Co-Chair, Advanced Leadership Initiative
Ford Foundation Professor of International Education
Director International Education Policy, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Fernando M. Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of International Education and Director of Global Education and of International Education Policy at Harvard University. He teaches courses on the relationship between education policy, democratic citizenship, instructional improvement and educational innovation and social entrepreneurship. His course ‘Education Policy Analysis and Research in Comparative Perspective’ focuses on some of the core education challenges in the development field. His course ‘Education, Poverty and Inequality in Latin America’ is an examination of the options to improve learning opportunities in high poverty schools in Latin America that result in the economic and political empowerment of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. His course ‘Educational Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship in Comparative Perspective’ examines the role of entrepreneurs and of public private partnerships to generate and sustain educational innovation.
As co-chair of Harvard’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, he leads an Education Think Tank which convenes global education leaders to discuss solutions to aligning education systems with the development of 21st century skills.
His current research focuses on the impact of education policy and education leaders and teachers professional development on literacy, citizenship and advanced cognitive skills. He is also working on the design and evaluation of models to support education leadership development and teacher professional development in Brazil, China and Mexico. He is evaluating a cross-national project of democratic citizenship and civic education in Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Paraguay and a cross-national project to foster youth entrepreneurship in the Middle East. He recently led the development of a global studies K-12 curriculum for 'Avenues. The World School.'
He is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, a Vice-Chair of the board of LASPAU, the Council of Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the International Academy of Education, a Member of the US Commission for UNESCO, of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Education and of the Middle East and North Africa Advisory Group of the World Economic Forum. He is also a member of the Global Learning Leadership Council of the American Association of Colleges and Universities Project 'General Education for a Global Century'.
Prior to joining the Faculty at the Graduate School of Education in 1997 he was Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank. He also worked as Research Associate, Institute Associate and Fellow at the Harvard Institute for International Development and on the faculty at Universidad Central de Venezuela. He has extensive experience in the area of international development assistance with the United States Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank and other Development Organizations. He has worked in China, Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan and most countries in Latin America.
From 2005 to 2008 he co-chaired the Global Education Advisory Board to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education and served on the Governor appointed task force on Curriculum Realignment and 21st century skills. IN 2009-2010 he served on a committee appointed by the Massachusetts Board of Education to formulate recommendations to close the achivement gap for English Language Learners. He served on the Higher Education Transition Team appointed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and on a Task Force to improve K-12 education in Massachusetts and served on the Education Policy advisory group to presidential candidate Barack Obama.
He is currently serving on the Global Learning Leadership Council of the American Association of Colleges and Universities Project “General Education for a Global Century” focusing on some of the pressing issues related to global learning and undergraduate education.
He serves on a number of advisory boards of educational organizations, including the Board of Trustees of LASPAU (Latin American Scholarship Program for American Universities), the Board of Directors of Room to Read; the Advisory Board for the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices at the Organization of American States; the Advisory Board of the Culture Change Institute at the Fletcher School; the Board of Overseers of the Boston Museum of Science; the Advisory Board of Primary Source and of Summer Advantage USA; the Board of Scholars of Facing History and Ourselves; the Advisory Board of CEDAC in Brazil; the advisory board of the Federal Institute for the Evaluation of the Quality of Education in Mexico; and on the board of academic advisors of ‘Back to School. On the Path to Universal Primary Education’ a documentary film series on the challenges and opportunities of achieving universal primary education.
At Harvard he is an Affiliated Professor at the Law School, a Principal at the Hauser Center for Non-Profit Organizations. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies. He is a Faculty Associate at the Center for International Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Faculty Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. He serves on the steering Committee of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the Selection Committee of the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program and on the University Committees on International Projects and Sites and of Academic Computing.