We are honored to have assembled an Advisory Board of this caliber. These leaders in their fields are contributing their expertise to the Global Learning XPRIZE to ensure maximum rigor in guiding this competition.
Professor of the Neuro-developmental Study of Cognition
Antonio M. Battro is a professor of neurocognition and education. He received his M.D. from the Medical School at the University of Buenos Aires and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Paris. He is currently a member of the Fundación Ceibal in Uruguay. He was invited by Jean Piaget to become a member of the Centre International d' Epistémologie Génétique (Geneva, Switzerland). Previous positions include co-founder and president of the Centro de Investigaciones Filosóficas (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Robert Kennedy Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, Chief Education Officer at OLPC: One Laptop Per Child Foundation, President of IMBES: Mind, Brain and Education Society, and Co-Director of the International School on Mind, Brain and Education at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture (Erice, Italy).
Dr. Battro has written numerous research articles on neurocognitive and moral development and on rehabilitation for disabled children with the use of information and communication technologies. He published several books, among them Piaget: Dictionary of Terms (Pergamon), Half a Brain is Enough(Cambridge) and co-edited at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences The Educated Brain: Essays in Neuroeducation; Neurosciences and the Human Person: New Perspectives on Human Activities; Human Neuroplasticity and Education; Bread and Brain: Education and Poverty. He was the recipient of the Premio Nacional de Ciencias in Argentina and the Guggenheim, Fulbright and Eisenhower fellowships in the United States. He is a member of the Academia Nacional de Educación, Argentina, and of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Principal researcher at CSIR Meraka, Next Generation mobile and ICT systems group where she heads up the Mobile User Experience Research
Dr. Botha received the B.Sc. (Chemistry), M.Ed. (Computer Integrated Education), and Ph.D. (Information Technology) from the Universities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan, respectively.
Dr. Botha has extensive experience of implementing and using Mobile technologies in goal oriented interactions and her work has been widely published nationally and internationally. She has research interests that include Mobile Human Computer Interaction, Mobile Interaction design and Mobile innovation. She has experience working on educational mobile applications, mobile applications for development, M-agriculture, M-government, mobile voice services and the development and support of innovation through mobile application development.
Dr. Botha serves on several mobile implementation advisory boards in addition to supervising post graduate Master's and Ph.D. students working on Mobile Applications at various universities. She has worked with the Mobile Development Lab, CTI Education mobile research, Nokia, Shell Petroleum, International Learning Organisation, the Technology Innovation Association, and various other International organisations and universities on Mobile Applications. She serves on the editorial board of a number of Journals related to Mobile implementation and is a research associate at UNISA, HP Catalyst consortium lead on Global Collaboration and chairs the Senate of CTI Education Group.
Senior Technical Consultant at World Education and an Adjunct Faculty Member at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
From April 2012 to October 2013, Dr. Comings served in the Obama Administration as an Education Policy Advisor focused on USAID’s early-grade reading initiative. Before that, he was a Principal International Technical Advisor at the Education Development Center from 2008 to 2012. From 1996 to 2008, he was Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) and a member of the faculty at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Before coming to Harvard, Dr. Comings spent 12 years as Vice President of World Education. Dr. Comings lived and worked in Nepal from 1969 to 1975 and in Indonesia from 1978 to 1980.
Special Advisor to the President of Kenya
Ruth Kagia is currently Senior Advisor, in the Office of the President of Kenya. Prior to this Mrs. Kagia worked at the World Bank for some 20 years during which she held various positions including as World Bank Country Director for Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho as well as Mauritius and Madagascar). The position required her to oversee programs in all sectors of development practice, including economic policy, infrastructure and energy, education and health, gender and economic empowerment, and employment and competitiveness. Before this, Mrs. Kagia was the World Bank’s Global Education Director, 2002- 2008. She was the primary force behind the establishment of the EFA Fast Track initiative (FTI) in 2002 which has evolved into the Global Partnership for Education. She also led several programs on education, training and its linkages to the labor market and focused on the transformative effect of education on issues such as women empowerment. Before joining the World Bank Mrs. Kagia worked with the Kenya Government in teaching, management and research.
