Global Business Coalition for Education Expands Operations in Middle East to Support Education for Refugee Children

Former British Ambassador appointed as Director of Global Strategy

Tom Fletcher CMG has joined the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education) as the new Director of Global Strategy.

The former British Ambassador to Lebanon will be building private sector support for the effort to get every child into school, with a particular focus on the Middle East, which faces a refugee crisis on a staggering scale.

Tom said: “My passion for education was inherited from my grandfathers and parents, and has been strengthened during my years in Africa and the Middle East. I’ve become obsessed with the fact that there are as many kids out of school globally as people in Britain. Fail to get that generation the opportunity they seek and we will all feel the consequences.

This massive challenge cannot be cracked by governments alone. It needs coalitions – business, campaigners, education professionals, and the pupils themselves. I want to help put those alliances together, and to bring new ideas to this oldest of challenges.”

The Global Business Coalition for Education was established in 2012 and brings the business community together to accelerate progress in delivering quality education for all of the world’s children and youth. Founding members of the coalition include Accenture, Grupo Carso, Chevron Corporation, Dangote Industries, Discovery Communications, Econet Wireless Group, GUCCI, Hess Corporation, Intel Corporation, Lenovo Group Limited, McKinsey & Co, Pearson plc, Reed Smith LLP, Tata Sons Limited and Western Union.

Before his appointment as Ambassador to Lebanon (2011-15), Tom served as Foreign Policy Adviser to three British Prime Ministers. He is also Visiting Professor of International Relations at New York University, and an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford University. His book on the future of power and digital diplomacy is published by Harper Collins in Spring 2016.

​Tom will work closely with the coalition’s business membership as well as the in-house team, including ​new Head of External Relations, Rob Mooney, ​who joins GBC-Education from Procter & Gamble, and comes with more than 15 years years of private sector experience​​​​ in developing markets.

Sarah Brown, Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education welcomed the appointment. She said: “Tom’s expertise and knowledge within the region are outstanding and we are delighted that he will be joining the team. There is a severe education crisis in the world that needs innovative new partnerships working together to get every child into school so that a generation of children do not miss out on a better future. Tom’s recent experience in the Middle East will be invaluable, but I also welcome his positive and fearless approach to solving problems through innovative solutions and taking on difficult issues by building partnerships. This will make a huge difference in the region, and throughout the world wherever children face a daily struggle to find the opportunity to unlock their own potential.”