High-Level Advisory Group

The High-Level Advisory Group is a key part of IFFEd’s initial governance structure alongside the Interim Board. It is comprised of the senior leadership of IFFEd’s founding partners and independent members, with Gordon Brown serving as Chair.

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown


Gordon Brown served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2007 to 2010, Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1997 to 2007, and as a Member of Parliament in his home county of Fife, Scotland, from 1983 to 2015.

He is the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education and is a passionate advocate for the rights of children and believes every girl and boy deserves the opportunity of an education, learning, and skills for the future. Since September 2021, he has also served as WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing.

Gordon is Chair of the High-level Steering Group of Education Cannot Wait, the education in emergencies fund; Chair of the Inquiry on Protecting Children in Conflict; and Chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (the Education Commission).

Gordon is the author of several books including Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation, My Life, Our Times, and most recently, Seven Ways to Change the World (Simon & Schuster, June 2021).

Founding Members

Alicia Herbert

Alicia Herbert

Alicia Herbert OBE is the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO’s) Director, Education, Gender and Equalities and the UK’s Special Envoy for Gender Equality.

Prior to her current position, Alicia worked in academia, the World Bank, and represented the UK government in senior roles in Mozambique, Sudan and Nigeria.

Over the past 25 years, she has played a leading role in shaping international development policy and driving program delivery and policy reform in countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Carin Jamtin

Carin Jämtin

Carin Jämtin is Director-General of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) since May 2017. As Director-General, she has given high priority to increasing Sida’s focus on development financing, strengthen nexus programming, and the agency’s work in conflict contexts.

Ms. Jämtin has a long career in international development cooperation and in Swedish politics at both national and local level. Democracy and human rights have always been the heart of Ms. Jämtin.

From 1995-2003, Ms. Jämtin worked at the Olof Palme International Centre – an umbrella organization for the Swedish labor movement working in the spirit of Olof Palme for democracy, human rights, and peace. From 1999, she was the head of the International Development Cooperation Department.

In 2003, Ms. Jämtin was appointed Minister of International Development Cooperation. During her first year as Minister, she started implementing the new Shared Responsibility Government Bill: Sweden’s policy for Global Development, which aimed to contribute to equitable and sustainable global development. Furthermore, Ms. Jämtin was responsible for Sweden’s emergency assistance after the 2004 tsunami as well as after the earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005.

During parts of 2006, Ms. Jämtin served as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. In spring 2006, she was appointed to the World Bank’s Commission on Growth and Development, consisting of 20 leading politicians, business executives, and academics and led by Nobel Prize winner Michael Spence. The purpose of the Commission was to broaden and deepen the understanding of sustainable economic growth as part of poverty alleviation. Between 2006 and 2011, Ms. Jämtin was Vice Chair of the Stockholm City Council and a member of the Board of Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR). From 2011-2016, she was Secretary-General of the Social Democratic Party.

Ms. Jämtin studied public administration at Stockholm University.

Beth Dunford

Beth Dunford

Dr. Beth Dunford became the Vice President of the Agriculture, Human and Social Development Complex at the African Development Bank Group in July 2021. She is responsible for the Bank’s strategy, lending and other activities in agriculture, water and sanitation, education, and health, as well as the Bank’s work on employment and gender equity. Dr. Dunford leads the provision of technical expertise for the Bank’s multi-billion-dollar response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa.

Dr. Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior level leadership positions in the U.S. government where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions. Dr. Dunford has also worked with African governments to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for “Feed the Future,” the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across

11 U.S. government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty. She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise – focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation, and hygiene.

A career member of the senior foreign service at USAID, Dr. Dunford previously served as Director of USAID’s Mission in Nepal, leading the U.S. government’s health, education, agriculture, and environment programs as well as its contribution to Nepal’s massive earthquake recovery and reconstruction effort. She also worked in Afghanistan as Agriculture and Alternative Livelihoods Program Director, USAID/Afghanistan, where she directed agriculture, resilience, and emergency food assistance programs. Dr. Dunford has also served in Ethiopia as Director, Office of Assets and Livelihoods, USAID/Ethiopia, where she led government officials, scholars, donors, and NGOs to craft the program, now a model used worldwide to map how emergency and development operations can collaborate to build communities’ resilience to recurrent crises.

Dr. Dunford also held a number of roles in Washington, including Deputy Assistant to the Administrator in the Bureau for Food Security, and Senior Development Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dr. Dunford also worked as Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Operating Officer and as Regional Development Advisor, East Africa, USAID/Washington.

Dr. Dunford holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and an M.A. in Sociology from Michigan State University and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University, USA. She is fluent in English and French.

Woochong Um

Woochong Um

Woochong Um is the Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank since February 2021. Mr. Um has been with ADB for 29 years.

