Irina Bokova is Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Elected in 2009, she is the first woman to head the Organization. A Bulgarian national, Ms Bokova graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and studied at the University of Maryland and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in the United States.
Director, UNESCO International Institute for Educational
Before joining IIEP, Khalil Mahshi was Director General of
International and Public Relations at the Palestinian Ministry
of Education for six years. In this capacity, he worked on the
design and implementation of development projects and on
fundraising. He also coordinated the production of the first
five-year national education development plan.
Ms Álvarez-Laso has been UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences since July 2010 and acts as Secretary of the Conference of Parties of the International Convention against Doping in Sport, Secretary of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport CIGEPS, Secretary-General of the International Bioethics Committee IBC, and Executive Secretary to the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology COMEST.
Professor Pat Dolan
Joint founder and Director of the Child and Family Research Centre and UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI, Galway (Ireland)
Pat Dolan holds the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement, the first to be awarded in the Republic of Ireland. The UNESCO Chair delivers a comprehensive programme of work towards promoting civic engagement and leadership skills among children and youth. The programme is built around core strands of research, teaching, policy, and good practice, and is underpinned by a range of national and international collaborations.
Professor Alan Smith
Holder of the UNESCO Chair in Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy, University of Ulster
Alan Smith is UNESCO Chair at the University of Ulster. His work includes research on education and conflict, young people’s understanding of human rights and the development of social, civic and political education. He is responsible for an international development programme at Ulster initially funded by DFID. He was a contributing author and advisor to the EFA Global Monitoring Report (2011) and has recently completed research for UNICEF on the role of education in peacebuilding.
Hon. Datuk Wira Ir. Idris Haron
President, World Assembly of Youth (WAY)
Hon. Datuk Wira Ir. Idris Haron is President of the World Assembly of Youth (WAY). He is also a dedicated professional engineer and a Member of Parliament in Malaysia. He oversees the strategy and leadership of WAY in playing its role as the international coordinating body of national youth councils and organizations. Before taking the helm at WAY in December 2010, Hon. Datuk Wira Idris served as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia.
UN Focal Point on Youth, Social Integration Branch Division for Social Policy and Development, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Nicola Shepherd is Head of the UN Programme on Youth, which serves as the focal point on youth for the United Nations System. In this capacity, she is the Co-Chair of the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, which works to increase the effectiveness of UN work in youth development by strengthening collaboration and exchange among all relevant UN entities.
Secretary General, World Assembly of Youth (WAY)
As Secretary General of WAY and Director of the World Youth Institute (WYI), Ediola has been instrumental in assisting and supporting youth initiatives locally, regionally, and internationally. She has twice been awarded the ‘Life Time Achievement Legendary Award’ for her contribution to the field of youth development from Loyola College, India, in 2008 and 2012. For her work in Africa, she was named ‘International Ambassador of Youth on Good Practice’ from the Youth Parliament in Nigeria in 2010.
Chief of Section for Human Security, Democracy and Philosophy Section and Team Leader of the Youth-led Social Innovation Programme, UNESCO
Moufida Goucha has been Team Leader of the Youth-led Social Innovation Programme, in the Social and Human Sciences Sector at UNESCO since January 2012. From 1986 to 1992, she was a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of Tunisia and was also elected Vice-President of the National Union of Women of Tunisia (UNFT). In 1992 Moufida became Tunisia’s Deputy Permanent Delegate for UNESCO. From 1994 to 1999, she was principal special advisor for the Arab region to the UNESCO Director-General.
Co-rapporteur of the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum (Finland)
Miika Tomi serves as a global representative of the world’s youth through the 7th UNESCO Youth Forum. He is the UNESCO Youth Delegate of Finland, Representative of Finnish Civil Society to the 67th UN General Assembly, and Vice Chair of the Committee for Education, Competence and Economic Development Services for the City of Tampere. He has worked as a UN and EU peacekeeper in Chad, Junior Adviser at the Embassy of Finland in Beijing, and is currently employed as a Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland.
