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Cathryn Magno, Project Coordinator

Cathryn Magno is Professor in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where she teaches International Education Policy and related seminars within the Department of Education Sciences. Previously she was Visiting Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University (2014-2016) and Full Professor at Connecticut State University (2002-2014). Her lines of research examine intersections in comparative and international education, educational leadership/governance, gender, and migration. Her publications include two books, New Pythian Voices: Women Building Political Capital in NGOs in the Middle East and Comparative Perspectives on International School Leadership: Policy, Preparation and Practice as well as numerous book chapters, journal articles and policy papers. As a practitioner, she works to advance educational rights globally through consultancies with organizations such as UNICEF, USAID, and the Open Society Institute and serves on editorial/advisory boards for several academic journals and non-governmental organizations.

Felicitas Acosta

Felicitas Acosta is a full-time researcher at Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina, where she also teaches Comparative Education, History of education and Educational Foundations. Her research interests focus on the expansion of schooling from a transnational and historical perspective including international educational reforms and, more recently, standardized assessments and innovative finance in education. She has served as a research consultant for international organizations such as UNESCO, IIEP, UNICEF and ECLAC. In 2019 she was awarded the Margaret Sutherland Prize in Comparative Education by the Comparative Education Society in Europe (CESE) for her paper “Who is setting the agenda? OECD, PISA, and educational governance in the countries of the Southern Cone” published in European Education (2020).

Mayen Aguer Arok

Mayen Aguer Arok is a diploma graduate in Education and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Sustainable Development at Xavier University. Aguer also works with Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) as a Learning Facilitator whose responsibility is teacher training and supporting teachers in their duty stations to develop professionally. He also worked with the Lutheran World Federation as a primary school teacher in Kakuma refugee camp. His vision is to see children protected and being attended to as they are the seeds for the future.

Batjargal Batkhuyag

Batjargal Batkhuyag works as an executive director of the Mongolian Education Alliance (MEA), one of the leading NGOs in Mongolia dedicated to improving the quality of education for all children and promoting youth participation. He serves as a Board member of the Network of Education Policy Centers and is a founding member and a board member of the “All for Education” Mongolian National Civil Society Coalition. He was previously Lecturer at Mongolia’s University of the Humanities and his interests lie in promoting and advocating for access, equity and quality education for marginalised groups.

Anna Becker

Anna Becker is a PhD candidate and research assistant in the Department of Education Sciences at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where she oversees student internships and teaches a seminar within a practical module in the BA program. Her degrees are in education with a specialization in linguistics (M.Ed.) and foreign language teaching and cultural studies (M.A.) from the University of Mainz, Germany. She received her teaching diploma for upper secondary school at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Her lines of research focus on educational linguistics, multilingualism in schools, migration and inequity.

Bruce Damons

My name is Bruce Damons, the son of a carpenter and a nurse. Born and still residing in a town called Gqeberha, previously known as Port Elizabeth, I am blessed with two beautiful daughters Taryn and Erin, and one wife, Henrietta. Gqeberha is part of the beautiful Eastern Cape Province of South Africa on the African continent. I have spent all my working life in education, commencing my career as an English school teacher in 1990 before being promoted to a primary school principal (grades R-7) in 2000. In 2016 I was appointed as the Director for the Centre for the Community School in the Faculty of Education at Nelson Mandela University. I presently am the Hubs of Convergence project manager at Mandela University, a Vice-Chancellor’s special project.

I work towards honoring the authentic lived experiences of people from a wide array of backgrounds by embracing a dynamic, strategic and inclusive leadership style that enables me to work as part of a team/s without compromising my individuality. I believe that every person and experience adds value and can therefore enhance the range and quality of outcomes of any project or organisation. I am continually learning to appreciate that people, including myself, and organisations grow and transform at different paces. The realisation of this complexity ensures that I position myself as a lifelong learner constantly seeking to develop and enhance my leadership abilities. An authentic value-based leader requires time in the field, a good work ethic, and a complementary network of stakeholder communities to serve the calling as a leader effectively.

Brian Denman

Brian Denman is Associate Professor of teaching, learning and assessment at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia, where he teaches applied leadership and comparative and international education. He also serves as Deputy Head of School. He directs an innovative inter-institutional initiative to teaching and learning by employing an alternative online assessment tool, Personal Assessment Tool (PAT), to masters degree students in several countries. Denman has held many posts, including Secretary- General of GlobalCIE and the World Comparative Education Societies (WCCES), UNESCO Fellow, UNE Council member, President of the Australian and New Zealand and Comparative and International Education Society (ANZCIES), and Editor-in-Chief of the International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives. He holds a Ph.D. in social and policy studies in education from the University of Sydney.

