During the focused week of global education meetings in Washington, D.C., the White House hosted a meeting with ministerial teams from Nigeria, DRC and South Sudan. Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator and White House Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, Gene Sperling addressed the group and invited contributions from other aid agencies and think tanks.
GBC-Education chair, Sarah Brown, was invited to make the opening remarks on the subject of “Innovation and Partnership.” Mrs. Brown talked about how the private sector has a valuable role to play alongside governments and non-profits in delivering education and learning in order to meet the current 61 million children out of school gap, and thanked USAID for recognizing its potential. She focused her remarks on the recent work of GBC-Education members in seeking opportunities to develop greater sustainability and scalability for global education projects and for building on the success of existing individual programs. She also announced that GBC-Education is working with the UN Global Compact, UNESCO, and UNICEF (who were also present) on a set of core principles for the private sector to engage in education that will be completed in time for the UN Global Compact conference in September.
Western Union was also invited to attend the meeting and was represented by Chief Communications Officer, Luella D’Angelo. Their 3-year “Education for Better” commitment announced last September at the UNGA was highlighted as an example of effective corporate action for global education.
Administrator Shah chose in his remarks to set out an agenda for greater engagement by the US government, and USAID in particular. He pledged that he would seek to find more U.S. companies to engage in this area, and to recommend that they join GBC-Education. Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor on International Education, has said that she will take forward this closer collaboration with us.