic Policy from University of Maryland School of Public Policy, College Park, and a degree in Business Management from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He has received several distinguished awards, such as the 2010 Yasuhiro Nakasone Awards, the 50 Distinguished NIU Alumni Awards, The Bina Antar Budaya Award (AFS Indonesia), the Fulbright Scholarship, the 2004 Gerald Maryanov Fellow from Northern Illinois University, Indonesian Cultural Foundation Scholarship in New York, and the William P. Cole III Fellowship from the University of Maryland.

US magazine Foreign Policy named him as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world in May 2008 and the World Economic Forum included him in the 2009 Young Global Leaders. In April 2010, the Japanese magazine Foresight, a Tokyo-based international affairs magazine, published a special report entitled: 20 Persons 20 Years. This report lists 20 persons around the world to be watched in the next 20 years, and Baswedan is included in that list, along with names such as Vladimir Putin (Russia), David Miliband (UK), Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), and Rahul Gandhi (India). In July 2010, the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan listed him in the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the world. In November 2010, PASIAD of Turkey granted Baswedan the PASIAN Education Award for his roles in advancing education in rural areas of Indonesia.

Baswedan’s publications include “Political Islam in Indonesia: Present and Future Trajectory;” Asian Survey, a Bimonthly Review of Contemporary Asian Affairs published by University of California, Berkeley; Indonesian Politics in 2007: The Presidency, Local Elections and The Future of Democracy published by BIES, Australian National University; and numerous op-ed articles in leading newspapers and magazines in Indonesia.

J. Frank BrownJ. Frank Brown

J. Frank Brown is Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer at General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm he joined in 2011. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Brown was the Dean of INSEAD, the leading international business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Prior to joining INSEAD, Mr. Brown had a distinguished 26-year career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, including leadership of the $3.5 billion Advisory Services practice. He is the author of The Global Business Leader: Practical Advice for Success in a Transcultural Marketplace, and he is a frequent speaker on leadership. Mr. Brown is a member of the Board of Directors of The Home Depot, The Asia Society and, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. Mr. Brown received his B.S.B.A. from Bucknell University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and he participated in the advanced management program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Sarah BrownSarah Brown

Sarah Brown is a passionate advocate for global education and health issues and her work brings together the worlds of business, philanthropy, social media and charity campaigning. Sarah is the President of the UK children's charity Theirworld, and the Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education based in New York.

As President of Theirworld, Sarah is worki ng to give a better start for the most vulnerable babies and children in the UK and globally. Theirworld is the charity behind breakthrough initiatives for double-shift schooling to accommodate Syrian refugee education in the Middle East as well as the Saf e Schools Initiative in response to the abduction of the Chibok girls in Nigeria. Sarah created A World At School, the global youth and NGO movement that catalysed the call for action for new education financing. She steered the #UpForSchool petition that gathered over 10 million signatures in 2015, and has pushed for the new Education Cannot Wait Fund that will support education in emergencies, and the new International Financing Facility for Education. Through these roles, Sarah provides strategic leaders hip to worldwide efforts to save and change the lives of women and children. She is also the author of the best-selling book "Behind the Black Door," a personal memoir about life at 10 Downing Street.

Sarah spent part of her early life in Tanzania in East Africa, before going to school in London and then studying Psychology at Bristol University. Sarah lives in London and Scotland with her husband, the UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the UK Gordon Brown, and their two sons. She pioneered using social media in government and is an avid user of Twitter, regularly tweeting to her 1.2 million followers.

Madhav ChavanMadhav Chavan

Dr. Madhav Chavan is a full-time member of the Board of Directors in charge of vocational training and digital learning innovations at Pratham, a non-governmental organization in India that addresses the needs of millions of children each year through quality education and policy change.

Dr. Chavan acquired a PhD in chemistry at The Ohio State University in 1983 and returned to India in 1986 after his postdoctoral work at the University of Houston. In 1989, while teaching at the University of Mumbai, he started mass scale work to improve adult literacy in the slums of Mumbai as a part of the National Literacy Mission.

In 1994, Pratham was set up with the help of UNICEF to address problems of primary education in Mumbai. Dr. Chavan has since led the organization to expand its work to over 21 states in India, with programs that include remedial education in preschool, primary, and upper primary schools; support for children who have dropped out of school or are at risk of doing so; and vocational training for youth. The focus remains on creating innovative, low-cost and replicable solutions that can be easily scaled up.

Pratham's Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is a nationwide study testing the learning levels of children in India. The results showed that more than half of the fifth graders assessed were unable to read at the second-grade level. ASER helped shift the focus in primary education from enrollment to learning outcomes.

