In Memoriam: Khalil Mahshi

03 January 2017

Khalil Mahshi, former Director of UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), 2010-2014


It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Khalil Mahshi, on 1 January 2017. As Director of IIEP from January 2010 to February 2014, Mr Mahshi was a committed educationalist and an unfailing peacemaker. An enthusiastic advocate of educational planning and of IIEP’s capacity development approach, combining skills transfer with learning-by-doing, he oversaw a steady growth in the Institute’s field operations portfolio.  Within IIEP he mentored many young professionals and supported all his colleagues through his calm professionalism.

Mr Mahshi joined the Institute in January 2001 as Programme Specialist in the Technical Assistance and Sector Planning Unit, which he later headed (2005–2009). In this capacity, he was responsible for initiating IIEP’s programme on planning education in post-conflict and post-disaster situations. He played a notable role in the reconstruction of the Afghan Education System.

His convictions, humanity, and unflagging desire for peace gave IIEP the energy to build an unequalled expertise in education in emergency situations. He was always the first to go to those places where the humanitarian needs were most urgent, and his commitment will remain a source of inspiration for educational planners. 

Mr Mahshi began his academic career in 1975 as Chairman of the Education and Psychology Department at the University of Birzeit (Palestinian Territories), where he was responsible for establishing its Research Centre, among other activities. Subsequently, he held the post of Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the same university.  From 1986 to 1994, he was Director of the Ramallah Friends Schools in the Palestinian Territories. In 1994, he became Director-General for International and Public Relations at the Palestinian Ministry of Education in Ramallah. In this capacity, he supervised and coordinated the formulation of the Ministry’s first five-year education development plan and Education for All (EFA) plan. 

Mr Mahshi’s work was recognized by the French Government, which decorated him with the Palmes académiques, in a ceremony presided by the Prime Minister and Minister of Education.

The Institute extends its most sincere condolences to his family. Former colleagues, students, and old friends of IIEP and of Khalil who wish to send their condolences and thoughts to his family may do so via the following email address: