Biographies

Sanni Grahn-Laasonen

Minister of Education

Ms. Sanni Grahn-Laasonen is the Finnish Minister of Education, Vice-President of the National Coalition Party of Finland and is serving her second term as a Member of Parliament. She was born in Forssa (in Finland), in 1983. Her portfolio as Minister of Education covers the entire knowledge chain from early childhood education to top scientific research. Her tasks have also involved issues related to culture, sport, youth and religious affairs during the period 2015-2017.

Grahn-Laasonen served as the Minister of the Environment between 2014 and 2015. Before becoming a Member of Parliament, she worked as a journalist, head of news services, Stockholm press correspondent and as a spokesperson to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. She has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences (University of Helsinki).

Angel Gurría

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD

Angel Gurría was born on May 8th, 1950, in Mexico. Mr Gurría came to the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) following a distinguished career in public service.

As Secretary-General of the OECD since 2006, Mr. Gurría has firmly established the Organisation as a pillar of the global economic governance architecture including active participation in the G7, G20 and APEC, and a reference point in the design and implementation of better policies for better lives. He has broadened OECD’s membership with the accession of Chile, Estonia, Israel, Latvia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Colombia, and has made the Organisation more inclusive by strengthening its links with key emerging economies.  Under his watch, the OECD is leading the effort to reform the international tax system, to enhance anti-corruption and transparency efforts, to improve the different stages of education, and to develop digital strategy, among other fields. He has also heralded a new growth narrative that promotes inclusive growth, the well-being of people, including women, gender and youth, and has scaled up the OECD contribution to the global agenda, including the Paris Agreement  on Climate Change and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Gurría holds a B.A. degree in Economics from UNAM (Mexico) and a M.A. degree in Economics from Leeds University (United Kingdom). He is married and has three children.

Andreas Schleicher

Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD

Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

As a key member of the OECD Senior Management team, Mr. Schleicher supports the Secretary-General’s strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress. He promotes the work of the Directorate for Education and Skills on a global stage and fosters co-operation both within and outside the OECD. In addition to policy and country reviews, the work of the Directorate includes the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES).

Before joining the OECD, Mr. Schleicher was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He studied Physics in Germany and received a degree in Mathematics and Statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement”.  He holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

David Edwards

General Secretary, EI

David Edwards, PhD is General Secretary of Education International, a federation of 32 million teachers and other educators affiliated with unions and associations in 173 countries globally. Dr. Edwards was named to the position in 2018 after seven years as EI’s deputy general secretary directing education policy, advocacy, research and communications.

Prior to joining EI, Edwards was an Associate Director at the National Education Association of the United States. He has worked as an Education Specialist at the Organization of American States and began his career as a public high school teacher.

 A Pennsylvania native, Edwards is fluent in Spanish and German and is conversant in French. His doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership is from the University of Maryland in the U.S. Away from the commitments of work, he devotes his time to his wife and three daughters.

Susan Hopgood

President, EI

Susan Hopgood is both President of Education International (EI) and the Federal Secretary of the Australian Education Union (AEU).

Susan started her career teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Victoria, Australia, in 1974. She joined what is now the AEU as a young teacher, and became an active member and union representative at the school, regional and state levels. In 1985, she began working with the union in the position of women’s officer, a job she held until 1993.

Since then, Susan has held a number of positions in the education union, such as branch general secretary, AEU federal women’s officer, and deputy federal secretary. She was elected federal secretary of the AEU in 2006, the first woman to achieve that position.

In her work at EI, Susan is active at both international and regional levels. She was elected as an EI vice-president at the EI World Congress in Thailand, in 2001, and then re-elected in Brazil, in 2004, and in Berlin, Germany, in 2007. She was appointed as president by the Executive Board in 2009 when the then president, Thulas Nxesi, resigned to be become a South African Minister. In 2011, she was elected unopposed as president at the EI World Congress in South Africa.

Active at the regional level, Susan was elected vice-chairperson of EI’s Asia-Pacific Regional Committee in 2000, and was twice re-elected, in 2003 and 2006.

She has also been involved in the Council of Pacific Education, holding the position of vice-president from 1998 to 2006.

Anthony Mackay

CSE

Anthony Mackay AM completed his time as CEO of the Centre for Strategic Education, Melbourne, Australia at the end of 2018. From January 2019 he took up the position of CEO / President of the Washington DC based National Center on Education and the Economy.

Anthony is Chair of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Deputy Chancellor Swinburne University, Melbourne and Deputy Chair of New Zealand's Education Council. He is Board Chair of The Song Room, Board Director of High Resolves and Senior Fellow, Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne.

Anthony is an expert consultant to OECD and UNESCO, Consultant Advisor to Asia Society's Global Cities Education Network, Co-Chair Global Education Leaders Partnership, Board Director of the Innovation Unit UK, and International Advisor to Learning Forward (USA).

Anthony is moderator of the annual International Summit on the Teaching Profession. He was Inaugural Chair of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and the Inaugural Deputy Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. He is a Past President of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement.