CO-HOST & MAIN SPONSOR
Laspau Higher Education in the Americas Summit 2021
In order of participation
Practice Manager for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean
Emanuela is currently the Practice Manager for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean. Previously, she was Manager for IEGHC Human Development & Corporate Evaluations and Program Leader for Human Development in the Cameroon/Gabon/Angola/Equatorial Guinea/Sao Tome & Principe CMU and Mali/Niger/Chad/Guinea CMU of the Africa Region. She was also successively Economist, Senior Economist, and Lead Economist in Human Development Departments in the Latin America & Caribbean and the East Asia and Regions. Emanuela brings a wealth of operational, analytical, and policy experience in education and the broader human development sector, acquired on many different regional and country contexts. She has also published extensively on a variety of development topics, including economics of education, education governance and financing, skills and secondary education. Emanuela holds a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Oxford where her research focused on an evaluation of the impact of education decentralization on education quality and equity in Chile.
Angelica Natera is the Executive Director of Laspau Inc., affiliated with Harvard
University. With more than thirty years of experience, she has designed and managed educational programs for universities, governments and non-profit organizations in Latin America, Spain and the United States. Angélica has developed extensive experience and deep understanding of global trends and innovations in higher education and advised governments and university leaders on innovation in teaching and learning for universities in several countries including universities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A decade ago she started the University Innovation area at Laspau which has benefited almost 12,000 academics from Latin America and the Caribbean, and implemented initiatives to strengthen teaching, as well as institutional transformation in universities. Angélica completed graduate studies in Administration and Management at Harvard University; she holds a specialization in Cognitive Behavioral Psychology from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Venezuela, and a bachelor’s degree in Administrative and Management Sciences from Universidad Tecnológica del Centro also in Venezuela. At Harvard University she has been awarded the Administrative Fellowship, a program of the president’s assistant’s office, and in 2019 she was recognized by the Committee on the Concerns of Women for her leadership as a Latina woman.
Global Director, Education
Jaime Saavedra leads the Education Global Practice at the World Bank Group. Before he served as Peru’s Minister of Education from 2013 through 2016. Throughout his career, Mr. Saavedra, a Peruvian national, has led groundbreaking work in the areas of poverty and inequality, employment and labor markets, the economics of education, and monitoring and evaluation systems. Prior to assuming his role as Education Minister he had a ten-year career at the World Bank where he served as Director for Poverty Reduction and Equity, as well as Acting Vice President for Poverty Reduction & Economic Management Network. Mr. Saavedra holds a PhD in economics from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in economics from the Catholic University of Peru.
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)
Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc is President of Southern New Hampshire University. During the 17 years under his direction, SNHU has grown from 2,800 students to over 170,000 learners and is the largest non-profit online higher education provider in the US. Paul serves on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) and on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Board on Higher Education and Workforce. In 2018, Paul was awarded the prestigious TIAA Institute Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence in Higher Education, joining some of the most respected university and college presidents in American higher education. Paul immigrated to the United States as a child and was the first person in his extended family to attend college. He is a graduate of Framingham State University (BA), Boston College (MA), and the University of Massachusetts (PhD). From 1993 to 1996 he directed a technology start up for Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company, was President of Marlboro College (VT) from 1996 to 2003 and became President of SNHU in 2003.
Consultant in Higher Education
Reisberg & Associates
Liz Reisberg is a higher education consultant with more than three decades of experience working with universities, ministries of education, non-governmental organizations, and international agencies around the world. She is also an associate researcher at Boston College's Center for International Higher Education. Her professional career has focused on different aspects of higher education, particularly in guiding universities around innovation focusing on quality assessment, internationalization, teaching, and learning. In 2005, she founded Reisberg & Associates, which carries out teaching, training, diagnostics, international cooperation, and research activities to this date. She gives presentations and workshops mainly in Latin America in Spanish and English. In 2007 she graduated with a PhD from Boston College's Center for International Education, where she continues to collaborate in research activities and contributes to comparative global studies. Her most recent collaboration was a book on corruption in higher education around the world published in 2020.
Vice Provost for Advances in Learning
Bharat N. Anand is the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning at Harvard University and the Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Professor Anand is an expert in digital strategy, digital marketing, and corporate strategy. His work has examined competition in content industries, focusing on two central challenges that firms increasingly face: getting noticed and getting paid. He created Harvard Business School’s first executive program on digital strategies for media companies. He has written over fifty articles and case studies, and his scholarly work has received various awards and been profiled in a range of media outlets. His work on digital transformation has influenced startups and established companies worldwide.
His book The Content Trap: A Strategist's Guide to Digital Change has received acclaim for its perspective on strategy and digital transformation. It was named as one of Fast Company’s top ten business books of 2016, and Bloomberg’s “Best Books of 2017.”
In 2014, Professor Anand helped create and launch the digital learning platforms for Harvard Business School Online (formerly, HBX). HBSO’s virtual classroom has been described by Fortune as the “Classroom of the Future”. In his current role as Vice Provost, he has led Harvard University’s efforts to formulate, communicate, and implement strategic priorities around online learning and residential teaching across the University. Since March 2020, Professor Anand has been a part of the central leadership efforts to support and oversee Harvard University’s transition to remote teaching during the pandemic.
Professor Anand is a renowned teacher and a two‐time winner of the “best teacher award” at Harvard Business School. He is a recipient of the Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching, and the Greenhill Award for outstanding contributions to Harvard Business School.
He received his B.A. in economics from Harvard College magna cum laude, and his PhD in economics from Princeton University.
Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education
Fernando Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of the International Education Policy Master’s Program at Harvard University. An expert in the field of Global Education, his research and teaching focus on understanding how to educate children and youth so they can thrive in the 21st century. He is a member of UNESCO’s high-level commission on the Future of Education.
He has written or edited thirty-eight books, including several Open Access Books, of which the most recent include:
Currently, he is leading a large comparative study of how 20 universities around the world have partnered with elementary and secondary schools to sustain educational opportunity during the pandemic, and a comparative study in twenty-five countries on COVID-19’s impact on education and the results achieved by the strategies adopted to mitigate such impact.
Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
Marcelo Knobel is a tenured professor of physics and rector of the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Energy and Materials Research (CNPEM). He was director of the National Laboratory of Nanotechnology of CNPEM (2015-2016) and Vicerrector of Degree Studies of Unicamp (2009-2013), where he held other leadership positions as well. He has published more than 250 scientific articles and 15 book chapters, as well as countless opinion and scientific-dissemination newspaper writings.
Paulina Achurra joined Insper in 2014 to work on the design and implementation of its new Engineering curriculum. Since then, she has focused on disseminating innovative practices within other courses and for other institutions as well. Additionally, she founded the Social Innovation area at Insper where she works with students to develop, design and disseminate appropriate technologies that improve the quality of life of people living in poverty. During the 2006-2007 academic year she was a visiting professor at Olin College of Engineering. Dr. Achurra has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Universidad de Chile, and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University.
Center for Teacher Development
Chantal directs the Center for Teacher Development leading implementation of undergraduate and master’s classes online, in addition to training university professors since 2020. Priorly, between 2012 – 2019, she was the center’s Deputy Director. Chantal coordinated Universidad de Chile’s Learning Program Service between 2009 and 2012 leading the national network and transmitting work methodologies to different education areas. She was Coordinator of the Christian Humanist Training Curriculum of the Universidad Católica de Temuco between 2004 and 2007 and linked professional academic resources with municipalities of the Metropolitan Region for Universidad de Chile. Additionally, she has been National Leader of the Learning Service Methodology, implementing workshops and giving lectures for educational institutions in Chile, Latin America, and Europe. She also advises on different educational institutions, has presented at national and international methodology seminars, and has published in education journals. She is a Psychologist from Universidad de la Frontera with a Master’s in Educational Policy from Universidad Alberto Hurtado in Chile.