Mrs. Kagia holds degrees from the University of Nairobi and the Harvard graduate school of education. In addition she holds several professional development qualifications including the Executive Development Program from Harvard University and a Certificate of Education Measurement from Princeton.
Lecturer-Researcher at Universidad del Pacífico (Lima). Non-resident Fellow de la Brookings Institution en su Center for Global Education.
Dr. Mendizabal is a Peruvian social researcher working on educational issues and the linkage between information systems and policy-making. Between 1992 and 2012 he worked on establishing connections between policy questions and research design, and between research results and decision making processes in civil service institutions both in his home country and at UNESCO. He led UNESCO´s Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) between 2007 and 2012, a period in which field tests were conducted in eight countries and ten different languages as well as four full implementations of the programme. He is currently working on how schools (re)produce social representations about national history and contemporary affairs as to better understand how modern citizenship is developed, or not, in Peru.
Chief Executive Officer of the Dar Teknohama (ICT) Business Incubator (DTBi) for entrepreneurship hosted at the Commission for Science & Technology (COSETCH) as a PPP between the infoDev World Bank, Government & Private Sector
Mr. Mulamula is also the Senior Government Advisor on Information Communication Technology (ICT) Entrepreneurship & Innovation for an enabling environment and eco-system for ICT entrepreneurship growth. Prior to that he was the first Principal Deputy Chief Executive Officer (PDCEO) of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry and worked on their SME and Entrepreneurship Policy. At RDB he was tasked with spearheading the organization in fast-tracking investment in Rwanda, Tourism, ICT and human capacity building. He was the Senior ICT Advisor in the Government of Rwanda and in that capacity, the Lead Policy Advisor on the Rwanda National Information Communication Infrastructure (NICI) Policy Plan II and WSIS Document preparation, and also a catalyst in technology entrepreneurship in Rwanda. George Mulamula was for over 8 years the first Africa Technical Expert in Intellectual Property (IP) Automation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), based in Geneva, Switzerland and worked with Sub-Sahara African Governments on the utility of ICT in IP. He also was a catalyst in transforming the African Advanced Level Telecommunications Institute in Nairobi, Kenya to be a Centre of Excellence while he worked there. For over 15 years he has taught at various Higher Learning Institutions in the region, consulted with international and regional organizations, and also involved in policy formulation for innovation & entrepreneurship in ICT. He has run ICT companies and has written extensively on ICT, Technology Transfer for Sustainable Development.
At DTBi & COSTECH he now supports Entrepreneurship in Tech Startups in the Tanzania to grow and propel job creation for youth (particularly women) and have financial inclusion at the bottom of the pyramid. To further support entrepreneurs he has forged links and collaborated with Academic Institutions like MIT Sloan School G-Lab, University of Dodoma, University of Dar-es-Salaam; International Organisations likeLions@Africa, Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce, US State Department Global Partnership Programme & GIST, Finnish TanzICT; Companies like Technobrain, Microsoft USA; Regulatory Authorities like the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority; Banks like CRDB, DCB, TIB, NMB to name a few and linked an International network of Mentors & Coaches. He is a Mentor and Coach for entrepreneurs and has conducted pitching sessions around the country and outside the country, including at Global Entrepreneurship Summits (South Africa, Russia) and Demo Africa (Kenya). He is a Board Member of Demeter, a MIT Startup which is going global.
