Our Champions

A unique part of LGI’s offering is our network of champions who support and further our cause through advocacy, leadership partnerships, and action. By engaging with these experts, LGI aims to ensure that our agenda is continually evolving, holding ourselves accountable to our peers, generating political momentum at multiple levels, and influencing action by international organizations. We are delighted to work with this esteemed group.


Professor Jophus Anamuah-Mensah

Executive Chair, Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA)

Prof. Jophus Anamuah-Mensah, Executive Chair of Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa (TESSA), brings over 45 years of experience as a science education expert and tertiary education consultant. With over 70 publications and contributions to 60+ national and international conferences, he’s held various leadership roles in academia, including Dean of Faculty of Education, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, and Principal and foundation Vice Chancellor of the University of Education, Winneba.

He chaired the 2002 President’s Committee on Review of Educational System in Ghana, leading to the inclusion of early childhood education in basic education. Prof. Anamuah-Mensah established structures to support education in Ghana, including the National Centre for Research into Basic Education, Centre for Educational Policy Studies, and Centre for School and Community Science and Technology Studies, now consolidated into the Institute for Educational Research and Innovation Studies.

With 17 years of experience chairing TESSA, he uses open education resources to transform basic schools in Africa. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU) and was a member of the International jury for WISE 2010 in Doha. Prof. Anamuah-Mensah is a recipient of the nation’s award – Order of the Volta, Companion, and honorary Doctor of the University degree from Open University, UK, and Doctor of Science of the University of Education, Winneba.

Teopista Birungi Mayanja

Founder and Chairperson of the Trustees Board of Uganda National Teachers Union – UNATU

Teopista has taught at primary schools, teachers’ colleges, university, and worked as head teacher, in addition to Director of Education and Africa Regional Coordinator of Africa Network Campaign on Education for all (ANCEFA).

In 2002, Teopista co-founded the vibrant Uganda National Teachers’ Union UNATU as a means of enlisting all teachers in their rightful role in the transformation of education and served it as its first General Secretary until 2012. A committed education, gender and human rights advocate, Teopista has also worked on advocating for education financing, professionalizing teaching and on the Pan African Education Civil society campaign movement on the right to education (2017-2020), building the capacity of Civil Society in Education to advocate for the right to Education.

Teopista is a former Commissioner of the Education Commission and served on boards including Education International (EI), Pan African Teachers Centre (PATC), and Women Sports International (WSI). She’s been part of Uganda National Commission for UNESCO, Forum for Education NGOs in Uganda (FENU), and The Commonwealth Education Fund. In 2015, she was awarded the ‘Order of Independence and Advocacy for Public Education’ by Uganda’s government.

Teopista holds a Diploma in Teacher Education, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education, and Postgraduate Diplomas in Sports Science from Liepzig University, Germany, and in Leading Innovations and Change from York St John’s University, UK.

Ivo Ferreira Gomes

Mayor of Sobral, Brazil

Sobral’s mayor since January 2017, Ivo Gomes has a law degree from the Federal University of Ceará (UFC), a specialization in Tax Law from Unifor and a Master’s degree from Harvard University. Serving as a career attorney for the Municipality of Fortaleza since 1992, he was elected as a state deputy in 2022 and re-elected three times.

From 2007 to 2012, he served as Chief of the Governor’s Office. Ivo Gomes has also held key roles as Secretary of Education in Fortaleza and Secretary for Cities in the State of Ceará. Until 2016, he was a member of the Education and Youth Commissions of the State Assembly and presided over the state’s Committee for the Prevention of Homicides in Adolescence.

Baela Raza Jamil

CEO, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA)

Baela Raza Jamil is a public policy specialist, former technical adviser to the Federal Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan, spearheading education and learning reforms. She is the CEO of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and the founder of the Pakistan Learning Festival (PLF). She has led nationwide social movements for early years, girls education, 2nd chance programs for adolescent girls covering education, life skills and livelihoods. Baela spearheads the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan on learning, equality, and inclusion since 2008 as an open source public good. She led the formation of the Pakistan’s first Education Parliamentarians Caucus (EPC), launched on the International Day of Education (24 January 2022) with 20 parliamentarians and 20 CSOs/INGOs; her public services were acknowledged by the Senate Chairman.

Baela is invested in ending violence against women, and early and forced child marriages. She serves on government federal and provincial boards including the National Education Foundation (NEF) and Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA) and strategic Education committees. Baela is the sub-convenor of the Steering Committee on Education established by the Planning Commission and is a member of the Local Education Group (LEG) in three provinces.

Globally, Baela is a former Commissioner of the Education Commission and a Member of the UNESCO IBE Council. She is also the Advisor of Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC Ed); and Board Director of the People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network. She has served as Vice-Chair on UNESCO GEM Report; Chair of Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) Task Force on SDG 4.2.1 (ECE), UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS); and Member of Platform for Girls Education–Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom.

H.E Dr. Amel Karboul

CEO, The Education Outcomes Fund

H.E Dr. Amel Karboul is the visionary CEO behind The Education Outcomes Fund, a groundbreaking UN-hosted trust fund dedicated to enhancing the education and employment prospects of 10 million children and youth living in poverty.

