The Forum is governed by two bodies. The first is the Board of Trustees which has the accountability for ensuring effective governance on behalf of the Members. The Executive Committee is entrusted to work at the direction of the Board of Trustees to deliver UKFIET’s portfolio of activities.
An annual general meeting (AGM) is held once a year. The AGM is held at the Biennial Conference or at the BAICE Conference. The Board of Trustees meet twice a year and the Executive Committee meets on a quarterly basis.
Chair of Trustees
Freda Wolfenden is Professor of Education and International Development at the Open University, UK, where she has held a number of management positions including Associate Dean for the Faculty of Education and Language Studies. Freda is currently Academic Director for TESS-India, a large scale innovative teacher development project across several states in India (www.tess-india.edu).
Stephen is a Research Associate at the Centre for Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL) and an Associate Member of the Research for Equitable Access and Learning (REAL) Centre, both at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. His work focuses on children’s holistic learning and education in low-income settings, especially how they develop practical skills like creativity, adaptability and problem solving.Read More
Andy has worked in education development for the nearly 30 years – all of it with Cambridge Education as it has grown from about 20 staff to nearly 400. Over those years Andy has played a succession of roles – firstly technical, latterly managerial, now as Managing Director.Read More
His early career was as an education planner and economist working in East Africa initially, then in Nepal and Sri Lanka. Between 2000 and 2011 he led two major DFID funded projects in China. He still keeps actively engaged in projects through current work in Pakistan. He has an interest in helping bridge research and the application of research in practice in education projects, in thinking and working politically in developing country contexts and in the use of data to influence decision makers.
Aside from his interest in education he is a Sinophile, enjoys squash for oldies and collects salt cellars.
Dr. Sonia Languille is an independent international education expert with more than twenty years of experience as a practitioner and researcher. Between 2016 and 2021, she worked with the Open Society Foundations, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world. She co-directed OSF Higher Education Support Program and led OSF initiatives to strengthen public education systems, support refugees’ access to higher education and foster knowledge production in the global South.Read More
Hannah is currently Head of Policy at Sightsavers, where she leads a team to influence policy and practice on inclusive education, health, and disability inclusion. She has a particular focus on engaging with bilateral and multilateral donors to ensure development policies and processes promote inclusion. Before joining Sightsavers, she worked on a range of social policy issues at the Department for International Development and within NGOs.
Joel is Director of Analytic Learning, a specialist consultancy focused on education and skills policy and research. He works mainly on education planning and financing; TVET and school-to-work transitions; and edtech. Recent clients include UNICEF, the ILO and EdTech Hub. He previously worked on skills policy development for the Mayor of London, was Head of Policy at Global Schools Forum and the edtech agency Jisc, and worked in Liberia for the INGO Street Child.
Aanya Niaz is a seasoned international education advisor (12+ years) with a focus on underserved contexts. She is the founder of The Maple Advisory Group, a global network of education leaders bridging the gap between research and practice, and leads social impact across Europe, Middle East & Africa with Amazon Web Services. She has a specialized focus on digital skills, female careers in technology and leveraging technology as an enabler of widespread learning, especially for marginalized and vulnerable populations.Read More
Now based in London, she has spent the past 12+ years traversing the globe with a focus on alleviating poverty through innovative education interventions. From teaching, curriculum design, teacher professional development to policy research and advice, her most notable experiences include advising Ministers of Education on student assessment policies whilst at the OECD in France, teaching 240+ students natural sciences with a non-profit based in South Africa, developing Pakistan’s premier English as a Foreign Language curriculum with The Citizens Foundation impacting 150,000+ students, and leading a global network of education leaders bridging the gap between researchers and practitioners in education with The Maple Group (150+ members from 20+ countries).
She has served as a consultant and advisor to several EdTech orgs and non-profits, maintaining a focus on applying a social justice lens to improving teaching and learning in low-income countries. She received her MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford in 2017 and her BA in Foreign Affairs and Global Development Studies from the University of Virginia in 2011.
Caine Rolleston is Professor of Education and International Development at UCL. His research interests focus on educational access, equity and outcomes in low and middle income countries. Caine was the Lead Education Researcher on the Young Lives Project at the University of Oxford and has worked on many large international projects including RISE (Research on Improving Systems of Education) in countries including Ghana, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam.Read More
Sally Rosscornes is an education and gender specialist for the Gender at the Centre Initiative at the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO), focussing on technical support to Ministries of Education in Sub-Saharan Africa and delivering training in gender responsive education sector planning and budgeting.Read More
Nidhi is Professor of Disability and Inclusive Education at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests are broadly focused on understanding processes of inclusion and exclusion in educational settings in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr Don Taylor is an independent consultant in education policy, planning and finance. He was an Education Adviser with DFID, working in Nigeria, Ghana and Malawi, then in the UK with oversight of education in Montserrat and St Helena.
Deputy Chair of Trustees
Leon is UNESCO Chair in Inclusive, Good Quality Education and Global Chair in Education at the University of Bristol, alongside co-directing the Centre for International and Comparative Education (CIRE) in the School of Education. His key focus is education in low income countries and in particular, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa.Read More
Whilst much of Leon’s empirical work has a practical focus, his work is underpinned by theoretical questions. These include how to conceptualise education for sustainable development as an aspect of the ‘postcolonial condition’, the impact of globalisation on the low income world, and how to understand the relationship between education quality, inequality and social justice. His recent (2020) book on Education for Sustainable Development in the Postcolonial World: Towards a Transformative Agenda for Africa, seeks to bring together these theoretical concerns.
Chair of Executive Committee
Yvette spent the first years of her career teaching English. She has since lectured in Teacher Training and trained teacher trainers, most recently in central Asia. Yvette has worked for Local Authorities as a Schools Officer, Widening Participation Adviser and as an Adviser for Newly Qualified Teacher induction and early career leadership. Read More
Deputy Chair of Executive Committee
Lizzi is a Reader in the Department of Education at the University of Bath. Her research and teaching focuses on the disjuncture between education policy and practice and the impact this has on inequalities in experiences and outcomes for teachers and learners in school and community settings. Read More
Ben is an Associate Professor at the UCL Institute of Education, where he is a member of the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID). His work primarily uses econometrics and other quantitative methods to analyse the impact of education policies in South Asia and East Africa.
Maia Chankseliani (EdM Harvard, PhD Cambridge) is Associate Professor of Comparative and International Education at the University of Oxford. She leads a flagship master’s course in Comparative and International Education and convenes the Comparative and International Education Research Group at the Department of Education.Read More
Sourovi leads the monitoring, evidence and learning workstream of the FCDO-funded Sierra Leone Secondary Education Improvement Programme. In this role, Sourovi provides evidence-based technical assistance to senior ministerial officials in the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), senior education advisors at FCDO and implementing agencies.
Advising the ministry’s senior leadership team, including the minister, on building organisational capabilities for the establishment of a Sierra Leone national learning assessment and research unit; Leading and managing the strategy development process of UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) to restructure its training offering to mid-/senior-level civil servants in ministries of education; Leading the impact evaluation of a FCDO teacher development programme in northern Nigeria based on use of education technology: evaluated the pilot using randomised controlled-trial and recommended modalities for scaling up; Advising and contributing to the FCDO business case for designing a new basic education improvement programme in Uganda; Managing and analysing a quantitative baseline assessment of public and private-sector providers of preschools / early childhood education in remote districts of Timor-Leste for UNICEF; and Managing a two-year global research programme on early childhood development, funded by 3ie.
Ben is Head of Impact at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity which seeks to enable young people to realise their potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. He is responsible for working with programme teams in a range of high and low income countries to define, evaluate and communicate the impact of a wide range curriculum resources, teacher training, and non-formal learning opportunities.Read More
Rachael has ten years’ experience in education and social care, and is currently a senior researcher at Education Development Trust. Her research interests are in climate change, school to work transitions (particularly for girls) and community engagement in education. Rachael also supports largescale programmes across multiple regions in monitoring, evaluation, research and learning.Read More
Geraldine has worked for more than 30 years in education, including holding leadership roles in schools and as Head of Faculty for Teacher Training at South Bank University London, and with Education Development Trust as a Director for Education development.Read More
Co-opted member for Decolonisation
Laila Kadiwal is a Lecturer in Education and International Development at the UCL Institute of Education.Read More
Dr Oyinloye is a Researcher at the University of York where she examines the doctoral recruitment and selection landscape for British applicants from minoritised ethnic groups. Alongside this, she researches family-school partnerships and the educational experiences of adolescents in African contexts.Read More
Dr. Maria Ron-Balsera is the Tax and Education Alliance Coordinator. An alliance that brings together ActionAid, Education International. Global Alliance for Tax Justice and Tax Justice Network funded by GPE Education Out Loud. Maria has extensive experience coordinating education multi-country projects in Ghana, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia. Her main areas of expertise are education financing, privatisation, human rights and financing for development.Read More
Her work is underpinned by her PhD in Education and Development from Bielefeld University (Germany) in 2014, with a Marie Curie Fellowship, her MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and her LLM in Human Rights from Universidad Carlos III in Madrid. She has done research at the Institute of Education (UCL) as a Marie Curie Education as Welfare visiting research associate, and at UC Berkeley through a research exchange program.
