UNESCO Chair & Fellowship
Established in 2014, GSEHD’s UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development (IED) supports a program of international collaboration, research, outreach, teaching, and mentoring of a new generation of educators, dedicated to education for global citizenship, social equity and inclusion.
It is a designated UNESCO Chair in a US school of education under the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Program, which promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The Chair is housed within GSEHD’s International Education Program and contributes directly to UNESCO's education mission by supporting priorities in achieving equitable access to quality education for all.
The program's aims include:
- knowledge cultivation in international education and global engagement, including on core themes related to equity and educational opportunities for vulnerable populations, particularly refugees and at risk migrants, and global citizenship education and education for sustainable development, particularly SDG 4.7;
- public engagement with international communities, most readily through our co-chairs’ direct partnership with international communities and the GSEHD visiting scholars program;
- capacity building in the newest generations of international educators, particularly through the GW UNESCO Fellows program, which provides opportunities for graduate students to contribute to UNESCO’s efforts in education.
Citizenship Education in the Global Digital Age: Thematic Paper (2022)
This document, prepared by UNESCO’s Section on Global Citizenship and Peace Education with the contribution of Laura Engel and Evelyne Koumtingue, is part of several thematic papers developed by UNESCO to inform the Revision of the 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Where are the Immigrant Girls? (2016)
Theophania Chavatzia (UNESCO), Laura Engel (The George Washington University), and Dirk Hastedt (IEA)
Girls and women, especially the most vulnerable, are more likely to be excluded from education than their male counterparts. Exclusion and gender disparities in access to and performance in education are also observed among immigrant children, with immigrant girls often being the most disadvantaged. Data from the IEA’s Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 for lower secondary schools (Grade 8) show that in certain countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the percentage of immigrant girls enrolled in schools at the lower secondary level is much smaller than that of immigrant boys. For example, in several countries (such as Iran, Romania, Chinese Taipei, Lithuania, and Turkey), more than half of immigrant girls are not enrolled in schools. This unequal access threatens gender equality in educational outcomes within the immigrant population and hinders overall development efforts towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) (or ‘the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’). Policymakers need to identify and address the underlying factors preventing immigrant girls from exercising and benefiting from their right to education.
UNESCO's Origins, Achievements, Problems and Promise: An Inside/Outside Perspective from the US (2015)
GW’s UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development recently published UNESCO's Origins, Achievements, Problems and Promise: An Inside/Outside Perspective from the US by Raymond Wanner in collaboration with Mark Bray of the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) and the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Education at the University of Hong Kong. GSEHD faculty from the International Education Program wrote the foreword of this unique volume, released on the 70th anniversary of the founding of UNESCO. Told from the viewpoint of a sympathetic yet critical insider from the U.S., the book tells the story of UNESCO's role in preserving and advancing the best of humanity’s achievements in education, science, and culture. Offering a glimpse into the inner workings of an important international organization, the book takes a close look at the relationship and history between the United States and UNESCO. Featured topics include the perspectives of scientists, scholars, and preservationists that have played a part in UNESCO's efforts to improve international cooperation in education, the sciences and cultural domains.
Research associated with the UNESCO Chair is part of two research labs:
The GW UNESCO Chair partners with other Chairs worldwide in different research projects.
The UNESCO Fellows program places graduate students in 3-6 month intensive internships at UNESCO regional/field offices and institutes around the world. Since 2015, the program has enabled 6-8 student to participate annually. The most recent placements were in Chile, Costa Rica, Germany, Morocco and Thailand.
Through their experiences, Fellows directly contribute to UNESCO’s work in addressing some of the leading educational, environmental, and social issues, including promoting social inclusion, gender equity, education for sustainability, and community development. Students gain valuable professional and academic skills, which enhance their career readiness. These skills include cross-cultural competence, oral and writing communication, policy dialogue among various stakeholders, community development, and monitoring and evaluation.
I have very much appreciated my experience because I have had the opportunity to be more involved with content creation that helps push forward and communicate UNESCO’s work within the Global Citizenship and Peace (GCP) Section to advance their efforts for transforming education that is based on peace and human rights.
2022 UNESCO Fellow, Paris
I assisted in developing a global citizenship curriculum, a really cool and inspiring project. I learned a lot about how international organizations plan events, hire consultants, and budget for projects.
2018 UNESCO Fellow, Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education and Peace,
New Delhi, India
Dr. Williams serves as Director of GSEHD's International Education Program and is a faculty member of both GSEHD and the Elliott School of International Affairs, where he teaches graduate classes on education and development; education policy in developing countries; education of marginalized communities; education in emergencies; and international/comparative education.
Dr. Engel is a Professor of International Education and International Affairs, and she directs GW's Global Education Lab and UNESCO Fellows program. She was named a Fulbright Scholar stationed in Costa Rica in 2023-24. As a policy sociologist, her interests focus on the influence of global education policy trends in national and regional systems, with specialization in federal systems.
Dr. Cha is an Assistant Professor of International Education and co-director of Refugee Educational Advancement Laboratory (REAL). Her research interests examine the intersection of education quality, sense of belonging, gender, and psychosocial well-being, and the ways in which they influence students’ academic motivation, persistence, and transition in forced displacement caused by armed conflicts and natural disasters.
Dr. Streitwieser is an Associate Professor of International Education and International Affairs and co-director of Refugee Educational Advancement Laboratory (REAL). His research looks comparatively at the impact of globalization on the internationalization of higher education.
Streitwieser and Alumni Debut New Book During Expert Panel
September 27, 2023
In a panel by Harvard's Diwan Org, Streitwieser presented the REAL Lab's new book: Accessing Quality Edu: Local & Global Perspectives from Refugees.
GSEHD Alumna Maha Malik Earns Consultancy in Paris
January 9, 2023
Following completion of the GW UNESCO Fellow program with UNESCO Paris, Malik was offered a consultancy with their Global Citizenship and Peace (GCP) Section.
Webinar Recap: Smithsonian Expert Discusses Education on Sustainability, UN Goals
January 31, 2022
The GW Hatchet provided a recap on a webinar hosted by the GW UNESCO Chair in Intl Education for Development and the Smithsonian Science Education Center.
Dr. Engel Publishes Chapter in 2020 UNESCO Book
February 6, 2020
Dr. Laura Engel published a chapter titled Humanistic Futures of Learning: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks with co-author.
Should K-12 Students Be Treated as Commodities?
At UNESCO symposium, education experts discuss what happens when public good meets private gain.
March 9, 2015
UNESCO Sumposium, “Unpacking Education and the Civic Good: The Potential and Role of Education in an Era of Global Markets and Power," hosted at GW's GSEHD.
UNESCO Director General Calls for a ‘New Push in Education’
GW’s UNESCO chair in international education for development plans to build citizen-leaders.
September 22, 2014
GSEHD hosted director general of UNESCO to celebrate the installation of the university’s UNESCO chair in international education for development.