Emily Ervin

Emily Ervin is pursuing a Master’s degree in International Educational Development with a concentration in International Humanitarian Issues at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has five years of experience working on education programs with humanitarian and development non-profit organizations, where her interests include refugee education, early childhood development, and child protection.

Danielle Falk

Danielle Falk is a Ph.D. candidate in the International and Comparative Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research focuses on the lived experiences of teachers working amidst protracted conflict and forced displacement as well as the policy environment influencing their work. For the last seven years, she has contributed to research on teacher well-being, teacher identity, and teacher professional development (TPD) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Sudan, and has designed and implemented multi-modal, continuous TPD for teachers in these settings.

Jarren Ivan Gangiah

My name is Jarren Gangiah, an educator at Charles Duna Primary school in New Brighton, Gqeberha. I am a passionate educator who is constantly looking for and implementing new and innovative ways to bring learners into the 21st century. My vision is to provide my learners with skills that enable them to engage, have access to and thrive in the 21st century world. Our school’s motto is “Excellence Leading the Way”. In striving to live our motto in practice, my objective is to exhibit excellence in all activities including my leadership in my classroom. Taking advantage of every opportunity at our school to make learning in my classes an enjoyable process which creates learners who are equipped and ready for the world they are going into after they leave our hands. I pride myself with attempting to break barriers and paving the way to progress in the township schools in Gqeberha. In my pursuit of quality, transformative education multiple projects that work across grades involving the whole school and multiple stakeholders.

Elmina Kazimzade

Elmina Kazimzade has been working in the field of education for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of Moscow State University and a psychologist by profession. Her PhD research was related to psychology and multicultural education. Since 1995 she has been managing in international education programs supported by UNICEF, Soros Foundation, World Bank and UNESCO. She was Executive Director of the Center for Innovations in Education for over a decade and is now Associate Professor at Baku State University. She has participated in many comparative education research projects and published several articles and chapters in distinguished education journals and books on Eurasian education.

Jonathan Kwok

Jonathan Kwok is pursuing a Master’s degree in International Educational Development with a concentration in International Humanitarian Issues at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has almost five years of experience working in humanitarian and development organizations at both global and local levels. His interests lie at the nexus of research and practice to support the holistic well-being of learners and educators in crisis-affected contexts.

Dr. Mary Mendenhall

Dr. Mary Mendenhall is an Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests are situated at the intersection of education in emergencies, refugee and forced migration studies, critical development studies, and teacher education across camp, urban, and resettlement contexts. Her current research focuses on teacher identity, teacher professional development, and teacher policies of both refugee and host community teachers in forced displacement settings, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Alicia Merodo

Alicia Merodo holds a Degree in Education and a Master’s in social sciences with a focus on education. PhD candidate for the Doctorate in Education at National University of the Centre of the Province of Buenos Aires (UNICEN). Professor and researcher at different national universities in Argentina. Trainer of trainers at degree and teacher training. Specialist in teacher training, high school, and curriculum issues. Currently, she teaches the subjects Residence I: The school field of teaching work, Curriculum Theory and Design and General Didactics.

Ulviyya Mikayilova

Ulviyya Mikayilova is Assistant Professor at ADA University, Azerbaijan. Her degrees are in Physics (MA, Baku State University), Biology (PhD, Tbilisi State University), Leadership in Early Childhood Education (MA, Moscow School of Social and Economic Studies, Manchester University). Ulviyya Mikayilova worked on early childhood education reform and inclusive education reform in Azerbaijan from 1998 to 2013. She has been involved in consultancy work in Central Asia. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship in 2006. Her research interests include diverse aspects of education reform in Azerbaijan with special focus on teachers’ professional development and social inclusion of children with disabilities, children from socially disadvantageous families, and other vulnerable children. Previously she was Executive Director of the Center for Innovations in Education (CIE) in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Muki Moeng

Hi, my name is Muki Moeng. I am the executive Dean of the Faculty of Education at Nelson Mandela University. Nelson Mandela University is located in Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, and we also have a campus in George. Gqeberha is in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. I was born and raised in the Eastern Cape. I am from a small town called Graaff-Reinet. I am very proud of my roots because that keeps me grounded. Our faculty is one of seven faculties at the university. We are a teacher education faculty that prepares teachers to teach in schools. We have about 2300 students who are registered in our undergraduate as well as our postgraduate programmes. Our educational philosophy is underpinned by a humanising pedagogy. For us, we are first and foremost human beings and we need to centre the student in our learning and teaching endeavours. In our mission we would like to prepare teachers who can become agents of hope, change and social justice.