Pratham’s work has been recognized with the renowned Kravis Prize and Skoll Award for its innovativeness and leadership as a social entrepreneurial organization in the area of education. Dr. Chavan was also awarded the 2012 WISE Prize for Education by the Qatar Foundation at the World Innovation Summit for Education.

More recently, Pratham was awarded the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Development Cooperation by the BBVA Foundation in Spain for successfully catering to the learning needs of tens of millions of underprivileged children across the country. Dr. Chavan has also been named a 'Game Changer' by Asia Society.

David Coleman

David Coleman

David Coleman is the President and CEO of the College Board. David grew up in a family of educators and went to public school in New York City before enrolling at Yale University. At Yale, he taught reading to high school students from low-income families and started Branch, an innovative community service program for inner-city students.

Based on the success of Branch, David received a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to study English literature at the University of Oxford and classical educational philosophy at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He returned to the U.S. to work at McKinsey & Company for five years, where he led much of the firm's pro bono work in education.

With a team of educators, David founded the Grow Network, an organization committed to making assessment results truly useful for teachers, parents and students. McGraw-Hill acquired the Grow Network in 2005.

In 2007, David left McGraw-Hill and cofounded Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit that assembles educators and researchers to design actions based on evidence to improve student outcomes. Student Achievement Partners played a leading role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. David left Student Achievement Partners in the fall of 2012 to become president of the College Board.

David was named to the 2013 Time 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has been recognized as one of the POLITICO 50 for 2014, Time magazine's "11 Education Activists for 2011," and was one of the NewSchools Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012.

Eliza Cummings

Eliza Cummings is an alumna of the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS), a member school of Asia Society's International Studies Schools Network. She graduated as valedictorian of her class in 2013. Cummings graduated from Smith College in 2017 with high honors. Eliza studied international relations, economic development, and African studies. Cummings was awarded the Dawes Prize for best undergraduate work in Political Science, for her senior thesis, "Identity, Nation Building, and Sports: Examining the Role of National Soccer Teams in Bolstering Nationalism in Africa."

Cummings was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, but is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Czech Republic. Eliza began attending DCIS as part of the school's first-ever middle school class. During her seven years as a DCIS student, Eliza co-founded the school's Model United Nations Club, served as its Secretary-General for four years, and ran and participated in a number of other school organizations. As a 9th grader, Eliza was selected to participate in an expedition with Erik Weinmeyer, the first blind man to climb Mt. Everest, to the summit of Iztaccihuatl, the third largest volcano in Mexico. Eliza served as a sighted guide to blind and visually impaired Mexican, American, and Canadian climbers as part of a public service campaign to fight discrimination of the blind in Mexico. The message of the expedition was, "You do not need to see the world in order to discover it."

Two years later, Cummings spent her entire junior year abroad in the Philippines as a Rotary International Youth Exchange Ambassador. As a senior at DCIS, she spent a month working for the Women's Global Empowerment Fund, an NGO in Gulu, Northern Uganda. There, she helped organize, "Kikopo pa mon Gulu" (Creating a Voice for Women in Gulu), which featured original performances about the role of women in peace building and security in Northern Uganda. While at Smith College, Cummings returned to Uganda during the fall semester of her junior year to conduct a six-week field study of fair-trade- and eco-labeled coffee farmers.

Upon graduating from Smith, Cummings returned to Denver for the summer to facilitate a refugee and immigrant youth access to college program with the African Community Center. Cummings is currently a sponsored open water marathon swimmer living in Boston, Massachusetts, but she will be relocating to Wellington, New Zealand, in October 2018 to join her partner and return to nonprofit work.

Deborah DelisleDeborah Delisle

Deborah S. Delisle is the Executive Director and CEO of ASCD. During Deb's 40-year career in education, she has served as a teacher, gifted education specialist, curriculum director, elementary school principal, district associate superintendent, superintendent, state superintendent, and university instructor.

Delisle was nominated as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education by President Obama in January 2012, confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27, 2012, and served in that position until 2015. As an assistant secretary of education, she played a pivotal role in policy and management issues affecting preK, elementary, and secondary education for the U.S. Department of Education and oversaw 86 programs with a portfolio of almost 26 billion dollars. Delisle coordinated and recommended policy for programs designed to assist state and local education agencies in improving the achievement of preschool, elementary, and secondary school students.

Prior to her role at the Department of Education, Delisle was a senior fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education with a deep interest in educator performance systems and creating transformative cultures in schools and districts to support educators, students, and their families. From 2008 to 2011, Delisle served as Ohio's 35th state superintendent of public instruction and from 2003 to 2008 was the Superintendent of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights (OH) City School District.