Lead Economist and Manager of Global Engagement and Knowledge in the
Education Global Practice
Omar Arias is Lead Economist and Manager of Global Engagement and Knowledge in the Education Global Practice at the World Bank. He previously served as Global Leader in Labor Skills, Manager of the Economics Unit for Human Development for the Europe and Central Asia region, Sector Leader of Human Development for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, Senior Economist in the Poverty and Equity Sector, and Research Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank. He has co-authored several studies, including regional reports on human capital in China and Africa, employment and pensions in Europe and Central Asia, and labor informality and poverty in Latin America, as well as several country studies. He has publications in journals specializing in various topics, including returns to human capital, informality and labor markets, socioeconomic mobility, economic growth, poverty and inequality, tax evasion and applied econometrics. Originally from the Dominican Republic, he completed his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC), and then was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in economics.
Lead Education Specialist
Marcelo Becerra is a Lead Education Specialist at the World Bank, where he has worked in the education sector the last 20 years, in the Latin America and Africa regions. On higher education, he has led the preparation of several projects in Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Ecuador. Before the World Bank he worked for the Economy and Education Ministries in Argentina. Marcelo has a bachelor’s in economics from Universidad de Buenos Aires and a master’s in economics from Columbia University.
Vice Provost for International Affairs
Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History
As Vice Provost, Elliott oversees and works to advance international academic initiatives, extending the global reach of Harvard’s research and teaching activities. In this capacity, Elliott serves as the University’s representative in negotiating agreements with foreign governments, receiving senior-level international delegations, and representing Harvard to peer institutions and alumni worldwide. In addition, he shares responsibility for supporting the community of international students, scholars, and faculty in Cambridge and Boston, as well as for guiding Harvard’s overall global strategy and sustaining its ongoing development as a global university.
Elliott is an authority on the last four centuries of Chinese history, in particular the Qing period (1636-1911). His research encompasses the history of relations between China and its nomadic frontier, with special attention to questions of ethnicity and empire. His first book, The Manchu Way, is a pioneering study in the “New Qing History,” an approach emphasizing the imprint of Inner Asian traditions upon China’s last imperial state. He is also the author of Emperor Qianlong: Son of Heaven, Man of the World, and has published more than twenty-five scholarly articles. He serves on numerous editorial boards and was for three years the director of the Fairbank Center of Chinese Studies.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Since July 2012, Rafael Reif has served as the 17th President of MIT. He has spearheaded MIT’s nonprofit online platform, edX, and he leads MIT’s pioneering efforts to help redefine the future of higher education in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He has also led an ambitious redevelopment of MIT’s innovation district, including the launch of The Engine, a “tough tech” accelerator. In 2018, he announced the MIT Quest for Intelligence and the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. That same year saw the start of the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future. Dr. Reif has launched major climate change initiatives to foster breakthrough research and pilot high-impact solutions, including the Climate Grand Challenges and the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium. He received the degree of Ingeniero Eléctrico from Universidad de Carabobo, Valencia, Venezuela, and his doctorate in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Reif has been on the MIT faculty since 1980 and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Burning Glass Technologies
Matt Sigelman is CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, a leading labor market analytics firm. For more than a decade he has led Burning Glass in harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence technologies that have cracked the genetic code of the job market. Powered by the world’s largest and most sophisticated database of jobs and talent, Burning Glass delivers real-time data and breakthrough planning tools that inform careers, define academic programs, and shape workforces. Burning Glass has helped to fill millions of jobs and its data drive initiatives for more than a dozen state and national governments. Matt is consulted frequently by national media, by researchers, and the White House. He served previously with McKinsey & Company and Capital One. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard.
María Marta Ferreyra is a Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean of the World Bank. Her research agenda has focused on the economics of education. In particular, María Marta has thoroughly studied Latin America's higher education systems, and the U.S. primary and secondary education system. She has also studied urban economics and early childhood care. Her research has been published in the American Economic Review and the Journal of Public Economics, among other journals. María Marta earned her PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin, (Madison, USA). Prior to joining the World Bank, she was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University Business School.
Inter-American Development Bank
Juan Carlos Navarro is an international expert in higher education, innovation, and digital talent. He is Senior Advisor of the Competitiveness, Technology, and Innovation Division of the Inter- American Development Bank, an institution in which he worked for about two decades. During his career at IDB he contributed in the development of technical assistance activities and the design and implementation of lending programs in the fields of education, science, technology, and innovation in some 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and played a leading role in shaping the institution’s strategies in the fields mentioned. He has conducted research and has a number of publications on topics such as innovation and education policies, higher education policies and digital talent. He holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and completed doctoral studies in political science from Universidad Central de Venezuela. He also served as Ford Foundation Visiting Scholar at Laspau Inc., affiliated with Harvard University, and belonged to the faculty of the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración in Caracas, to which he is now affiliated as International Faculty.
Director of Investment Climate
Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency
Vanessa Gibson is the Director of Investment Climate at the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, (CINDE) where she has worked for over 20 years. In her current position, Vanessa oversees the coordination of several public and private partnership projects and programs, which aim to improve Costa Rica’s business environment, research and definition of the country’s new value proposition in terms of developing new FDI sectors for Costa Rica to become an ideal place for more future investments. Vanessa is an Economist with a master’s degree in Development Program and Project Evaluation from the University of Costa Rica.
Head of Human Development Center
Hernán Araneda, a graduate from the London School of Economics, is Head of the Human Development Center at Fundación Chile, a private and public partnership in the fields of innovation, technology transfer, and human capital. With more than 25 years’ experience working in skills and workforce development policy and practice, Mr. Araneda has led several initiatives to close the gap between education and industry needs in Chile and Latin America, including developing and piloting the National Skills Certification System. This initiative focused on workers’ competences in the labor market and was supported by the Chilean government and the World Bank. In 2009 President Michelle Bachelet appointed him to spearhead a commission to design long-term technical, vocational, educational and training policies in Chile. Mr. Araneda has played a significant role creating an eco-system of Industry Skills Councils aimed at developing Qualification Frameworks relevant to the labor market. On numerous occasions he has been consultant for the Interamerican Development Bank, the World Bank, and UNESCO, being also part of expert panels for Country Tertiary Education Reviews for the OECD.
Senior Lecturer in Public Policy
Dan Levy teaches courses in quantitative methods, policy analysis, and program evaluation. He recently served as co-principal investigator of Transparency for Development (T4D), a project consisting in the design and mixed-methods evaluation of interventions aimed at improving transparency and accountability in delivery of health services in developing countries. He oversaw the training component of BCURE, a project that involves training policymakers in better using evidence through a combination of online and in-person sessions. He directed impact evaluations of girl-friendly school construction programs in Burkina Faso and Niger and was involved in the evaluation of a conditional cash transfer program in Jamaica, and a technical assistance project to Mexico's Social Development Ministry (Sedesol). He received his PhD in Economics from Northwestern University, grew up in Venezuela, and is fluent in Spanish and French. He serves as faculty affiliate of JPAL (MIT), CID, EPoD and the Ash Center. He currently serves as the Faculty Director of the Public Leadership Credential, the Harvard Kennedy School's flagship online learning initiative. He co-founded Teachly, a web application aimed at helping faculty members to teach more effectively and more inclusively. He authored the book “Teaching Effectively with Zoom: A practical guide to engage your students and help them learn” He also serves as the faculty Co-Chair of a week-long executive education program titled "Leading Successful Programs: Using Evidence to Assess Effectiveness" aimed primarily at professionals involved in designing, implementing and/or funding social programs.