Ensuring Quality Education in the Times of COVID-19 (Global Engagement Online Series) 

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01:00 pm




With the global COVID-19 pandemic causing unprecedented challenges and disruption to education delivery, the future of school is uncertain. This Global Engagement Online Series will explore how UN agencies and U.S. educators are planning for the future of school during the pandemic and what long-term lessons can be learned about addressing inequalities, technology, teacher training, and student-learning.

WHEN: September 9, 1:00PM ET


Mr. Salem Dib, Lebanon Chief of Education, UNRWA 

Salem Dib is Chief of the Field Education Program (CFEP) in Lebanon for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). With over 30 years’ experience working in education, both vocational and technical, he brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the complexity of refugee education in the Levant. As the chief of education since 2017, he has worked to successfully improve the quality of UNRWA’s education services in Lebanon, while mobilizing resources for the program, particularly in light of the influx of Palestine refugees from Syria, the unstable security situation in Lebanon, and the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Dib is a former UNRWA student from Nahr El Bared refugee camp in Lebanon and holds bachelor’s degrees in management and English language and literature and a master’s degree in business administration. He joined UNRWA in 1988 as a teaching instructor, and then principal with UNRWA’s Siblin Vocational Training center in the north of Lebanon. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Education in 2011, and since 2014 first Acting, then Chief of the Education Program.

Ms. Caitlin McCurn, Deputy Director of Global Programs and Field Engagement, UNICEF USA 

Caitlin McCurn is Deputy Directory, Global Programs at UNICEF USA. In her current position, she works in the Global Programs and Field Engagement Department, serving as the focal point for UNICEF child protection and education programs. Prior to joining UNICEF USA, Caitlin worked as the Director of Research and Grants at the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter. Her professional experience includes work at non-governmental organizations in New York City and abroad. In Kosovo, she served as a transitional justice consultant at the Center for Research and Documentation, supporting an initiative to establish a regional truth commission in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. In Kenya, she worked for Flying Kites, an organization providing vulnerable children with access to high quality education and holistic support. Caitlin holds a BA in Anthropology from Salve Regina University and an MA in International Affairs from the New School.

Dr. Sobhi Tawil, Director of Future of Learning and Innovation, UNESCO 

Sobhi Tawil is Director of the Future of Learning and Innovation team at UNESCO where he currently leads the Futures of Education initiative as well as work in technology and innovation in education. He has some 30 years of experience in teaching, education policy analysis, research and program management with diverse institutions and organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies (Geneva), the Network for Education Policy Research Review (NORRAG), the International Institute for Higher Education (Rabat), as well as UNESCO. After first joining UNESCO to lead the curriculum policy research work at the International Bureau of Education, Sobhi Tawil then headed the organization’s education work in the Maghreb before leading the Education Research and Foresight program at the Paris headquarters. Sobhi Tawil holds a PhD in Education and Development from the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Ms. Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. The AFT champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, their families and communities. The AFT and its members advance these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through members’ work.

Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education. In 2013, the New York Observer named Weingarten one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years. Washington Life magazine included Weingarten on its 2013 Power 100 list of influential leaders.