Global Education Learning Series: Changing How We Work - Transformation and USAID’s Center for Education
In this last session of the Global Education Learning Series, leaders of USAID's education work reflected on how the global education landscape has changed since COVID-19, discussed how the U.S. Government and USAID strategies and policies continue to play a central and foundational role in our education work, and shared how USAID’s education programs and staff are adapting to the new normal and coming out stronger.
After attending, participants have a better understanding of how leadership from USAID’s education work is transforming how we work to better provide the necessary resources and support to those in the field.
This event was part of the Global Education Learning Series.
LeAnna Marr is the Director of USAID's Office of Education within the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3). As a USAID Foreign Service Officer since 2004, she has served as Education Office Director and Program Officer in Guinea, South Sudan, Sudan (Khartoum) and Macedonia, and was the Program Officer and Acting Mission Director of USAID/Morocco. From 2007 to 2010, LeAnna served as USAID’s Senior Education Advisor in the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs. Prior to joining USAID, she worked as Associate Peace Corps Director in Guinea and as executive director of a non-profit alternative education program in Washington, DC. She has a Master’s in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor's in French from Kalamazoo College.
Robert Burch is a Foreign Service Officer currently assigned to USAID in Washington. Robert serves as a Deputy Director of the Office of Education in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3). He previously served in Washington in the Bureau for Asia as an Education Development Officer. He has a wealth of prior experience, including field work in the United States, Thailand, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Philippines as a teacher, teacher trainer, and evaluator of education programs. In the Philippines, Robert served as an Education Team Leader, managing a diverse portfolio that included early grade reading, equitable access to quality education in Mindanao, and higher education, with a focus on science, technology and innovation. In Egypt, he worked as a lecturer at the Faculty of Education at Cairo University with the Binational Fulbright Commission. In his role with the USAID/Egypt Mission, he managed both basic and higher education programs and served as the Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist on the Education Team. Robert holds a Master's in Linguistics (TESL/TEFL) and a Bachelor's in Linguistics/Liberal Studies, both from California State University, Fresno.
Charles Kiamie III
Charles Kiamie III serves as a Deputy Director of the Office of Education in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment (E3). He previously served as Acting Director and Deputy Director of USAID’s Office of Local Sustainability (2018-20), where he championed locally led development. Prior to this, he was Regional Program Coordinator in USAID's Middle East Bureau (2014-18) and Lead Foreign Affairs Officer in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (2007-14). He has also taught politics and Middle Eastern Studies at The George Washington University since 2005. Charles has lived and worked in nearly all countries in the Middle East and North Africa and has a particular interest in the Levant. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Jordan and read Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. He earned a PhD in Government and Arab Studies from Georgetown, and his professional and research interests include political reform, nation-building, (de)liberalization, political retraditionalization, and Islamism in the Arab and Islamic worlds. He is well-known within USAID for his enthusiasm for co-creation, the Broad Agency Announcement, and procurement innovation; inculcating strong professional leadership, management, and supervision skills in staff; and coaching and mentoring rising talent through programs within and outside of the Agency. Charles is also vice-chair of Arab Americans in Foreign Affairs Agencies, an inter-agency employee resource group, and a champion of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace.
Patrick Collins is a Division Chief in the Office of Education in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and the Environment (E3), providing international engagement and design, evaluation, and program management support to the office and to over 50 USAID Missions globally. He serves as the Backstop Coordinator for Education, liaising with Education Foreign Service Officers, providing input during bid cycles and providing input on Agency Foreign Service workforce planning and onboarding. Patrick previously served as the Division Chief for Basic Education in the Office of Education and has managed numerous education projects. Before moving to USAID in 2001, he worked for several for-profit and non-profit international education organizations, as well as Peace Corps. He has over 30 years of experience in the area of international education, as well as a Master’s in International Educational Development from Boston University.
Jessica Lopez has served in USAID for 10 years as an Education Officer. She is currently a Division Chief in the Office of Education in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and the Environment (E3). Her work has been focused on increasing access and quality of basic and higher education, and on promoting educational, economic, and civic opportunities for girls and youth. She has served in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Tanzania, and USAID's Africa Bureau in Washington. Prior to her USAID assignments, Jessica served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mozambique, developed and conducted a teacher training course for Peace Corps Response in El Salvador, and taught English language learners in New York City and Washington, DC. She holds a Master's in International Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Bachelor's in Latin American Studies from Wesleyan University.
Joanie Cohen-Mitchell is currently a Division Chief in the Office of Education in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and the Environment (E3). She is a seasoned international development professional with over 25 years of experience in program development, project management, project and sector-based program design and implementation, programmatic evaluation, organizational capacity building, and staff training in Guatemala, Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Eastern Caribbean, Paraguay, Haiti, Namibia, the Gambia, Ethiopia and the U.S. Joanie has worked extensively in the areas of early grade reading and basic education, early childhood education, adult literacy and community engagement, and provided organizational, programmatic, evaluation and staff development services. Joanie has worked primarily as a program implementer, including six years working for the Bernard van Leer funded Caribbean Child Support Initiative in the Eastern Caribbean, six years at the U.S. Peace Corps as the Chief of Programming and Evaluation, and most recently, as a Senior Project Director at Creative Associates International. Joanie holds a Bachelor's from the University of Vermont in early childhood education and a Master’s and Doctorate in International Education from the University of Massachusetts.
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