Delisle has served on several boards, including the Governing Board of the Minority Student Achievement Network, Executive Board of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, the Council of Chief State School Officers Executive Board, NWEA, KnowledgeWorks, and the Center for Teacher Quality. In her role as Assistant Secretary, she served on critical cross-federal agencies partnerships including: Early Learning Interagency Council; Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Vice-President's Council on Violence Against Women; Prevention of Substance Abuse; Ending Homelessness; and National Drug Control.

Additionally, she has received many honors, including the Betsy Cowles Women in Leadership Award, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators Distinguished Service Award, the Ohio Education Association Vision Award, the Ohio Secondary School Administrators Distinguished Service Award, and was named as one of University Heights (OH) most influential people. In August 2011, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District honored Deb by dedicating a school as the Deborah S. Delisle Education Options Center to recognize her lifetime of service to students and, in July 2014, she was identified by the National Journal as one of five women in America who influence and shape national education policy.

Susan HopgoodSusan Hopgood

Susan Hopgood is both President of Education International (EI) and the Federal Secretary of the Australian Education Union (AEU). Susan started her career teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Victoria, Australia, in 1974.

She joined what is now the AEU as a young teacher, and became an active member and union representative at the school, regional and state levels. In 1985, she began working with the union in the position of women’s officer, a job she held until 1993.

Since then, Susan has held a number of positions in the education union, such as branch general secretary, AEU federal women’s officer, and deputy federal secretary. She was elected federal secretary of the AEU in 2006, the first woman to achieve that position.

In her work at EI, Susan is active at both international and regional levels. She was elected as an EI vice-president at the EI World Congress in Thailand, in 2001, and then re-elected in Brazil, in 2004, and in Berlin, Germany, in 2007. She was appointed as president by the Executive Board in 2009 when the then president, Thulas Nxesi, resigned to be become a South African Minister. In 2011, she was elected unopposed as president at the EI World Congress in South Africa.

Active at the regional level, Susan was elected vice-chairperson of EI’s Asia-Pacific Regional Committee in 2000, and was twice re-elected, in 2003 and 2006.

She has also been involved in the Council of Pacific Education, holding the position of vice-president from 1998 to 2006.

Wendy KoppWendy Kopp

Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations that are developing collective leadership to ensure all children have the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. Today, close to 7,000 Teach For America corps members—outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic disciplines—are in the midst of two-year teaching commitments in 53 urban and rural regions, and Teach For America has proven to be an unparalleled source of long-term leadership for expanding opportunity for children. After leading Teach For America's growth and development for 24 years, in 2013, Wendy transitioned out of the role of CEO. Today, she remains an active member of Teach For America's board.

Wendy led the development of Teach For All to be responsive to the initiative of inspiring social entrepreneurs around the world who were determined to adapt this approach in their own countries. Now in its 10th year anniversary, the Teach For All network is comprised of partner organizations in 48 countries on six continents, including its founding partners Teach For America and the U.K.'s Teach First.

Wendy has been recognized as one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service. She is the author of "A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn't in Providing an Excellent Education for All" (2011) and "One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way" (2000). She holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton University, where she participated in the undergraduate program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Wendy resides in New York City with her husband Richard Barth and their four children.

Ju-Ho LeeJu-Ho Lee

Professor Ju-Ho Lee served as Minister of Education, Science, and Technology of the Republic of South Korea (2010–2013). Before joining the ministry as Vice Minister in 2009, he was Senior Secretary to the President for Education, Science, and Culture. He has been noted for his education reform endeavors and active lawmaking as a member of the National Assembly (2004–2008).

His policy entrepreneurship began when he worked as a research fellow in Korea Development Institute (KDI) and as a professor of KDI Public Policy and Management. He has written many articles and several books, including "Human Capital and Development: Lessons and Insights from Korea's Transformation" (2018) and "Positive Changes: The Education, Science & Technology Policies of Korea" (2012).

He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Seoul National University and his Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University in 1990. After his 9-year service in the Korean parliament and government, he returned to academia in 2013 as a professor of the KDI School of Public Policy and Management. Utilizing his experience as a high-rank public servant, he actively resumed his research on human capital and innovation policies, covering a wide range of issues such as 21st-century skills, learning revolution, education workforce design, the fourth industrial revolution, innovation ecosystem, and government reform.

He is also actively working for the international community as a Commissioner of the International Commission on Financing the Global Educational Opportunities, a Commissioner of 3ie, and a Chair of the Education Workforce Initiative. He is currently a visiting professor at the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes (CSPO) at Arizona State University (2018–2019).

Antony Leung

Antony Leung

Mr. Antony Leung, former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is Group Chairman & CEO of Nan Fung Group, a leading regional conglomerate focusing on property and investment businesses. He is also Group Chairman and Co-Founder of New Frontier Group, a group that engages in health care, elderly services and investment business in China. Concurrently, Mr. Leung is Independent Non-Executive Director of China Merchants Bank, Chairman of two charity organizations — Heifer Hong Kong and Food Angel.

Mr. Leung also has extensive experience in financial services, including Chairman of Greater China of Blackstone, Chairman of Asia of JP Morgan Chase, Asia Head of Citi Private Bank, Regional Head of Citi Investment Bank, Treasury and Greater China. In addition, he was Independent Director of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Mobile (Hong Kong) Limited, American International Assurance (Hong Kong) Limited, International Advisory Board Member of China Development Bank and Chairman of Harvard Business School Association of Hong Kong. His past public service included Non-Official Member of the Executive Council, Chairman of Education Commission, Chairman of University Grants Committee, Member of Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, Director of Hong Kong Airport Authority and Hong Kong Futures Exchange, Member of the Preparatory Committee and Election Committee for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Hong Kong Affairs Advisors.

Anthony Mackay Global Council

Anthony Mackay

Anthony Mackay completed his time as CEO of the Centre for Strategic Education, Melbourne, Australia at the end of 2018. Beginning January 2019, he took up the position of CEO / President of the Washington, D.C.-based National Center on Education and the Economy. Mackay also serves as Chair of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Deputy Chancellor Swinburne University, Melbourne and Deputy Chair of New Zealand's Education Council. He is Board Chair of The Song Room, Board Director of High Resolves and Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne. Mackay is an expert consultant to OECD and UNESCO, Consultant Advisor to Asia Society's Global Cities Education Network, Co-Chair Global Education Leaders Partnership, Board Director of the Innovation Unit UK, and International Advisor to Learning Forward (USA). Mackay is the moderator of the annual International Summit on the Teaching Profession. He was inaugural chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and the Inaugural Deputy Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. He is a former President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement.

Asheet MehtaAsheet Mehta

Asheet Mehta is a senior partner in McKinsey & Company's New York office, where he has served a broad range of players across the financial services industry and the public sector. He leads the Financial Services Practice in the Americas and co-leads the Financial Services Practice globally.

The Financial Services Practice serves universal banks, wholesale and retail banks, payments providers, exchanges and infrastructure companies on a range of topics, including strategy and organization, sales and marketing, operations, and technology, as well as on risk and regulation. He previously co-led the Payments Practice and has served on the Firm's Global Personnel Committees and has also been elected onto the Shareholder's Council (board of the Firm).

Asheet has deep expertise in financial services, having served clients that include universal banks, wholesale and retail banks, insurance and credit card companies, and wealth and asset managers. Client engagement topics have ranged from corporate strategy, organization, and marketing, to operations and technology, as well as risk and regulation, across the full range of wholesale and consumer financial products and services.

Asheet has a B.S. in electrical engineering from Columbia University and an M.B.A. with high honors in finance and production management from the University of Chicago. He is currently on the board of the Asia Society and the former president and former board member of Partnership with Children, a nonprofit organization that serves at-risk children in New York City's public schools. Additionally, he serves on the Columbia University's Engineering Board of Visitors.

Hekia ParataHekia Parata

Hekia Parata served as the Minister of Education in New Zealand from 2011–2017, after first entering Parliament in 2008. Hekia grew up in a large family on the East Coast of New Zealand. She comes from an indigenous Māori background and is a fluent speaker of the Māori language.

Hekia's belief in the transformative power of education came from personal experience. Her classroom education was enriched by a socially and culturally strong community, and a hard-working family with high expectations.

Hekia has worked successfully in both the public and private sector. She has represented New Zealand at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, DC, and at a number of multinational forums including the South Pacific, the United Nations, the World Bank, and several international indigenous forums.

Hekia and her husband live in Wellington and have two daughters.

Terry Peterson council headshot

Terry Peterson

Terry K. Peterson, Ph.D, has served as the chief education deputy for a governor and United States Secretary of Education. Also, he has done work in Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Finland, Brazil, China, Australia, Denmark, and Mongolia. He currently is the Education Consultant to the CS Mott Foundation and is Senior Education Fellow at the University of Charleston and Riley Institute and Furman University.  He chairs the Afterschool Alliance, the White Riley Peterson Fellowship and education committee of the News Literacy Project.

As a deputy to the cabinet secretary, he co-founded the Pathways to College Network, International Education Day,  and the Arts Education Partnership.  For  growing  the 21st Century Community Learning and Afterschool Centers from $750,000 to now $1,300,000,000, former US Secretary of Education Riley calls Terry, “the King of Afterschool.”

He recently won national Champion of Children Award from the Beyond Schools Hours Conference and the Verner Award for Lifetime Achievement in Arts Education.

