ECDAN

Governance

Updates & Minutes From The Board Meeting

Executive Leadership Council Meeting

October 28, 2021

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Executive Leadership Council Meeting

April 22, 2021

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Executive Leadership Council and Executive Group Joint Meeting Minutes

October 27, 2020

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Who We Are

Borhene Chakroun
Borhene Chakroun is an engineer and has a PhD in Education Sciences from Bourgogne University in France. Borhene worked, during the 1990s, as trainer, chief trainer, project manager in the field of vocational training. He has also worked as short-term consultant for the EU, World Bank and other international organisations before coming to the European Training Foundation (ETF) in 2001. At the ETF, Borhene worked as Senior Human Capital Development specialist. He joined UNESCO in 2010 as Section Chief for Skills Development, Literacy and Adult Learning. He is now Director of Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems Division at UNESCO-HQ. Borhene conducted a range of TVET policy reviews and led education initiatives in different contexts. He has authored and co-authored various articles and books in the field of skills development and lifelong learning. Much of his most recent work focuses on global trends in reforming education and training systems and global agenda for skills development and lifelong learning in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Eduardo Queiroz
Eduardo Queiroz is an international executive in the field of philanthropy with recognized experience for leading organizations to greater impact. As a committed social activist, Eduardo’s career spans foundations, government, NGO’s and private sector. He has lived, studied, and worked in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and is currently based in Portland, Oregon, USA. He has served as the National Secretary of Articulation and Partnerships at the Ministry of Citizenship at the Brazilian Federal Government. Previously, Mr. Queiroz was the CEO of Maria Cecilia Vidigal Foundation and helped to bring Early Childhood Development to the Brazilian national agenda. He has served in senior executive positions with the Secretary of Education in the State of São Paulo (Brazil), Outward Bound Brazil and Outward Bound Mexico. Eduardo served as volunteer Board Member at United Way Brazil, Outward Bound Mexico and at different NGO’s. He holds a business administration degree, a specialization in finance from Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) and a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he was a Mason and a Lemann Fellow.
Elizabeth Lule
Elizabeth is a widely recognized expert on international development and global health issues, and has devoted her career to strengthening global commitments and programs addressing the needs of women, adolescents, children, and infants. Before joining ECDAN, she served as a senior consultant with the World Bank Group supporting the Global Financing Facility for Every Woman and Every Child and increasing financing for multisectoral pandemic preparedness at both global and national levels. At the World Bank, she also held several senior management and technical positions including Interim Director and Manager of Africa Regional Integration, Sector Manager of the HIV-AIDS program and Global Advisor for Population and Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health. She’s worked previously at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as their Director of Family Planning, at Pathfinder International as their Regional Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, and with USAID in Nigeria. Elizabeth has been instrumental in establishing and supporting global partnerships, networks and coalitions to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and HIV programs, and was the founding chair of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition. She serves on several Boards of Directors, and has been a member of global think tanks, UN Inter-Agency Task Teams and global advisory groups. Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for the rights and well-being of women and children. She has a joint advanced degree in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the London School of Economics.
Ghassan Issa
Ghassan Issa, MD, is a Lebanese pediatrician, graduate of the American University of Beirut Medical center in 1980. He is the co-founder and the General Coordinator of an Arab regional non-governmental organization, The Arab Resource Collective (ARC) that was established in 1988 for better childhood, health for all and community development in the Arab region.   Dr. Issa is the director of the Arab Network for Early Childhood Development (ANECD), member of the East Mediterranean Regional Certification Committee on Poliomyelitis Eradication (RCC-EMR), and the Senior Advisor of the National Strategy for Early Childhood Development for the Lebanese Higher Council of Childhood  (HCC-Leb). He is a member of the board of the International Developmental Pediatrics Association (IDPA), a member of the Middle East and North Africa Health Policy Forum and served as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee on Early Childhood Development of the International Pediatrics Association (IPA). Dr. Issa has also served in the Pediatrics department of the Lebanese University faculty of medicine, board of the Lebanese Pediatrics Society, and the Continuous Medical Education committee of the Lebanese Syndicate of Physicians.
H.R.H. Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan
