Judging Committee

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Dr Koichiro Matsuura

Former Director-General, UNESCO
Chairman, Judging Committee, Yidan Prize

Dr Koichiro Matsuura is a Japanese diplomatic expert.

He has over 40 years of experience in international relations. He began his diplomatic career with a posting to Ghana in 1961, covering ten countries in West Africa. In the 1970s, he served as counselor at the embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, the United States, and later as counsel general in Hong Kong. He was Japan’s deputy minister for foreign affairs between 1992 and 1994, during the period he served as the country’s Sherpa for the G-7 Summit. His work concentrated on development cooperation and political affairs with a focus on North America.

Dr Matsuura served as director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for 10 years. In 1999, while serving as Japan’s ambassador to France and chairing the UNESCO’s flagship World Heritage Committee, he was elected to his first term. His significant accomplishments in programs and institutional reforms, ranging from universal basic education, freshwater management to preservation of living arts and cultures, led him to be re-elected to a second term between 2005 and 2009.

Dr Matsuura is also an author of various international relations books.

Dorothy K. Gordon

Former Director-General, Ghana's Advanced Information Technology Institute
Head, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Development

Ms Dorothy K. Gordon was previously the director-general of Ghana’s Advanced Information Technology Institute, the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), where she lead a team of world-class technology professionals committed to using the opportunities that exist globally to bring development to Africa.

Ms Gordon is a visionary leader in the field of technology and development. Her career as a specialist in international development spans more than 25 years. She has also been actively involved in shaping Ghana’s information and communications technology scene for nearly 20 years. She played a significant role in drafting Ghana’s media policies.

Ms Gordon has extensive experience within the United Nations Development Programme. Her leadership and management responsibilities include implementation of multi-million dollar projects and programs throughout Africa and in South Asia.

The present direction of Ms Gordon’s work relates to how best ICT can be owned by developing countries. She is chairman of the Board of UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa. She also sits on various international and national boards focusing on technology, job creation and creating a better environment for women to participate equally in the development process.

Andreas Schleicher

Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills, OECD
Head, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Research

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).

As a key member of the OECD’s Senior Management team, he supports the Secretary-General’s strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress.

In addition to policy and country reviews, he oversees the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Skills Strategy, 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.

Dr Allan E. Goodman

President and Chief Executive Officer, the Institute of International Education
Member, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Development

Dr Allan E. Goodman is president and chief executive officer of the Institute of International Education, a non-profit organization in the field of international educational exchanges and development training.

Previously the executive dean of the School of Foreign Service and professor at Georgetown University, Dr Goodman authored several books on international affairs published by Harvard, Princeton and Yale university presses. During the Carter administration, he served as Presidential Briefing Coordinator for the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a founding member of the World Innovation Summit for Education. He was the first American professor at the Foreign Affairs College of Beijing. He also helped to create the first US academic exchange program with the Moscow Diplomatic Academy for the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs and developed a diplomatic training program for Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry.

He is co-president of the Partner University Fund Grant Review Committee, and a member of the Jefferson Scholarship selection panel. He also serves on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation International Quality Group Advisory Council and the Board of Trustees of the Education Above All Foundation.

Professor Bruce M. Alberts

Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education, the University of California, San Francisco
Member, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Research

Professor Bruce M. Alberts is the Chancellor’s Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He serves on the advisory boards of more than 25 non-profit institutions, including the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP).

As a prominent biochemist with a strong commitment to the improvement of science and mathematics education, professor Alberts was awarded the American National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2014. He served as editor-in-chief of Science (2009-2013) and as one of the first three United States Science Envoys (2009-2011).

Prior to joining the UCSF, he served two six-year terms as the president of the United States National Academy of Sciences. He is also noted as one of the original authors of The Molecular Biology of the Cell, a pre-eminent textbook in the field soon to be in its sixth edition. Widely recognized for his work in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology, professor Alberts has earned many honors and awards, including 16 honorary degrees.

Professor Phillip A. Griffiths

Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey
Member, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Research

Professor Phillip A. Griffiths is professor emeritus of mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey, United States. A director of the Institute from 1991 to 2003, he now chairs the Science Initiative Group, which fosters science in the developing world.

Professor Griffiths is well-known for his work in geometry. He helped develop the theory of variation of the Hodge structure, which has come to play a central role in many aspects of algebraic geometry and theoretical physics. He has also made contributions to differential and integral geometry, geometric function theory, and the geometry of partial differential equations.

He served on the board of trustees for Mathematical Sciences Research Institute between 2008 and 2013, and chaired the board from 2010 to 2013. He also served as a distinguished presidential fellow for international affairs at the US National Academy of Sciences between 2002 and 2005. From 1999 to 2006, he was the secretary for International Mathematical Union.

Professor Griffiths has taught at Harvard University, Princeton University, University of California at Berkeley, and Duke University.

Dr Steven Cohen

Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Member, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Development

Dr. Steven Cohen is a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and the Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He is also the Director of the Master of Public Administration Program in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and the Director of the Masters of Science in Sustainability Management at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.

Dr Cohen is an expert in public administration with a focus on environmental protection. He is the former Executive Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and now serves as a senior advisor for the Institute. Dr Cohen was a policy analyst and consultant to the US Environmental Protection Agency and to various nonprofit organizations.

Dr Cohen has authored a series of books in the field, in addition to articles on public management, sustainability management, and environmental policy. Dr Cohen also contributes to the Earth Institute’s State of the Planet website on a weekly basis.