Ron Berger is the Senior Advisor for Teaching & Learning at EL Education, a nonprofit school improvement organization that partners with public schools and districts across America, leads professional learning, and creates open educational resources. He is a well-known keynote speaker nationally and internationally on inspiring a commitment to quality, character and citizenship in students. Ron is the author of best-selling education books, including: An Ethic of Excellence, and A Culture of Quality; and co-author of Leaders of Their Own Learning, Transformational Literacy, Management in the Active Classroom, Learning that Lasts, and We Are Crew: A Teamwork Approach to School Culture. He also teaches at Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he did his graduate work. He founded the website Models of Excellence: The Center for High-Quality Student Work, which houses the world’s largest collection of beautiful student work.
Ron was a member of the National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development. He was a public school teacher and master carpenter in rural Massachusetts for over 25 years, and received the Autodesk Foundation National Teacher of the Year award.
Laureate of the first edition of the Yidan Prize for Education Development (2017) and 2013 WISE Prize for Education Laureate, Vicky Colbert is founder and director of Fundación Escuela Nueva. Colbert is a Sociologist from Javeriana University in Colombia and pursued her graduate studies in Sociology of Education at Stanford University in the United States. In 2015, the American University of Nigeria distinguished her with an Honoris Causa Doctorate in Philosophy. She is co-author of the worldwide renowned Escuela Nueva model and was its first National Coordinator.
Colbert has pioneered, expanded and sustained this educational innovation from many organizational spheres: as Viceminister of Education of Colombia, UNICEF´s Education Adviser for LAC and now from Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN), an NGO she founded to ensure its quality, sustainability and innovation. She has been recognized with several awards and distinctions in the fields of leadership and social entrepreneurship, such as the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the Clinton Global Citizenship Award and the Kravis Prize. She has also been recognized as Outstanding Social Entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation, Ashoka and the World Technology Network.
Kamal Ahmad is the Founder of the Asian University for Women (AUW). In founding AUW, Kamal pioneered a number of unconventional approaches to education, including targeted recruitment of women from some of the region’s most oppressed and underserved communities, including Rohingya refugees, Bangladeshi textile factory workers, and women from remote highlands. Kamal developed the triad of “Courage, Outrage at Injustice, and Empathy” as key indicators of leadership potential, which has informed the University’s search for talent among incoming students.
Dr. Manjuma Akhtar Mousumi is Assistant Professor in the area of educational leadership and school improvement focusing on education and development, BRAC Institute of Educational Development (BRAC IED), BRAC University. She also works in the Professional Development Centre (PDC), BRAC University. Her work is mainly on teachers’ professional capacity building. Currently, Dr. Manjuma is working on ‘forced transition from face-to-face to online teaching and distance learning pedagogies’. Her long-term research interests are: education and development, social equity and issues related to school choice in Bangladesh and India.
Shamnaz Arifin is a lecturer of Education at BRAC Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University. Her work and research experiences are mainly concentrated on teaching-learning pedagogy and professional development of teachers. She is currently working for government primary school teachers’ capacity development on play-based pedagogy in Bangladesh.ues related to school choice in Bangladesh and India.
Dr. Choudhry Khan has successful experience working with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Pakistan and in teaching and teacher education in the United Kingdom. She is currently contributing to AKF global initiatives such as the Classroom Guide to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment, Teacher Transformation for Pluralism/Values-based Education in Kenya and Schools 2030. Sughra has an Ed. D in Learning, Leadership and Policy from the University of Bristol, UK. Her exploration of ‘insider – outsider’ perspectives in research is published in Revisiting Insider-Outsider Research in Comparative and International Education (2016).
Kristina Kyles-Smith serves as Executive Director of Two Rivers. She has a wealth of leadership experience in public education and has dedicated her career to empowering teachers and students and supporting school communities. Kristina has served in several roles throughout her career in the education field. These roles include teacher of history and social science in Massachusetts, principal of public schools in Baltimore and Massachusetts, Assistant State Superintendent of Education in Maryland, and a Regional Director for EL Education, where she worked closely with Two Rivers. Kristina recently completed her doctorate in educational leadership.
Tom Luschei is a professor in CGU’s School of Educational Studies, where he teaches and advises MA and PhD students. The primary focus of his research is the impact and availability of educational resources—particularly high-quality teachers—among marginalized children and youth. With colleagues from Michigan State University and the University of Wisconsin, he is currently engaged in a mixed methods study of marginalized youth’s secondary education experiences in Colombia, India, and Malawi, with funding from a Lyle Spencer Research Grant.
Erum Mariam is the Executive Director of BRAC IED (Institute of Educational Development) BRAC University, in Bangladesh. Mariam completed her PhD in Education from Cambridge University in 2008. She has extensive experience of scaling up education interventions both nationally and globally and was involved in the expansion of the unique BRAC run Non-Formal Primary (NFP) Schools in the 1990s. Since 2008, Mariam has promoted BRAC IED’s vision of contributing to the improvement of quality, equity, and efficiency in the education system in partnership with the public sector. The globally recognized Play Labs and Humanitarian Play Labs have been developed under her leadership, focusing on early stimulation and children’s wellbeing in diverse settings.
Dr. Mohammad Mahboob Morshed is an Assistant Professor at the BRAC Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University. He is currently coordinating the academic programs at the institute and leading the play accelerator project which aims at promoting play-based pedagogy in government primary schools of Bangladesh. Dr. Morshed’s research interests include teacher development and pedagogy, school-based counseling policy, and refugee and immigrant education.
Nirmala Rao is the Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women (AUW), Chittagong, Bangladesh. Prior to joining AUW, she was Pro-Director of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, between 2008 and 2016, and held a similar post as Pro-Warden for Academic Affairs at Goldsmiths College, University of London from 2005 to 2008.
Nirmala has extensive experience of public service and served as an advisor to a range of bodies including the UK Audit Commission and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). She has published extensively in the field of public policy and urban politics and was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2003. In 2011, Nirmala was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.
Uri Treisman is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, professor of mathematics, and professor of public affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the founder and director of the University’s Charles A. Dana Center, which works on equity-minded improvement of STEM education at scale. Uri is best known for his work as a mathematics teacher and as a designer of educational interventions. For this work, he received a Macarthur Fellowship (1992–1997) and was named Harvard Foundation’s 2006 Scientist of the Year. He is a fellow of the International Society for Design and Development in Education and of American Association for the Advancement of Science.