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Honorary President


Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope is the Executive Director of the World Heritage Group and Honorary President of the Indian Ocean Comparative Education Society. Prior to this, she was the Director of UNESCO International Bureau of Education in Geneva, Switzerland, UNESCO’s Centre of Excellence in Curriculum and Related Matters. Other prior experiences include Director positions at UNESCO headquarters in Paris including the Director of Basic to Higher Education and Learning, 10 years as a Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank, 11 years as a professor at the University of Botswana, and 2 years as the Executive Secretary for the Education Research Network for East and Southern Africa. She has given extensive consultancy and advisory services to Ministries of Education, Regional Economic Communities, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, bilateral and multilateral development agencies, and social sciences research networks.

Dr. Marope has served on advisory boards of diverse intellectual and technical groups, including the Cambridge University’s Partnership for Education, the New York Academy of Sciences’ Global Alliance for STEM Education, the Global Education Monitoring Report, the Global Sciences of Learning Education Network, the Regional Center for Quality Education in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Germany. Between 2014 and 2020, she was the Editor-in-Chief of one of the world’s prestigious journals of education, PROSPECTS: Comparative Journal of Curriculum, Learning and Assessment, as well as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of an innovative education and learning magazine, IBE IN FOCUS. In recent years, she has gained eminence as a global thought leader on futures education and learning; the future of education and work; and futures global competences all global citizens require to thrive in the rapidly changing 21st century contexts.

Honorary President

Mr. Hugh McLean.jpeg

Mr. Hugh McLean is senior advisor to the Open Society Foundations Education Program, which is dedicated to promoting the right to education and education as a public good. He is currently on a sabbatical looking at what aesthetics has to offer comparative and international education policy.

Hugh was active in the student movement in South Africa from 1976, he trained as a teacher and started teaching in the early 1980s in a remote rural forced-resettlement village for Black farmers who had been dispossessed of their land and where started an education project for local youth. This was shut down by the Apartheid government after a few years. Hugh worked in the adult literacy movement with trade unions and rural farmworkers for most of the 1980s. After the unbanning of the ANC and South Africa’s first democratic government in 1994, Hugh worked for a corporate philanthropy, supporting early childhood care and education, strengthening democracy, distance learning and youth skills training. Hugh completed an MBA in the 1990s and ran an evaluation and strategy consultancy.

He joined OSF’s education program in Budapest in 1999 where he worked on evaluations and research. After moving to the U.K. in 2006, George Soros asked him to establish OSF’s Education Support Program, a global program that became widely recognized and highly regarded internationally, which he directed until June 2020. 

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