IIEP announces Martín Benavides, former Minister of Education of Peru, as its new Director

23 March 2023


Martín Benavides welcoming IIEP staff on 22 March 2023.

The UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) has welcomed Martín Benavides as its new Director. 

Benavides 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. In this role, he designed the country’s national strategy for distance education, while also overseeing all levels of the education system from pre-primary through to higher education.

As IIEP Director, Benavides will provide strategic leadership for the Institute, which celebrates six decades of supporting UNESCO Member States in planning and managing their education systems in 2023. 

In his new role, Benavides will oversee IIEP’s capacity development offer, which includes technical cooperation for countries, a dynamic, multi-lingual training offer, and knowledge production and mobilization through its three offices in Buenos Aires, Dakar, and Paris.

“I look forward to analyzing what constitutes planning today – we know it goes beyond only policy design, implementation, or evaluation. We will be reflecting on this and presenting new ideas on educational planning to our partners and to governments. This is crucial for addressing the challenges of the post-COVID-19 era,” said Benavides. 

"On behalf of the IIEP Board, I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Martín Benavides during this transformational time for education," said IIEP Governing Board Chair José Weinstein. “As a former Peruvian Minister of Education and sociologist, he brings not only a wealth of knowledge to the role, but the leadership and vision to further IIEP in its important mission of developing the capacities of education actors worldwide,” Weinstein said. 

Prior to joining IIEP in March 2023, Benavides 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, Benavides joined the Peruvian think tank Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE), where he was first a senior researcher and then Executive Director from 2008 to 2018.

From 2015 to 2018, Benavides was a member of the Board of Directors of Peru’s National Superintendence of Higher University Education (SUNEDU), and from 2018 to 2020, he served as superintendent of this body and led the implementation of the country’s university reform. 

Benavides has published extensively on the sociology of education, educational policy, as well as issues related to social stratification, social classes, inequality, and youth. He has also been a visiting researcher and fellow at the Population and Development Center (Ceped) at the Université de Paris and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.

He holds a Ph.D. in sociology and a master’s degree in educational policy from Pennsylvania State University, and a bachelor's in sociology from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.