He supports the President to institute Bank-wide coherence on key initiatives and issues. His leadership covers managing the Department of Knowledge Management and Communications, the Office of Safeguards, the Transformation Office, and the Special Initiatives Unit. He also provides support to the President in his oversight of the Office of Professional Ethics and Conduct and the Office of the Ombudsperson. Mr. Um supports strategic initiatives assigned by the President, in close collaboration with relevant Vice President(s) including Implementation of Strategy 2030 and its midterm review; Cultural Transformation Initiative; Innovation Framework; Talent Management; Job Architecture Review; Organizational Transformation as recommended by the organizational review; organizational resilience and business continuity plan; and any other ADB-wide initiatives requiring the President’s attention. He supports the implementation of the Knowledge Management Action Plan. He participates in Management Committee Meetings as well as other committees as needed, and other ad hoc activities assigned by the President including representing the President in external and internal events, communication, and consultation missions when needed. Mr. Um has been serving as the concurrent Officer-In-Charge of the Vice President (Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development) since February 2022.

Mr. Um holds an MBA in Finance from New York University, USA, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Boston College, USA.

Independent Members

Borge Brende

Børge Brende

Børge Brende is president of the World Economic Forum (2017). Previously he was the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, minister of trade and industry, and minister of environment. He served as deputy chairman of the Norwegian Conservative Party as well as MP. He was chairman of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and secretary- general of the Norwegian Red Cross. He was board member of Statoil and the Norwegian School of Economics. He is a member of the Core Advisory Council, Harvard International Negotiation Program, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) Phase VII (2022-2026), the Strategic Committee of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po, and is currently on the board of the Bilderberg Meetings.

Judith Herbertson

Judith Herbertson

Judith Herbertson is the Deputy Director leading the Girls’ Education Department at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. In this role she sets global policy for UK support to girls’ education in developing partner countries to deliver on the government’s commitment to help provide 12 years of quality education for all girls globally. She oversees a wide-ranging portfolio of UK-funded interventions through global funds, multilateral channels, and UK-led and in-country bilateral programmes.

Judith has worked in international development for nearly 20 years. She has served for 11 years overseas in Ethiopia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in various policy and leadership roles. She has led UK-based policy departments on governance, open societies, and anti-corruption, and on UK relationships with the international financial institutions and the United Nations. She has also worked as a Ministerial Private Secretary and currently supports the work of the UK Special Envoy for Girls’ Education.

Prior to joining the civil service, Judith worked for 17 years in secondary education in the UK, in both maintained and private sectors, as a teacher of modern foreign languages and then in senior management roles.

Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet Group which comprises Econet Wireless and Cassava Technologies, with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Born in Zimbabwe and now living in London, Masiyiwa serves on the boards of Unilever PLC, Netflix Inc., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and National Geographic Society. He also serves on several

global advisory boards including Bank of America, Bloomberg New Economy Forum, and US Council on Foreign Relations. He is the only African member of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.

Hiro Mizuno

Hiro Mizuno

Mr. Mizuno is a Japanese financial executive, serving as the Special Envoy of U.N. Secretary- General on Innovative Finance and Sustainable Investments (January 2021 – December 2022).

He previously served as Executive Management Director and CIO of GPIF (Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan with AUM $1.5 trillion). Prior to joining GPIF, Mr. Mizuno was a partner at Coller Capital, a London-based private equity firm (January 2003 – January 2015). He formerly worked for Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. In Japan, Silicon Valley, and New York (April 1988 – January 2003).

Vera Songwe

Vera Songwe

Vera Songwe is Chair of the Liquidity and Sustainability Facility. Songwe is co-chair of the High-Level Panel on Climate Finance. She was previously Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. She is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Songwe has been recognized as one of Africa’s 100 most influential people in 2020. She recently co-authored a book entitled “Regional Integration in West Africa: Is There a Role for a Single Currency?” with Eswar Prasad.

She has spent the last three years championing the cause for additional liquidity for emerging markets and the need for a new global financial architecture fit for the 21st century development challenges.

She has held a number of senior positions at the World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation. Her main areas of interest are fiscal and monetary policy, innovative financing mechanisms for development, agriculture, energy, and economic governance. She has extensive experience working in Africa, East Asia, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia regions.

Prior to joining the Bank, Dr. Songwe was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Southern California and at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Dr. Songwe holds a PhD in Mathematical Economics from the Center for Operations Research & Econometrics from the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium. She holds a BA in Economics and a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

theo sowa

Theo Sowa

Born in Ghana, Theo Sowa has lived and worked in many countries in Africa, Europe, and North America. Her work includes advisory roles to African and other international women rights, children’s rights and justice activists and leaders, as well as policy development and advocacy in a range of national and international organisations and agencies.

Currently she is Co-Chair of the Equality Fund; member of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s African Advisory Board; Patron of Evidence for Development; and board member of the UBS Optimus Foundation; the Graça Machel Trust; and OSIWA (Open Society Initiative for West Africa).

See her Tedx talk: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfIQgPb7pQs


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