In the SC Office of the Governor, he helped design, sell, and implement one of the largest grassroots, innovative and successful statewide education packages in America. It improved student performance,  teacher quality, parent involvement, education opportunities, and created incentives for teacher and school improvements.

Searching for “what works,” he has visited 1,000 educational institutions covering almost every state and fifteen countries.  He has taught health in the jungles of Brazil in Portuguese, high school chemistry in the first years of school desegregation and statistics at the graduate level. He has been head of a business-education oversight committee, assistant to a university president, and a parent organizer.

He holds a bachelors degree in chemistry and education from the University of Wisconsin and a masters and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina with an emphasis in evaluation and statistics.  He has five grown children who all attended public schools and six grandchildren now attending public schools in four different states.  His wife, Scott Shanklin-Peterson, is the former Senior Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and is the founding chair of the award-winning arts integration project and summer STEAM camps, Engaging Creative Minds.

Philip RegierPhilip Regier

Phil Regier, PhD, is university dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus at Arizona State University (ASU). Regier is responsible for expanding the university's digital immersion program and advancing the university’s leadership role in education innovation globally.

During his tenure as dean, the fully online student population has grown from 400 to approximately 35,000, and the number of online degree programs has expanded from six to 170. Focused on driving quality and access simultaneously, Regier helped the university develop leading-edge partnerships with education technology companies including Pearson, Knewton, edX and Coursera. Today, online programs at ASU utilize more than 200 technologies and the university is a co-convener of the ASU+GSV Education Innovation Summit, the largest and most recognized convening of education technology entrepreneurs, investors and users in the world.

In 2018, ASU ranked number one on U.S. News & World Report's list of the most innovative universities in the country, for a third year in a row, ahead of Stanford and MIT. The university has also received recognition from The New York Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its work in adaptive learning and use of data in student advising.

As a central enterprise unit for ASU, EdPlus is focused on the design and scalable delivery of digital teaching and learning models to increase student success and reduce barriers for degree seekers, aspiring college students and lifelong adult learners. Collaboration and partnership are key components of this vision. In 2014, the university announced a groundbreaking partnership with Starbucks Corporation creating an opportunity for all eligible Starbucks employees to earn their first bachelor's degree through ASU Online with full tuition coverage for every year of college through graduation.

Regier previously served as executive dean at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. He is an accounting faculty member and has published research in leading academic journals on postretirement benefits, corporate restructuring and market-based accounting. Regier earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and mathematics from St. John's College and his Ph.D. in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Fernando M. ReimersFernando M. Reimers

Fernando M. Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of the International Education Policy Masters Program at Harvard University. He is an expert in the field of Global Education and chairs an annual Think Tank bringing leaders in the field to Harvard.

Professor Reimers' research and teaching focus on understanding how to educate children and youth so they can thrive in the 21st century. He studies how education policy and leadership foster educational innovation and quality improvement. As part of the work of the Global Education Innovation Initiative he leads, he and his colleagues have just finished a comparative study of the goals of education as reflected in the curriculum in Chile, China, India, Mexico, Singapore, and the United States, published as Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century by Harvard Education Press. Another recent book, titled Fifteen Letters on Education in Singapore, examines the lessons that can be learned from Singapore’s efforts building a robust teaching profession. Another recent book, Empowering Global Citizens, discusses why global citizenship education, aligned with helping students advance human rights and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is an imperative of our times.

His writings have conceptualized and defined the profile of a globally competent graduate in the 21st century. He chairs an annual Think Tank that brings to Harvard University leaders of thought and practice in global education around the world.

His interests include the design and promotion of innovations in Higher Education. He teaches a course on educational innovation and social entrepreneurship at the Harvard Innovation Lab, where students learn to develop innovative education organizations, and a course on educational policy analysis and research in comparative perspective, which examines the core education policy challenges faced by governments around the world.

He is also active advising governments, international development organizations, universities, public and independent schools, and other educational institutions to improve their quality and relevance. He is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education where he chairs the Strategic Planning Committee, which works with all Universities in the State aligning their strategic plans with the State’s Vision Project. He is a member of the US Commission for UNESCO and of the Steering Group of Education in Conflict and Crisis of the United States Agency for International Development and works with policymakers in the United States, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Education and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

More information about Professor Reimer's work is available on his website.

Therese ReinThérèse Rein

Thérèse Rein's life's work to date has been dedicated to assisting people to build on their strengths and capabilities, gain independence, and flourish. Thérèse fundamentally believes that all people, regardless of their age, background, or circumstance, are best assisted when interventions focus on their strengths, not their constraints.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Masters Qualifying (Psych) from the Australian National University in 1981, Thérèse went on to establish her own international business in 1989. Working as a rehabilitation counselor, she founded the company Ingeus to assist people with injuries or disabilities to return to or enter the workforce.