As UNHCR Patron for Maternal & Newborn Health, Special Advisor to WFP on Maternal & Child Health and Nutrition, and Co-Convener of the Roadmap to Accelerate Progress for Every Newborn Humanitarian Settings 2020-2025, Princess Sarah supports efforts to reduce maternal, child and newborn mortality and morbidity in populations affected by violence and conflict, and champions the health, wellbeing, empowerment and contribution of girls and women in fragile and humanitarian settings. Princess Sarah led Every Woman Every Child Everywhere (Everywhere), an unprecedented global multi-stakeholder movement to integrate humanitarian and fragile settings in the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health, a roadmap adopted by the World Health Assembly to end all preventable deaths of women, children and adolescents by 2030. Princess Sarah is a member of the Advisory Board for the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch; a member of UNHCR’s Advisory Group on Gender, Forced Displacement and Protection; a member of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health Advisory Committee: and, the Towards Global Learning Goals Advisory Board. She holds a BA in International Relations from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas, and an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Iffath Sharif
Iffath Sharif is Manager of the Human Capital Project. She works on supporting the World Bank Group’s global agenda to protect, build and utilize human capital in partnership with countries and development agencies. She has previously held multiple positions in the Africa region as Practice Manager for the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice, as well as in South Asia as Lead Economist and Human Development Program Leader. Iffath has worked on areas of poverty, adaptive safety nets and public works, early childhood development, microfinance, gender, nutrition, migration, and jobs. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and a Masters from Princeton University.
Jeff Bernson, MPH, MPA
Jeff Bernson, MPH, MPA, leads PATH’s health and technical programs, combining decades of implementation experience with technology development, commercialization, and market innovation. His passion is to help PATH’s country programs and stakeholders catalyze cost-effective, user-centered innovation by leveraging multi-sector partnerships and entrepreneurial approaches to accelerate health equity around the world. Mr. Bernson joined PATH in 2008 and brings two decades of experience in designing and implementing programs, products, tools, and systems that improve health service delivery around the world. Mr. Bernson believes in the relentless use of analytics and insights to guide PATH’s projects and programs, helping to forge an intentional path of innovation that turns constraints into inspiration and impact. Mr. Bernson earned his MPH and MPA from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Joan Lombardi, PhD
Over the past 48 years, Joan has made significant contributions in the areas of child and family policy as an innovative leader and policy advisor to national and international organizations and foundations and as a public servant. Joan directs Early Opportunities LLC, a strategic advisement service focused on the develop- ment of young children, families and the communities that support them. In this role she serves as an advisor to the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and the Pritzker Children’s Initiative, among others,and is a strategic partner with the Center for the Study of Social Policy. In addition she is a Senior Scholar at the Center for Child and Human Development at Georgetown University where she focuses on global early childhood initiatives. She served in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development (2009-2011) and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and External Affairs in Administration for Children and Families and the first Commis- sioner of the Child Care Bureau among other positions (l993-1998). She is the author of numer- ous publications including Time to Care: Redesigning Child Care to Promote Education, Support Families and Build Communities and Co-Author of Beacon of Hope: The Promise of Early Head Start for America’s Youngest Children.
Liana Ghent
Liana Ghent has been Director of ISSA since 2006. Under her leadership, the association expanded its programmatic portfolio and grew significantly, with member organizations from across Europe (East and West) and Central Asia. Over these years, ISSA also broadened its scope to address various aspects of Early Childhood Development. Liana has over 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience. Previously she was Co-President of the Civic Education Project (CEP), an organization working in higher education in Europe and the former Soviet Union. She served on several boards, including the Consultative Group for ECCD and the Leadership Council of the Global Compact for Early Childhood Development. Currently, she is a member of the Executive Group of the Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) and WHO's Advisory Group for the Nurturing Care Framework. Liana is a certified Kripalu Yoga Teacher.
Lynette Okengo, PhD
Lynette Okengo, PhD serves as the Executive Director of the Africa Early Childhood Network. Dr. Okengo is an early childhood development expert whose professional experience spans policy and strategy development, program design and evaluation as well as advocacy and capacity building. Prior to her work with AfECN, Dr. Okengo held positions as a Senior Technical Advisor and Consultant for the Open Society Foundations, the World Bank, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Regional Office, PATH and Save the Children, among others. A major focus of her work across the region has been the design of strategies to enhance the work of governments, parents and teachers in providing the best possible environment especially for poor and marginalized children. She has received numerous awards and honors for her work, serving twice as a Salzburg Fellow, twice as the Africa Team Coordinator for the World Forum for Early Care and Education and a Senior Fellow - Early Childhood Development for Children's Investment Fund Foundation. Dr. Okengo has over 12 years of experience teaching at the university level, and has authored and presented widely on early childhood development programming in the region. She holds a PhD in Early Childhood Studies from Kenyatta University.
Ms Marcy Vigoda
Marcy brings more than 30 years of international experience in international development and humanitarian aid with the United Nations and Civil Society. For the past eight years she served the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in senior roles, leading the development of OCHA's partnership agenda and driving system-wide resource mobilization as well as high-level advocacy. She served as Head of Office of OCHA Ethiopia and most recently acted as Senior Humanitarian Adviser in the Operations and Advocacy Division. Prior to OCHA Marcy held senior positions with CARE International across the globe, including Deputy Secretary-General in Geneva from 2010 through 2013. Marcy has worked in international development since 1989 in many countries (Bangladesh, Bolivia, Nepal, Ethiopia and Ghana) in senior managerial, programmatic and advisory positions, including as CARE Country Director, Program Director and Gender Adviser. She brings extensive management and leadership experience to the SUN Movement Secretariat, and has led and supported many multi-stakeholder partnerships, including with the private sector. Marcy is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Canada (Master’s Degree in Political Science) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from McGill University.
Omar Abdi
Omar Abdi is the Deputy Executive Director for programmes at UNICEF. In this capacity, Mr. Abdi oversees UNICEF’s global humanitarian and development programmes. With over 30 years of experience in international development, Mr Abdi has held several leadership positions in UNICEF - including as Country Representative in Pakistan, Ghana and Liberia; Regional Director in the Middle-East and North Africa; Comptroller and CFO; and Deputy Executive Director for Management, and Field Results. Mr. Abdi has a PhD in Development Economics.
Peter Laugharn
Peter Laugharn (pronounced LAW-harn) serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Laugharn is a passionate leader with 25 years of foundation and nonprofit experience internationally, with a focus on improving the well-being of vulnerable children. He was executive director of the Firelight Foundation from 2008 to 2014. Firelight identifies, funds, and supports promising African nonprofits serving vulnerable children and families in the areas of education, resilience, and health. Prior to Firelight, Laugharn served for six years as executive director of the Netherlands-based Bernard van Leer Foundation, a private foundation that works to improve opportunities for children up to age 8 who are growing up in socially and economically difficult circumstances. He was director of programs at the Foundation for three years before becoming executive director. Laugharn began his career at Save the Children, where he worked for 11 years in a variety of roles. Eight of those years, he was based in Bamako, Mali. Laugharn helped develop the Village Schools model, which promoted access to basic education, girls’ schooling, and community participation. The model helped 45,000 children go to school and raised the number of primary schools in the country by 40 percent. Laugharn was later Save the Children’s Mali Field Office director, West Africa Area director and then education advisor for Africa, providing technical assistance for programs in 10 countries.
Dr Sheldon Shaeffer
Dr Sheldon Shaeffer joined ARNEC as a Member of the Board of Directors in January 2014. Dr Shaeffer was Director of UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok for over seven years, retiring at the end of 2008. A citizen of Canada, he was educated in history (B.A.), anthropology (M.A.), and comparative international education (Ph.D.) at Stanford University. He has taught, done research, and worked in development programmes in Southeast Asia for over 25 years – as a high school teacher in Malaysia, as an anthropologist and an education programme officer for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, and as the regional education advisor for UNICEF in Bangkok. He was also for 10 years the Director of Education and Population Programmes for the International Development Research Centre in Canada and later was a senior research fellow at the International Institute for Educational Planning (UNESCO) in Paris. Before moving back to Bangkok with UNESCO, he was head of UNICEF’s global education programme in New York for three years. His current interests, reflected in numerous consultancies for a range of development agencies, include early childhood development, language policy in education and the use of mother tongue, teacher management and development, inclusive education (both in regard to disabilities and more broadly defined), child-friendly education, school-based management, and HIV and AIDS and education.