Labour Market Expert, European Training Foundation (ETF)
Francesca Rosso focuses on labour market reforms in the Western Balkans and North Africa, in close cooperation with the European Commission and the Delegations of the European Union. Before joining the ETF in 2012, Ms Rosso spent several years working as a programme manager for various international bodies, including the United Nations in Serbia, the Italian Cooperation in Serbia Kosovo and Montenegro, and the Secretariat of the EU Council at the United Nations in New York.
Founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation (United States of America)
Forest Whitaker is the founder of PeaceEarth Foundation, cofounder and chair of the International Institute for Peace, and the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation. He is also a talented, versatile performer and one of Hollywood’s most accomplished figures. Over the past decade, Mr Whitaker has dedicated most of his time to extensive humanitarian work. His social awareness has compelled him to seek ways of using the film medium as a means to raise peoples’ consciousness.
*Website launched at the UN on 21 September at the occasion of the International Day of Peace
Professor, American University’s School of International
Service (SIS) (United States of America)
Mark Hamilton is a scholar-practitioner with research, teaching, and training expertise focused on the dynamic roles of young people in conflict, security, and development. His PhD dissertation examines why and how youth are mobilized into violent and non-violent movements, finding practical grounding in field-based work experience in Latin America, South Asia, and the Middle East. Mark has consulted for a number of global organizations on themes related to curriculum design, programme evaluation, conflict analysis, and security sector reform.
H.E. Jean Jacques Nyenimigabo
Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, Burundi
H. E. Jean Jacques Nyenimigabo was appointed Minister for Youth, Sport and Culture in the Government of Burundi in 2005. Prior to this appointment, he held several academic and political positions: Dean of the Physical Education Faculty at the Institut pédagogique of Rwanda, advisor and Chief of staff to the rector in charge of the social, sport and cultural portfolio, lecturer at the University of Burundi, and Dean of the Institute of Physical Education and Sport (IEPS).
Brenda Haiplik is a Senior Education Advisor – Emergencies, at UNICEF New York. She was formally the Chief of Education for UNICEF in Sri Lanka and has worked for UNICEF in Somalia, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, where she managed and coordinated UNICEF’s education programme responding to the Pakistani earthquake in November 2005. She has also worked for Save the Children as a senior specialist for education.
Projects Director, Espolea (Mexico)
Youth activist for the past decade, Aram Barra has been working on HIV & AIDS and harm reduction issues in Latin America for the past four years. He currently acts as Projects Director of Espolea, a youth-led, Mexican-based organization working on human rights and empowering of young people in their own communities, with a gender perspective.
Lakshitha Saji Prelis
Director for Children & Youth Programs, Search for Common Ground (SFCG)
Lakshitha Saji Prelis has over 20 years’ experience working with youth in various conflict and transition environments in West Africa, and throughout Central, South, and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining SFCG, he was the founding director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute at American University. His more than 11 years of experience at American University have resulted in the development of training curricula covering youth, human rights, gender, media, monitoring and evaluation, and the nexus of peacebuilding with development.
Programme Specialist, UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)
Lyndsay Bird joined IIEP in September 2008 and has over 20 years’ experience of working in education in development and emergency settings. Lyndsay is also Chair of the INEE Working Group on Education and Fragility, and is a member of the Capacity Development Task Team of the Education Cluster. She holds a PhD from the Institute of Education, University of London.
Michaela (Chaeli) Mycroft
Co-founder of the Chaeli Campaign and winner of International Children’s Peace Prize 2011* (South Africa)
The Chaeli Campaign was founded on 6 August 2004 by five girls between the ages of 6 and 12. Chaeli, her sister (Erin), and lifelong friends the Terry sisters (Tarryn, Justine, and Chelsea) started the Chaeli Campaign to raise 20,000 Rand (US$2,500) for Chaeli’s motorized wheelchair. The main objectives of the Chaeli Campaign are to promote and provide the mobility and educational needs of disabled children under the age of 18 throughout South Africa.
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ireland
Minister Frances Fitzgerald is TD for Dublin Mid-West and was appointed Ireland’s first ever Cabinet Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in 2011. Among her key priorities is to deliver a Children’s Referendum, which aims to protect children by putting Children First Guidance on a statutory footing, to establish a dedicated agency for Children and Family Services, to continue to offer a free pre-school year for children, and to develop youth services throughout the country.
Professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison (United States of America)
Connie Flanagan is a professor in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she teaches courses on civil society and youth civic engagement. Her research concerns adolescents’ theories of the ‘social contract,’ i.e. their views of the rights and responsibilities that bind members of a society together. Her book Teenage Citizens: The political theories of the young was published in 2012 by Harvard University Press.
General Secretary, Equal Education (EE) (South Africa)
Equal Education is a movement of students, parents, teachers, and community members campaigning for equality and improvement in education in South Africa. Brad Brockman was elected as General Secretary in July 2012. Previously, he worked at EE as an editor, researcher, and community organizer.
Haroun Ali Suleiman
Minister of Labour, Economic Empowerment and Cooperatives, Tanzania-Zanzibar
H. E. Haroun Ali Suleiman was appointed Minister of Labour, Economic Empowerment and Cooperatives in the Government of Zanzibar in 2010. Prior to this he held the position of Minister of Education and Vocation training (2005-2010) and Minister of Education, Culture and Sports (2000-2005). He also held senior positions within the Planning and Administration Department of the Ministry of Education, and has worked as a teacher and head teacher in secondary schools in Zanzibar.
H.E. Emmanuel Bonginkosi Nzimande
Minister for Higher Education and Training, South Africa
H E. Dr Emmanuel Bonginkosi Nzimande is Minister for Higher Education and Training in the Republic of South Africa. He has also held the position of General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP), from July 1998 to the present. He was re-elected in July 2002 and 2007. He is also a member of the ANC National Executive Committee and of the ANC National Working Committee, and the Chairperson of the Financial Sector Coalition Campaign (FSCC).
Director, Education for All Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO
Pauline Rose became Director of the EFA Global Monitoring Report in August 2011. Prior to taking up this post, she was Senior Policy Analyst with the GMR team for three years. Before joining the GMR, Pauline was Reader in International Education at the University of Sussex. She has published extensively on issues that critically examine educational policy and practice, including in relation to inequality, financing and governance, democratization, and the role of international
Education Specialist, Network for Policy Research, Review and Advice on Education and Training (NORRAG)
Holder of a PhD in Education from Geneva University, Michel Carton completed his academic career in the Psychology and Education Faculty there (until 2002) and at the Graduate Institute of Development Studies in Geneva, where he was director from 2005 to 2007, before serving as vice-director of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies until his retirement in 2010. With Kenneth King, he animates NORRAG, a network devoted to a critical analysis of international education and training policies.
Founder and CEO of the YP Foundation (TYPF) (India))
TYPF works with groups of youth from 18 states across India, including those in and out of school, to set up youth-led community-based interventions and policy initiatives. She works with diverse youth communities to build the capacities of young people to advocate for and implement programmes that ensure their sexual and reproductive rights and health. She has worked as a consultant for various UN Agencies, and serves on UNESCO’s Global Advisory Group for Sexuality Education.
Senior Researcher, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Born in the Dominican Republic, holds a PhD in development economics from Lund University, Sweden, and has carried out research on rural poverty and unemployment, gender and migration. She is a staff member of IFAD in Rome, where she has worked as a Country Program Manager in the Latin America and the Caribbean division and is presently a Senior Researcher in the Strategy and Knowledge Management Department.
Mereana Te Pere
Member, Māori Youth Council (New Zealand)
Mereana TePere is a member of the Māori Youth Council. She is currently teaching as a tutor for Te Wananga O Aotearoa – a Maori-based tertiary education provider based in Auckland. She has been active in a range of community organizations and initiatives including: as the Manager of the MAIA Youth Work Team, Chairman of the Manurewa Youth Workers Network, and Board of Trustee member of Weymouth Intermediate.
Specialist in Capacity Building Systems and Head of the Human Capital Development Department at the CCCA-BTP – French National Coordination Committee of Apprenticeships in the Construction Industry (France)
Marek Lawinski is a specialist of educational projects based on European vocational education and training (VET) policy principles. He represents the CCCA-BTP, an educational institution managed by social partners, linked to the French Ministry of Education and under control of the French Government. Mr Lawinski is also an operational leader of REFORME, a European network of training institutions and organizations. He works with the European Commission as an external expert in VET projects. His main domain of competence is the relationship between capacity development systems and market needs.