Ingeus expanded from being a one-person enterprise to employing more than 6,000 people in around 150 offices across 12 countries. Each year, her company assisted hundreds of thousands of socially and financially excluded people into independence through finding suitable sustained employment.

She now works for herself and as a successful international businesswoman and entrepreneur, Thérèse has the ability to offer unique insights into topics such as reducing joblessness, social entrepreneurism and using evidence-based positive psychology concepts in business to help people flourish She is an inspiring innovator and advocate of using new technology platforms to help more people in more ways.

In 2010, Thérèse was awarded the prestigious Australian Human Rights Medal for her ongoing work and commitment to celebrating and improving the lives of people with a disability and their carers, and was an active patron of the following organizations:

  • Common Ground (Australia)
  • The Indigenous Literacy Project
  • UNICEF Australia's maternal and infant health programs
  • Ability First Australia
  • International Paralympic Committee (Honorary Board Member)
  • OzHarvest Food Rescue
  • Arts Project Australia
  • Livable Housing Australia
  • The Bella Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • ACT Junior Talent Squad for Athletes with a Disability

Thérèse's passion for assisting people grew out of her own personal family experience and the values taught by her parents.

Her father, John Rein, a RAAF veteran, became wheelchair-bound after a plane crash in WWII. Told he would not walk or work again, he went on to become an aeronautical engineer, worked until retirement at age 65, raised a family, and represented Australia in the Paraplegic games (the forerunner to the Paralympics). Her mother, Elizabeth, was a physiotherapist.

Born in 1958 and raised in Adelaide and Melbourne, Thérèse Rein and Kevin Rudd married in 1981. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Felix RuanoFelix Ruano

Felix Ruano is an alumnus of Harvard University studying Economics and Computer Science. Ruano, a Gates Millennium Scholar, has worked as an analyst with McKinsey & Co. in Chicago and Grata Data, an alternative data platform for private market research. He has worked with clients in the technology, industrials and private equity sectors.

On campus, he was part of the founding team for Camino Financial, an alternative small business lending platform. Before college, he was editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, The Ambassador. During his time as editor, he and the paper won multiple journalism awards from local and state organizations. He is an alumnus of an Asia Society International Studies Schools Network school in Los Angeles.

Ellis RubinsteinEllis Rubinstein

Ellis Rubinstein is an innovator and change agent. Leading the 200-year-old New York Academy of Sciences since November 2002, Rubinstein increased membership to 20,000 scientists in 100 countries and established an extraordinary network of 27 Nobel Laureates, leading academicians, CEOs and heads of corporate research, and government and UN leaders.

This Academy expert network has served the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of Russia, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Mayors of Mexico City and Barcelona, leaders of UN agencies, and ministers the world over. And it has enabled Rubinstein to develop groundbreaking international public-private partnerships in obesity and diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, and science education. The Academy’s Global STEM Alliance, an unprecedented social network of over 230 partners in 50 countries and regions, enables a devoted cadre of the world’s most promising young scientists and engineers to inspire and mentor a global network of gifted as well as under-served children in science, technology, engineering and math.

Over 3 decades prior to the Academy, Rubinstein worked as a journalist and editor. His efforts garnered 3 National Magazine Awards, the Pulitzer Prizes of the American periodicals industry. As a Senior Editor at Newsweek, he produced the landmark cover story on the origins of modern humans, the first public airing of this research and one of the magazine’s highest-selling issues on the newsstand. As Editor for a decade of the world’s largest circulation scientific journal, Science, he created the largest global network of science journalists, pioneered in web publishing, and organized perhaps the earliest national site license with the government of China. In fact, he was the first western journalist to interview Chinese President Jiang Zemin and later became the first science journalist to interview President Bill Clinton.

Andreas SchleicherAndreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He initiated and oversees the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and other international instruments which create a global platform for policy-makers, researchers and educators to innovate and transform educational policies and practices. He has worked for over 20 years with Ministers and educational leaders around the world to improve quality and equity in education. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said about Andreas in The Atlantic (7/2011) that "He understands the global issues and challenges as well as or better than anyone I've met, and he tells me the truth." Secretary of State Michael Gove in the United Kingdom called Andreas "the most important man in English education," never mind that he is German and lives in France. Andreas is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the Theodor Heuss prize, awarded for "exemplary democratic engagement" in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany. He holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

Kiran Bir SethiKiran Bir Sethi

Kiran Bir Sethi is the Founder/Director of The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India. She is also the founder of 'aProCh'—an initiative to make our cities more child friendly, for which she was awarded the Ashoka Fellow in 2008. In 2009, she received the "Call to Conscience Award" by the King Centre at Stanford.

