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Strategic leadership, education reform, sociology of education, higher education.

Dr Martín Benavides is the Director of IIEP-UNESCO. In this role, he provides strategic leadership for the Institute. 

Martín is a Peruvian sociologist who served as the Minister of Education at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, from February 2020 to November 2020.  He oversaw the country's pre-primary, primary, secondary, and higher education systems and designed the national strategy for distance education in response to the pandemic

In 2022, he served as Director of the Observatory of Higher Education, and from 2018, he was a senior professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (Lima).

Earlier in his career, in 2002, Martín joined the Peruvian think tank Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE), where he was first a senior researcher and then its Executive Director from 2008 to 2018. 

From 2015 to 2018, Martín was a member of the Board of Directors of Peru’s National Superintendence of Higher University Education (SUNEDU). Between 2018 and 2020, he served as the head of the regulatory body of Peru's university network where he led the reform for improving the quality of higher education. 

Martín has numerous academic publications to his credit, particularly in the areas of education and child development. He has also been a visiting scholar at American and French research institutions.


  • PhD in Sociology from Pennsylvania State University.
  • Master’s Degree in Education Theory and Policy from Pennsylvania State University.
  • Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Sociology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.