Onono Jimmy Ongwech

Onono Jimmy Ongwech is a diploma graduate in Liberal Arts and is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Southern New Hampshire University. Onono also works with Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) as an Academic Advisor guiding students to create their own academic goals and nurturing them to become self-motivated learners while learning online. Prior to working with JWL, Onono worked with the Lutheran World Federation as a Quality Assurance Officer who oversaw curriculum implementation in all primary schools in Kakuma refugee camp. Onono’s vision is to see that all children gain access to basic education.

Daniela Schädeli

I completed my training as a primary teacher and then taught part-time in a class from 5th to 9th grade. I mainly worked as a video journalist and editor for television. After a stay abroad in Thailand and the birth of our two sons, I worked part-time as a teacher for technical and textile design. In 2014 I started my current job as a school principal at the primary school and the region for integration and special needs in Unterlangenegg (BE). At this time I began also the MAS in educational management of the PHBern, which I graduate in November 2019. I discovered my interest in scientific topics by reading specialist literature, which is why I started in autumn 2018 studying for a Master’s degree in Educational Sciences at the University of Fribourg.

Nombulelo Sume

I am the principal at Charles Duna Primary in New Brighton; Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The school has 1,031 learners from Grade R to 7th, 27 educators, six meal servers and nine parent volunteers. The school is my Alma mater and being appointed at my former primary school was exciting. This created a chance for me to give back to my community. During the first meeting with the parents, I promised to bring social justice, opportunities for the learners and the community but also needed help from them. The school was established in 1962 so by the time I joined in 1998, there were gross infrastructural changes. There was no water, dilapidated buildings, no electricity, high unemployment rate in the community and a lack of parental involvement. Staff needed capacity building. In the ELADIN cell, I will be sharing my leadership journey and how the school has transformed into a Community School.


Christine McKenna, Multimedia Producer

Christine McKenna is an online editor, multimedia producer and new media instructor. She is an instructor at Lehman College, CUNY, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She has produced documentary and news sites for Time magazine, PBS, the Discovery Channel, WNYC and The Wall Street Journal. She co-founded an online production company and posted digital stories from Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. In addition to her journalistic experience, Christine has worked as an investigator for death row inmates, developed health modules for UNICEF, and taught an online storytelling course at the University of Barcelona. Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley, and a masters from Columbia.


Sabina Aghayeva

Sabina Aghayeva is a holder of the British Government’s Chevening Scholarship Award. She studied MA in Educational Leadership and Management at Warwick University, UK. She teaches at Khazar University, coordinates non-formal education projects, and provides consultancy in the field of education. Sabina voluntarily participates in developing initiatives to address bullying issues at schools. Her main research interests are in organizational culture, distributive leadership style, and inequalities in education.

Farhad Aliyev

Farhad Aliyev graduated from Baku State University in 2000 (Cum laude Master Diploma) and received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Academy of Public Administration, Republic of Azerbaijan, in 2011. He cooperated with SAIS at Johns Hopkins University and George Washington University in the framework of his Fulbright Visiting Scholar Fellowship in 2013-2014. Currently he is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at ADA University (Baku, Azerbaijan). His areas of expertise include political science, political theory, modern and contemporary philosophy, history of philosophy.

Mehin Cebrayilova

Mehin Cebrayilova is currently the Executive Director of the Social Innovation Lab. With three years of experience in social entrepreneurship, she runs a social business called Horizon Education Agency. This agency aims to add value to human capital development in Azerbaijan in different forms such as supporting the professional development of students, achieving the highest standards of university-industry relations and preparing young professionals for the current market. She also runs the project FemaLeaders, funded by the US Embassy Azerbaijan, which supports girls’ self-actualization. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree at ADA University in Education Management.

Joaquín Simon

Joaquín Simon is a producer, video editor and animator. Since 2019 he has been coordinating the audiovisual team of Digital Content from the editorial team of the Educational Planning Directorate of the Ministry of Education of the City of Buenos Aires.