Sherrie Rollins Westin
Sherrie Westin is President of Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. Westin leads the organization’s efforts to serve vulnerable children through mass media and targeted initiatives in the United States and worldwide. She serves as Sesame Workshop’s chief mission ambassador, raising awareness, developing strategic partnerships, and cultivating philanthropic support to further the Workshop’s mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. Westin spearheaded a partnership with the International Rescue Committee to bring critical early education to children in the Syrian response region, which was awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s first-ever $100 million grant, creating the largest early childhood intervention in the history of humanitarian response. This work has expanded to reach children affected by crises in Bangladesh, East Africa, Latin America, and those who have been forcibly displaced from Afghanistan and Ukraine. Westin was named a “Leading Global Thinker” by Foreign Policy Magazine, one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” was recognized with the Smithsonian’s “American Ingenuity Award”, and the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Citizen Leadership. She serves on the boards of the U.S. Global Leadership Council, Communities in Schools, Vital Voices Global Partnership, and the Early Childhood Education Action Network leadership council. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council.
Sneha Sheth
Sneha Seth is passionate about using entrepreneurship to solve educational inequality in the world. As the CEO and co-founder of Dost Education, an edtech non-profit that amplifies parent engagement in early childhood development, Sneha loves taking ideas to action. Sneha started Dost while completing her MBA at UC Berkeley. She has experience designing programs for women’s empowerment, financial inclusion and education across the world, including Mumbai, Cairo and Nairobi. In previous roles at Dalberg and Oliver Wyman, she advised clients like Goldman Sachs, the Gates Foundation, Teach For India, and UN Women. Sneha received her BA at The University of Texas at Austin. She’s a Mulago Rainer Arnhold Fellow and GLG Social Impact Fellow.
Youssef Hajjar
Youssef Hajjar is co-founder and advisor of the Arab Resource Collective and the Arab Network for ECD. He contributed to producing ECD resources and training professionals in the Arab region and beyond. He served on the Board of the Consultative Group for ECD and the Advisory Board of the Early Childhood Programme of Open Society Foundations. He trained on leadership for ECD in various international setups, including the ECD Virtual University and the World Forum for ECD.
Zsuzsanna Jakab
Zsuzsanna Jakab (dr. Jakab Ferencné, born 17 May 1951) is Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization's, Prior to this position she was Regional Director in WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before her election as Regional Director, Dr. Jakab served as the founding Director of the European Union's European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm, Sweden. Between 2005 and 2010, she built ECDC into an internationally respected centre of excellence in the fight against infectious diseases. A native of Hungary, she has held a number of high-profile national and international public health policy positions in the last three decades. Dr. Jakab began her career in Hungary's Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in 1975, being responsible for external affairs, including relations with WHO. Jakab holds a master's degree from the Faculty of Humanities, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest; a postgraduate degree from the University of Political Sciences, Budapest; a diploma in public health from the Nordic School of Public Health in Gothenburg, Sweden; and a postgraduate diploma from the National Institute of Public Administration and Management, Hungary.
George Kronnisanyon Werner
George Kronnisanyon Werner is a public sector leader and innovator. He is particularly active in the education and health sectors and reforming civil service. During his tenure in the Government of as Liberia (2010-2018), Werner instituted sweeping reforms aimed at creating robust and credible hiring and retention systems for civil servants, including teachers, to ensure the right people were placed in the right positions to do the vital work of Government service delivery, which was all the more essential in a post-conflict environment. He also managed the Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) program, the Senior Executives Service program, and the President’s Young Professional Programs — all aimed at rebuilding professional talent for the public service in postwar Liberia. Werner mobilized philanthropy to conduct a first-of-its-kind a payroll audit which yielded more than USD 1 million in annual savings. These saving were reinvested to hire qualified teachers and salaries of unpaid teachers. Werner, with the support of the World Bank Group, worked with key stakeholders in identifying, organizing, storing, and disseminating information about the education sector and the Liberian Civil Service at large. Both Yale and Harvard Universities have documented the reforms that he spearheaded. He is active in his community, mentors and advises students, and serves on several boards. Werner received a BA in General Education from The Pontifical Urban University, Rome, and Masters at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice, Philadelphia, USA.