Council of Luminaries

Bringing together the brightest minds to build a better world through education

The Council of Luminaries gathers the world’s brightest minds – researchers, educators, neuroscientists, psychologists, economists, statisticians and innovators. The luminaries are determined to take concrete actions to close the inequality gap in education around the world. They aspire to build new bridges between the worlds of research and practice to make education more responsive to the challenges of the 21st century, and more inclusive for the millions of children who are marginalized by today’s systems.

The luminaries are a diverse group of highly accomplished leaders, who have developed both practical and theoretical expertise on education by drawing on different disciplines. In their own work, they have seen the power of education to change lives, transform communities, economies and societies, and build a better world. The council’s unique strength lies in its ability to have educational experts from multiple disciplines. This means, the council can look at problems from many different angles, from listening to learners and communities; and work together in teams that have different skills.

The council will:

  • Work together on real world problems Like using new evidence from the science of human development in learning programs, or working together to improve the quality of evidence coming from our projects.
  • Learn from one another Gain a greater understanding of each other’s work and draw on insights from the multi-disciplinary expertise of the group.

  • Engage the public in education’s newest ideas and research  This calls for luminaries to share their own work with wider audiences.

  • Speak with a collective voice on the big issues  Among them schools of the future, the role of technology and teacher development.

Learn more from the Council of Luminaries brochure

All focus regions
All focus regions
Africa
Asia
Europe
Global
North America
South America
All education themes
All education themes
Delivery systems
Education and society
Inclusion
Management and leadership
Monitoring and evaluation
Policy and research
Teachers, teaching and learning
Technology
All locations
All locations
Bangladesh
China
Colombia
UK
USA
Zimbabwe
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG

Founder and Chair Emeritus, BRAC

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG

Founder and Chair Emeritus, BRAC

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG (April 1936 – December 2019) was the Founder of BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGOs. Viewing education as a catalyst for change, he passionately championed early childhood development and play-based learning. BRAC runs the largest secular private education system in the world, that has provided primary education to over 13 million children. His vision continues to inspire BRAC to alleviate poverty and create opportunities for people to realize their potential in 11 countries in Africa and Asia.


Background and achievements
Professor Anant Agarwal

Professor Anant Agarwal

Founder and CEO, edX

Professor Anant Agarwal

Founder and CEO, edX

Professor Anant Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of edX, the online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT. The platform aims to provide access to high quality education at scale, to learners around the world, regardless of geographic location, financial resources, prior academic qualifications, gender, race or other demographics.


Background and achievements
Mr Kamal Ahmad

Mr Kamal Ahmad

Founder, Asian University for Women (AUW)

Mr Kamal Ahmad

Founder, Asian University for Women (AUW)

Mr Kamal Ahmad is the Founder of the Asian University for Women (AUW). Located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, AUW is the first of its kind—a regional liberal arts university dedicated to the education and leadership development of women drawn from diverse socio-economic backgrounds from across Asia and the Middle East.


Background and achievements
Ms Vicky Colbert

Ms Vicky Colbert

Founder and Director, Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN)

Ms Vicky Colbert

Founder and Director, Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN)

Ms Vicky Colbert is founder and director of Fundación Escuela Nueva. The education model she espouses has benefited students in more than 20,000 rural schools in Colombia, and has been adopted in 19 countries.


Background and achievements
Professor Carol S. Dweck

Professor Carol S. Dweck

Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

Professor Carol S. Dweck

Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

One of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation, Professor Carol S. Dweck is recognized for her work on the importance of mindsets.


Background and achievements
Professor Usha Goswami

Professor Usha Goswami

Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

Professor Usha Goswami

Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience, University of Cambridge

Professor Usha Goswami is a world-leading researcher in the fields of literacy, neuroscience, and education. Her research has identified the importance of children’s awareness of linguistic rhythm patterns for their reading acquisition, and has also revealed the brain basis of rhythm perception, showing how this neural process is impaired in developmental dyslexia.


Background and achievements
Professor Eric A. Hanushek

Professor Eric A. Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford University

Professor Eric A. Hanushek

Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford University

A recognized leader in the economic analysis of education issues, Professor Eric Hanushek and his research have had broad influence on education policies in both developed and developing countries.


Background and achievements
Professor Larry Hedges

Professor Larry Hedges

Chairman of the Department of Statistics, Northwestern University

Professor Larry Hedges

Chairman of the Department of Statistics, Northwestern University

Professor Larry Hedges is one of the most influential applied statisticians in the world. His work in educational policy allows policymakers, educators and the general public to see the evidence for “what works” in the field of education, and makes it possible to take a scientific approach to improving education for future generations.


Background and achievements
Professor Thomas Kane

Professor Thomas Kane

Walter H. Gale Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Professor Thomas Kane

Walter H. Gale Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Professor Thomas Kane is an economist and Walter H. Gale Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research has greatly influenced policymaking on a vast number of education policy topics.


Background and achievements
Mr Salman Khan

Mr Salman Khan

Founder and CEO, Khan Academy

Mr Salman Khan

Founder and CEO, Khan Academy

Mr Salman Khan is the Founder of the Khan Academy, a non-profit organization with a mission of providing free, world-class education for anyone and anywhere through a set of online tools. An important belief of The Academy is that students should be able to learn at their own pace.


Background and achievements
Ms Wendy Kopp

Ms Wendy Kopp

CEO and Co-Founder, Teach For All

Ms Wendy Kopp

CEO and Co-Founder, Teach For All

Ms Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations that are cultivating their nations’ future leaders to ensure their most marginalized children have the chance to fulfill their true potential.


Background and achievements
Professor Patricia K. Kuhl

Professor Patricia K. Kuhl

Co-Director, University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences

Professor Patricia K. Kuhl

Co-Director, University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences

Internationally recognized for her research on early learning and brain development, Professor Patricia Kuhl strongly advocates that children’s learning during the first five years of life should receive more attention worldwide.


Background and achievements
Ms Lucy Lake

Ms Lucy Lake

Chief Executive Officer, CAMFED

Ms Lucy Lake

Chief Executive Officer, CAMFED

Ms Lucy Lake is the Chief Executive Officer of CAMFED and has pioneered strategies to increase school retention and learning among marginalized girls, benefitting over six million young people.


Background and achievements
Ms Angeline Murimirwa

Ms Angeline Murimirwa

Executive Director – Africa, CAMFED

Ms Angeline Murimirwa

Executive Director – Africa, CAMFED

Ms Angeline Murimirwa is CAMFED's Executive Director - Africa. She is uniquely positioned to bring the expertise of young women once excluded from education to inform policy and strategy at every level.


Background and achievements
Professor Carl Wieman

Professor Carl Wieman

Professor of Physics & Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

Professor Carl Wieman

Professor of Physics & Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

Professor Carl Wieman is a pioneer of the use of new pedagogies in STEM education on college-level science teaching. His work has transformed the way STEM education is taught in major universities around the world.


Background and achievements
Professor Zhu Yong-xin

Professor Zhu Yong-xin

Founder, New Education Experiment

Professor Zhu Yong-xin

Founder, New Education Experiment

Professor Zhu Yong-xin founded the New Education Experiment (NEE) in 2000, with an aim to influence the reform of education in China from knowledge-oriented to people-oriented.


Background and achievements