Head and Representative, UNESCO Office in Dar es-Salaam, Tanzania
Born in 1964 in Angola, she concluded her secondary school education in Portugal and obtained her Masters (Cum Laude) in Development Studies at the University of Nijmegen in The Netherlands. Started her professional career as a researcher and lecturer in several Dutch Universities and joined UNESCO in 1996 as an Associate Expert in Social and Human Sciences at the Maputo Office in Mozambique. In 1999 she was nominated Assistant Programme Specialist becoming also the UNESCO focal Point for Youth in Southern Africa, supporting Governments in the development of youth policies and programmes. In 2001 she became the Programme Specialist in Education in Mozambique working as the Head of the Education, HIV & AIDS and Cultural Units of the Office. In 2011 she was promoted to Regional Coordinator for Education in Africa at the BREDA Office in Dakar. In that position she coordinated the UNESCO education programme in the continent and assisted countries developing acceleration frameworks for Education for All. In 2014 she was appointed UNESCO Representative to the United Republic of Tanzania and Head of the UNESCO Dar Es Salaam Office.
Zulmira is a Dutch and Portuguese citizen and is married and mother of 4.
The Wasserman Dean, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Dean Suárez-Orozco leads two academic departments, 16 nationally renowned research institutes, and two innovative demonstration schools at UCLA’s oldest School. His research focuses on cultural psychology and psychological anthropology, with an emphasis on globalization, mass migration, and education. He is the award-winning author and co-author of multiple books and essays published by Harvard University Press, University of California Press, Cambridge University Press, New York University Press, inter alia. The recipient of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle - Mexico's highest honor to a foreign national, he has served as Special Advisor to the Chief Prosecutor, The International Criminal Court, The Hague, and has authored multiple texts for Pope Francis’ Pontifical Academies. At Harvard, he was the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Education and Culture, Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Harvard Immigration Projects. At NYU he was the inaugural Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education. In 2009-10 he was the Richard Fisher Member at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. At Stanford, as Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, he co-authored with Professor Carola Suárez-Orozco the award-winning Transformations: Immigration, Family Life, and Achievement Motivation Among Latino Adolescents. (Stanford University Press, 1996). He has been Visiting Professor in Paris (L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales), Barcelona (Universitat de Barcelona), Belgium (Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven) and has lectured at the German Foreign Office, the Mexican Foreign Office, the Spanish Foreign Office, The Vatican, US Congress, the UN, the World Economic Forum, and in multiple other scholarly and policy venues in the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and a Trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Dean Suárez-Orozco was educated in public schools in his native Argentina and at U.C. Berkeley where he received his AB, MA and Ph.D.
The John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service, Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, and Professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University
Dr. Wolf received her doctoral degree from Harvard University, where her research began on the reading brain, the development of language and literacy, and dyslexia. She has two degrees in literature from Northwestern University and from St. Mary’s College/University of Notre Dame. Selected awards for teaching include Distinguished Professor of the Year from the Massachusetts Psychological Association; the Teaching Excellence Award for Universities from the American Psychological Association.
For her work on dyslexia she received the Alice Ansara Award, the Norman Geschwind Lecture Award, and Samuel Orton Award (the International Dyslexia Association's highest honors). For other research she received a Fulbright Research Fellowship (Germany); the NICHD Shannon Award for Innovative Research, which resulted in the RAVE-O reading intervention program; and the Distinguished Researcher Award. Most recently, Wolf was awarded the Christopher Columbus Award for intellectual discovery for her current work on global literacy in Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, India and rural US. She and her colleagues at the MIT Media Lab and Georgia State University are developing a digital learning experience, Curious Learning, that will bring literacy opportunities to children in remote regions of the world. This cross-disciplinary work is the topic of two invited lectures to the Vatican Academy of Sciences in the last year and one in the upcoming year on Education for Disenfranchised Peoples.
The author of over 130 scientific publications, Wolf wrote one book for public audiences, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, which has received numerous awards and is now translated into 13 languages. At the Center for Advanced Studies for the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, she is completing two books, What It Means to be Literate: A Literacy Agenda for the 21st Century for Oxford University Press, and Letters to the Good Reader: The Contemplative Dimension in the Future Reading Brain for Harper-Collins.