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 has been the Director-General of UNESCO since 15 November 2009, and was successfully reelected for a second term in 2013. She is the first woman and the first Eastern European to lead the Organization. She is a leading advocate for ensuring quality education for all and a champion for gender equality.

As Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova is 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 has spearheaded UNESCO’s activities on Holocaust remembrance and awareness and is the first Director-General of the Organization to appoint a Special Envoy for Holocaust Education.

She is a leading advocate for ensuring quality education for all and has championed gender equality, making this her own personal priority for the Organization. Other fields of action include 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 LefflerIdo 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 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 2 million kids. He is also the Co-Founder of Yes To, Inc., Cheeky, and Beach House Group. Ido recently unveiled Brandless, a fresh approach to consumer commerce, where he serves as Co-Founder and Chairman.

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 T.V. show, Quit Your Day Job. He currently lives in California 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 150 refereed papers in major journals and is widely recognized as an influential scholar in the field, serving on the boards of multiple educational, environmental, and scientific organizations throughout China. 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.


Anies BaswedenAnies Baswedan

Anies Baswedan is an academician and served as the 27th Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia. He was Rector of Paramadina University in Jakarta, Indonesia, when appointed by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo for the position. 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 children’s charity Theirworld, and the Founder and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education.

As President of Theirworld, Sarah is working 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 Safe Schools Initiative in response to the abduction of the Chibok girls in Nigeria. Sarah created A World At School, a global youth and NGO movement to get children across the world into quality education who otherwise miss out. 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. Through these roles, Sarah provides strategic leadership 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 ColemanDavid Coleman

David Coleman is the President and CEO of the College Board. David grew up in a family of educators. He 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.

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 cultivating their nations’ promising future leaders to ensure their most marginalized children have the chance to fulfill their true potential.

Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. Today, more than 8,000 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 52 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 ninth year, the Teach For All network is comprised of partner organizations in 40 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 serves on the Board of New Profit and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 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 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 as a member of the National Assembly.

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 “Private Tutoring and Demand for Education in South Korea” (2010) 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 at 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. He is also working for the international community as a Commissioner of the International Commission on Financing the Global Educational Opportunities. His recent research has covered a wide range of issues, such as the measurement of 21st century skills, changes in pedagogies, opening-up strategies in education reforms, and innovation ecosystems.

Antony LeungAntony Leung

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 Independent Non-Executive Director of China Merchants Bank.

Mr. Leung 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, and international advisory board member of China Development Bank.

His past public service include Non-Official Member of the Executive Council, member of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, Hong Kong Airport Authority, Chairman of the Education Commission and University Grants Committee in Hong Kong. Mr. Leung is also Chairman of Heifer International Hong Kong, Food Angel, and Harvard Business School Association of Hong Kong.

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.

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.

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.

Philip RegierPhilip Regier

Philip Regier is responsible for Arizona State University’s expansion into online learning and has been a member of the university leadership team focused on education innovation since 2009. In the first seven years of his tenure as dean of ASU Online, the fully online student population grew from 400 to more than 26,000.

In the same time period, the number of degree programs offered grew from six to more than 100. Focused on driving quality and access simultaneously, Regier helped the university develop novel partnerships with leading education technology companies including Pearson, Knewton, and edX. Today, online programs at ASU utilize more than 150 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 2015, Regier was named University Dean for Educational Initiatives and Chief Executive Officer of EdPlus at ASU for the purpose of expanding upon the success of the university’s digital-immersion programs and extending online teaching and learning globally. 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 undergraduate student at 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) in Paris. He supports the Secretary-General's strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress.

Mr. Schleicher is a key member of the OECD Senior Management team and promotes the work of the Directorate for Education and Skills on a global stage and fosters co-operation both within and outside the OECD. In addition to policy and country reviews, the work of the Directorate includes the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES).

Before joining the OECD, Mr. Schleicher was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He studied Physics in Germany and received a degree in Mathematics and Statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the "Theodor Heuss" prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for "exemplary democratic engagement." 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 44 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 has also been appointed as Ambassador, Vital Voices, in February 2017.

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 Destination Imagination. Destination Imagination, Inc., is a world leader in 21st century skills education and hosts the largest celebration of creativity in the world. Turnipseed is an education thought leader, strategist, and entrepreneur.

During his over 25 years in education and throughout his career he has led companies and organizations to transformative success. As the former President of LEGO® Education North America, 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 all children to be creative problem solvers. Stephan is an advocate for hands-on learning, which he sees as instrumental for 21st century success.

He is the past Chairman of The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. He is the recipient of the prestigious National Instruments Engineering Impact Award for STEM Innovation which recognizes lifetime achievement in STEM education. He continues to serve on a number of not for profit boards supporting education and success for children.

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.


Masaki YamasakiMasaki Yamasaki, Benesse Corporation

Masaki Yamasaki is the Executive Board Member of Benesse Holdings and the President of School and Teacher Support Business Company of Benesse Corporation, which works with a diverse range of learners. 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 19th, 2016 (Japan time) at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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