Nicholas Burnett elected as new IIEP-UNESCO Chair

21 December 2015

The UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Nicholas Burnett as the new Chair of its Governing Board.

Dr Burnett brings a wealth of experience to the role and we are delighted to welcome him,” said IIEP Director, Suzanne Grant Lewis. “He will play a vital role over the next five years in guiding IIEP in its work to develop the capacities of Member States as they take the reins in implementing the new Education 2030 agenda."

Founded in 1963, IIEP is a specialized UNESCO institute that supports governments in planning and managing their education systems so that they can achieve both national objectives as well as internationally set global goals. IIEP believes that good educational planning lays the foundation for education reform and system transformation, which in turn helps create equal opportunities for children and youth to receive a quality education.

IIEP develops sustainable educational capacity through training professionals in educational planning and management, evidence-based research and knowledge sharing and technical assistance to ministries of education and other institutions.

I am honored to take on the chairmanship,” said Dr Burnett.  “I have long admired IIEP as one of UNESCO’s jewels and I look forward to its reaching new heights as it adapts to countries’ rapidly developing education systems in the context of the new SDGs."

Dr Burnett currently heads the global education portfolio at Results for Development Institute (R4D). His recent work has focused on innovation in education (through the Center for Education Innovations), education financing and innovative financing, the linkage between secondary education and skills for employment, out-of-school children, early childhood education, and education program evaluation and learning.

Prior to joining R4D in 2010, Dr Burnett’s experience included UNESCO, the World Bank, the British Government and his own consultancy firm.

At UNESCO, Dr Burnett served as Assistant Director-General for Education and as Director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. As a consultant, Dr Burnett set up the Roma Education Fund for the Open Society Foundations and the World Bank. At the World Bank, he was responsible for the Bank’s education policy paper in 1995 and also managed its education, health and social protection work in 16 countries in West and Central Africa. Earlier in his career, he worked particularly on Africa and the Caribbean.

Dr Burnett is a member of the Board of Americans for UNESCO, of the NORRAG Consultative Committee and the Advisory Board of the Global Business Development Network. He is also a Visiting Special Professor of International Education Policy at the University of Nottingham in the UK and was a Visiting Professor at the Center for the Study of International Cooperation in Education at Japan's Hiroshima University in 2014-2015.

Dr Burnett holds degrees in Economics from Oxford (BA), Harvard (Henry Fellow) and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (MA, PhD).

IIEP would also like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing Chair, Birger Fredriksen, for his invaluable service to IIEP over the past ten years.