Amel has over 25 years of leadership experience spanning entrepreneurship, corporate, political and non-profit sectors, including roles at The Maghreb Economic Forum, Mercedes-Benz, and BCG. Notably, she made history as Tunisia’s first female Minister of Tourism, playing a pivotal role in guiding the nation through a transformative period post the Arab Springs. Her exceptional service to her country and compatriots earned her the prestigious Presidential Citizens Medal. Amel is a former Commissioner of the Education Commission.

Proficient in Arabic, French, English and German, she holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, a Doctorate in Coaching and Mentoring from Oxford Brookes University, a certificate in Executive Master of Public Administration from LSE and a Masters in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy from Oxford University.

H.E Maria Juliana Ruiz Sandoval

Former First Lady of Colombia, (2018 – 2022) and Founder of Leaders United for Children and Adolescents (LUNNA)

Maria Juliana Ruiz Sandoval is an entrepreneur, social advocate and speaker, and has been recognized for her contributions to the design of policies and programs on nutrition, loving and caring upbringing and youth empowerment. Besides leading numerous initiatives for I+D Foundation, she currently directs the Network of Social Advocates for Youth for One Young World, and is Ambassador on behalf of the World Jurist Association.

As First Lady of Colombia (2018 – 2022), she promoted legislative initiatives to advance the protection of children’s rights; she led the Great Nutrition Alliance; the National Alliance to fight Violence Against Children and Adolescents, and the SACÚDETE strategy; to detonate talent in young people and facilitate their access to opportunities. In Latin America, she cofounded the network of social advocates and first ladies ALMA; in Colombia, she created Leaders United for Children and Adolescents (LUNNA). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she managed the most ambitious humanitarian campaign in the country’s history, “Helping does us good”.

In her past experience, she worked as Secretary General of the Shaio Fundation Clinic and made a brilliant career at the Organization of American States. María Juliana is a lawyer at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, and holds a Masters Degree in International Law at American University. She is married to Iván Duque and a mother of three.

Theo Sowa

Co-Chair, The Equality Fund

Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specializing in international social development with particular emphasis on women and children’s rights and protection issues, equity and justice, including philanthropic advocacy. She is part of innovation collaborations such as Shake the Table, and Feminist Dream Space. She served as the CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund for ten years.

Born in Ghana, she has lived and worked in many countries in Africa, as well as the UK, Europe, and the USA. Her work includes advisory roles to African and other international women and children’s rights activists and leaders, plus policy development and advocacy with a variety of international agencies and organizations. She was Senior Program Advisor on the UN Study on Children and Armed Conflict (the Machel Report) and led the five-year review of the report.

Theo is a board member of various national and international civil society organizations and grant making foundations, including being Co-Chair of the Equality Fund; a Board member of the UBS Optimus Foundation; the Graça Machel Trust; TheirWorld, and Luminate. She is a Patron of Evidence for Development, and served as a Commissioner on the United Nations Education Commission.

Theo was a contributing editor to ‘The Impact of War on Children’; a contributing author and co editor of a Harvard Law School/UNICEF Innocenti publication on ‘Children and Transitional Justice’; and co author of ‘Groupwork and Intermediate Treatment’. She was awarded a CBE in June 2010, the Theirworld Unlocking Big Change award in 2021 and was named in Avance Media’s 2023 list of the 100 Most Influential African Women.

Dr. Liesbet Steer

Senior Development Finance Expert, Co-Founder and Board Member of IFFEd and Greater Share, Board Chair of ODI North America and Former President & CEO, Education Development Center

Dr. Liesbet Steer most recently served as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EDC, a global organization advancing lasting solutions to improve education, wellbeing, and economic opportunity. Prior to EDC, Dr. Steer was the Executive Director of the global Education Commission, chaired by former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown. She has also held leadership and other roles with several development organizations including the ODI (UK), The Asia Foundation, the World Bank and the IFC.

Dr. Steer serves on the Board of the Education Philanthropy Greater Share and is the Chair of ODI North America Board. Dr. Steer was educated at the Universities of Antwerp and East Anglia and the London School of Economics. She holds an MSc in Quantitative Economics and a PhD in Development Economics.

Peter Tabichi 

Winner of Global Teacher Prize 2019 & Teacher at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School

Brother Peter Tabichi, a Kenyan secondary school educator specializing in Mathematics and Physics, holds a Bachelor of Education in Science from Egerton University. Despite his own childhood struggles with accessing quality education, Tabichi is deeply committed to transforming the lives of his students, many of whom face even greater challenges today. Recognized with the 2019 Global Teacher Prize, he champions access to 21st-century education, aiming to unlock the potential of disadvantaged youth in his community.

Tabichi’s impact extends far beyond the classroom, addressing multifaceted obstacles such as poverty, ethnic tensions, and environmental hardships like droughts. Through innovative strategies such as expanding the school Science Club and fostering community partnerships, he has achieved remarkable results, evidenced by his students’ international achievements in science and technology competitions. Tabichi’s philosophy emphasizes the cultivation of essential skills for the modern era, positioning education as a catalyst for empowering youth to overcome societal barriers. His vision for Africa’s young generation reflects a commitment to excellence and resilience, calling for global collaboration to realize the continent’s boundless potential.