In 2009, she founded 'Design for Change' (DFC) — the world's largest movement of change — of and by children. DFC is now in 61 countries—impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers. In September 2011, she won the prestigious "INDEX — Design to Improve Life Award." In June 2012, she was awarded the "Rockefeller Foundation Youth Innovation Award." In February 2014, she received the "Patricia Blunt Koldyke Fellowship 2013" from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Design for Change was declared Lego Foundation's "Reimagine Learning Challenge Champion" in November 2014. In March 2015, she was amongst the Top 10 Educators, nominated for the Global Teacher Prize instituted by the Varkey GEMS Foundation. In June 2015, Design for Change won the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Award. Kiran was conferred the Asia Game Changer 2015 Award by Asia Society in October 2015. In February 2017, she was conferred the "Excellence in Instructional Leadership" Award at NDTV's National Education Awards. She was appointed as Ambassador for Vital Voices, in February 2017, and in May 2017, she was nominated as a member of VVLead Fellowship, a partnership between Pond's and Vital Voices. In June 2017, she met the Pope in the Vatican to sign an Agreement whereby DFC is being introduced in over 460,000 Catholic Schools across the globe. In early October 2017, DFC was recognised as one of the 100 most innovative educational programmes in the world by HundRED.org (based in Finland). In April 2018, she was awarded the "Light of Freedom" Award at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards in the United States.

Donna E. ShalalaDonna E. Shalala

Donna E. Shalala is Trustee Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami and was the president of the Clinton Foundation from 2015–2017. Donna received her A.B. in history from Western College for Women and her Ph.D. from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

She served as President of the University of Miami from 2001 to 2015; President of Hunter College of CUNY from 1980 to 1987, and as Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993. In 1993, President Clinton nominated her as Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS) where she served for eight years. In 2007, President George W. Bush handpicked her to co-chair with Senator Bob Dole the Commission on Care for Returning Wounded Warriors, to evaluate how wounded service members transition from active duty to civilian society. In 2008, President Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian award. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Iran from 1962-1964. In 2010, she received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights recognizing her dedication to improving the health and life chances of disadvantaged populations in South Africa and internationally.

Kan SuzukiKan Suzuki

Kan Suzuki holds professorships at The University of Tokyo and Keio University. He is a Ministerial Aide; Chief Policy Officer to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; and a former Japanese State Minister of Education.

Mr. Suzuki’s professorship at The University of Tokyo is in the Graduate School of Public Policy, and at Keio University in the Graduate School of Media and Governance. He has also served as a visiting researcher at the University of Sydney, a part-time lecturer in policy studies at Chuo University, and an associate professor at Keio University's Faculty of Environment and Information Studies. Mr. Suzuki received his bachelor’s degree in law from The University of Tokyo in 1986 and worked at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). After leaving METI, he was a member of Japan's House of Councilors for 12 years. He served two terms as senior vice minister of Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), and he is currently an executive committee member of the Japan Football Association.

Mr. Suzuki's publications include "Advice on Deliberation Processes" (2013), "Policy Formulation Process in Japan's Central Government" (1999) and "The Birth of the Voluntary Economy" (1998). During his residency, he will explore medical innovation in Japan, Tokyo and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and educational policy.

Stephan TurnipseedStephan Turnipseed

Stephan Turnipseed is the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer for Pitsco Education. Pitsco Education is a world leader in 21st-century, hands-on, project-based, personalized learning. Turnipseed is an education thought leader, strategist, and entrepreneur who is passionate about inspiring children through education. He is an advocate for hands-on learning as the key to 21st-century success. He is the former President of LEGO® Education North America and also served in a global role as the Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships for LEGO® Education for 2 years. For more than 16 years, he led the team responsible for transforming LEGO Education in North America from a product sales company to an educational resource leader, working with educators, industry experts and academia to help inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.

Most recently as EVP and CSO, he led the team at Destination Imagination, an experiential learning company focused on creativity and hosting the world's largest celebration of creativity, in defining and implementing a new strategic direction aimed at preparing children for the future of work and civil society.

He is the past Chairman for The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, a national organization that advocates for 21st-century readiness for every student. He is a former member the Clinton Global Initiative and past Co-Chair of the Business for Early Childhood Development Task Force organized by the Global Business Coalition for Education and Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. He is the recipient of the prestigious National Instruments Engineering Impact Award for STEM Innovation which recognizes lifetime achievement in STEM education. He serves on the boards of Education Reimagined, which offers a new vision of the future of education and the Learning Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank aimed at supplying objective research to underpin policy decisions. He also serves on the SXSWedu and the National Afterschool Association advisory boards.