Kayode Sanni is a Principal Education Adviser at Cambridge Education, currently on assignment in Tanzania as Team Leader of FCDO’s flagship education programme in the region, Shule Bora. He has managed similar large and complex projects in Sierra Leone and Nigeria over the last eight years. He has extensive experience of working at all levels of government – federal, state and local – advocating and negotiating changes necessary for sustainable education outcomes.Read More
Kayode’s other professional interests include educational research and planning, education governance and political engagement, management information systems and adaptive programme management that engenders learning. He is keen on shared learning across projects in the region and has been active in the past at disseminating to wide audiences, including through UKFIET and CIES conferences. An independent researcher in a former life, he made contributions to CUE’s Millions Learning project, 2008 GMR (country case study) and multiple sector analysis and strategic plans for Nigerian state governments. He holds a postgraduate degree from Manchester University and is proficient in English.
Kayode has worked in multicultural settings over the last decade and is comfortable working day to day with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. He is a firm believer in investing in people and respecting equal opportunities, and is considered to possess effective team working skills and good interpersonal qualities.
In the near future, Kayode would welcome the opportunity and space to reflect on a decade of practice in international development, with a view to documenting experiences and lessons for the global learning community.
Purna Kumar Shrestha is Global Technical Lead for Resilient and Inclusive Education Practice Area at VSO International where he leads a team of technical experts and volunteers to design resilient and inclusive education in low income countries in Asia and Africa . He is particularly interested in creating positive change for the poorest and most marginalised children and young people by adapting volunteering for development approach which promotes voluntary action as a catalyst force to inspire change.Read More
He is currently a co-chair of inclusion and equity thematic group of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 and a member of UNGEI Global Advisory Committee. He is a co-founder of a community led Early Years Education Society UK ( EYES-UK).
William C. Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development at the University of Edinburgh where he coordinates the Comparative Education and International Development (CEID) Community, including acting as Programme Director for the MSc CEID programme and sitting on the steering committee of the CEID Research Group, and is the Academic Lead of the Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF.Read More
Dr Jo Westbrook, Professor of International Education & Pedagogy, Co-Director of the Centre for International Education at the University of Sussex, UKRead More
Dr Yuwei Xu is an Associate Professor in Education and MA Education course leader at the University of Nottingham, UK. Previously, he has held academic positions at University College London (where he remains an honorary lecturer) and the University of Portsmouth. Yuwei is editor for Children & Society journal and associate editor for Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice. He is also a British Educational Research Association (BERA) council member and membership lead for Gender and Education Association.Read More
Yuwei is a sociologist of (early) childhood, education, and gender. He has researched topics such as gender and men in early childhood education, LGBT teachers, child agency, child-centred diversity and quality education, parenting, and women in STEM. His research is cross-cultural and comparative, he has conducted projects in contexts such as the UK, China, Europe, Australia, and South Africa in collaboration with international researchers.
Sandra Baxter is the Engagement Fellow for The Education Development Forum (UKFIET) and is also a Research Associate (Research Uptake) at the REAL Centre at the University of Cambridge. She previously worked at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Department for International Development (DFID) and UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)Read More
Sarah is UKFIET’s Programme Manager. She is a freelance conference manager and project co-ordinator, having previously worked with CfBT Education Trust (now Education Development Trust). Sarah has a wealth of experience as she has managed the past thirteen UKFIET biennial conferences.