Turnipseed is the past president of the Tourette Syndrome Association, a nonprofit supporting research, advocacy and policy for those, like himself, affected by Tourette Syndrome, a neurologic movement disorder.

Among his other roles, he has owned his own leadership consultancy practice, focused on strategic and tactical planning and leadership skills development. He also previously managed business units for Schlumberger Limited, an oilfield service company.

Turnipseed is a veteran of the United States Air Force and is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in electrical engineering. He is the author of two books and numerous published articles. He holds three patents for the design of the TETRIX robotic system.

Zhang MinxuanZhang Minxuan

Professor Zhang Minxuan is Director of the Research Center for International and Comparative Education at Shanghai Normal University. Prior to this, he was President of Shanghai Normal University, where he championed bold education reforms that catapulted Shanghai to the top of global student performance rankings.

As an educator, scholar, and policymaker, Zhang has dedicated the past three decades to bringing quality education to the children of 23 million Shanghai residents from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Shanghai topped the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) global rankings in 2009 and 2012, and thanks in large part to Zhang's work, Shanghai is now considered a model for closing the academic achievement gap between the "haves" and "have-nots."

Zhang's contributions to numerous UNESCO, UNICEF, and World Bank initiatives have benefited students and education systems in both developing and developed regions of Asia and the world. Zhang is the key driver behind Shanghai's participation in Asia Society's Global Cities Education Network, involving 10 major urban education systems around the Asia Pacific.



Dr. Khurram Jamil

Dr. Khurram Jamil is President of Strategic Initiatives and Co-founder of Area9 Lyceum, a pioneer of four-dimensional adaptive learning. Dr. Jamil’s entrepreneurial experience expands over 20 years. He has successfully led dozens of teams comprising of medical professionals and educational scientists, spearheaded large development and partnership efforts, and managed multi-million-dollar educational software development projects.

After earning his medical degree at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 2002, Dr. Jamil chose to advance health care outside the clinical arena through the development of novel educational software at Laerdal Medical. This successful educational software was first used for Combat Medic Training for the U.S. Department of Defense where medics were prepared for deployment. It was then developed for the American Heart Association (HeartCode ACLS & PALS) as revolutionary screen-based simulators that millions of providers have since become certified with.

He co-founded Area9 in 2006 to evolve and expand these concepts beyond health care, partnering with McGraw-Hill Education to deploy adaptive learning technology. Since then, more than 15 million students have used LearnSmart & SmartBook (property of McGraw-Hill Education – acquired in 2014).

Currently, as President of Area9 Lyceum, Dr. Jamil heads strategic initiatives including regional expansions, joint-ventures and partnerships, as well as oversees projects for all levels of education and training. Area9 Lyceum leverages more than 20 years of research to identify the human factors that influence learning, such as when students prepare for medical exams or when health-care professionals prepare for continuing medical education. Other key industries include publishing, aviation, defense, heavy industry, telecommunications, professional services and working with Nonprofit organizations. Area9 Lyceum recently launched its fourth-generation AI-based adaptive learning platform, Rhapsode – the world’s most advanced technology to provide four-dimensional learning for the 21st century.

Dr. Jamil is a cultural bridge builder and is involved with various cultural & art organizations to support building creative and reflective societies. He is a board member at the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center for the Boston Public Library - a center than develops programs which inspire curiosity and learning among people of all ages by using cartographic materials to illuminate history, geography, world cultures, science, and contemporary issues.

Masaki YamasakiMasaki Yamasaki, Benesse Corporation

Masaki Yamasaki is the Executive Board Member of Benesse Holdings, Corporate Executive Vice President, and the President of School and Teacher Support Business Company of the Corporation, and Representative Director and President of Classi Corp.

The Benesse Group is guided by the corporate philosophy, "Benesse = Well-Being." Benesse is Japan's largest education conglomerate and one of the biggest in Asia.

The School and Teacher Support Business Company offers assessments, digital platforms, lectures, and teaching materials for primary and secondary schools, higher education and adult education programs and studies for a diverse range of learners such as teachers, students, and company staff.

In recent years, the company has focused on strengthening its language/global education business centered on the Global Test of English Communication (GTEC) and on the research and development of 21st Century Skills/Global Competency.

Masaki also serves as a manager of the Benesse Sailing Team, which placed 5th in the medal race for the women's 470 sailing event held on August 19, 2016 (Japan time), at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Founding Corporate Members


Benesse [logo]


Area9 Lyceum logo formatted

Past Advisors

Lee Sing-KongLee Sing Kong

Served 2016–2017

Connect With Us

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
t: 212-327-9260

Follow Our Blog on Education Week