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International Advisory Group

Alan Pence

Alan Pence is the UNESCO Chair for Early Childhood Education, Care and Development at the University of Victoria and a Full Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He is the former Director of the School and during his career has established three specialized units: the Unit for Early Learning and Child Care Research, which focuses on the importance of leadership and local engagement in support of diversity and social equity in the early years; the First Nations Partnership Programs for Community-Based Aboriginal Child and Youth Care Education, a community-initiated partnership supportive of locally based, culturally appropriate education; and the Early Childhood Development Virtual University, which promotes leadership and capacity building based upon the pursuit of objectives identified by countries themselves.


Gaby Fujimoto

Gaby Fujimoto currently serves as Technical and International Affairs Secretariat for the Hemispheric Network of Legislators and Former Legislators for Early Childhood. Previously, she held the position of Senior Specialist in Education at the Organization of American States (OAS). She has been a leader in the development of policies, programs, projects, and innovative services relating to early childhood, indigenous education, teachers, and elementary school education for Latin America and the Caribbean. She advises and works with technical networks and government entities, specialists in education and social issues, legislators, members of civil society, the business community, and entrepreneurs dedicated to early childhood development. She has also served as consultant to the World Bank. Prior to her employment at the OAS, she worked for UNICEF and the Ministry of Education in Peru.


Iram Siraj-Blatchford

Iram Siraj-Blatchford is Professor of Early Childhood Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. She is an expert in mixed method and qualitative research and analysis, and case study work. Currently, she is working on longitudinal studies as a principal investigator in a number of countries, including the UK, Australia, and Ireland. She is a specialist, early years adviser to governments and ministries in the UK, where she is conducting reviews of research on child outcomes for the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes (C4EO), and serves as an adviser to numerous governments, internationally. Dr. Siraj-Blatchford was formerly the President of the British Association for Early Childhood Education.


Samira Moosa

Samira Moosa is currently the Permanent Delegate of the Sultanate of Oman to UNESCO. She is an international leader in the education and welfare of children with years of cross-cultural work experience in the field of early childhood education and Child Rights advocacy. Dr. Moosa pioneered the Early Childhood Program at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), established an on-campus Child Care Center, and has actively participated in the review of legislation concerning Child Rights in Oman. In collaboration with UNICEF, she also introduced the Child Rights course in SQU’s Early Childhood Program in order to instill in students the practice of Child Rights principles in their interactions with children. Dr. Moosa initiated the establishment of Oman’s first Children’s Public Library and lead the fundraising drive, with an estimated cost of 21 million USD. She has devoted a substantial amount of time to civic, community, and charitable affairs in Oman.


Cynthia Adams

Cynthia M. Adams has extensive experience in the realm of social entrepreneurism, fund raising, and grants development. Her experience includes serving on grant review boards for foundations, corporate giving programs, and government agencies. During her career, she has served as development director for a variety of nonprofits, and she successfully launched the Economic Development Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 1999, Ms. Adams launched GrantStation.com, an online funding resource for organizations seeking grants throughout the world. Today, GrantStation has grown to over 20,000 members worldwide, with a quarter of a million readers of its weekly e-newsletter, the GrantStation Insider.


Divya Jalan

Divya Jalan is Chairperson of Action for Ability Development and Inclusion (AADI), based in New Delhi, India. AADI serves children with disabilities through classroom-based programs and also provides services across all of northern India’s rural areas. In addition, Dr. Jalan is a board member of Goodearth Education Foundation, an organization working in the area of primary school education in two states—Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Dr. Jalan serves as an Executive Committee Member of The Rehabilitation Council of India, which is a statutory body set up by the government of India to monitor, accredit, and facilitate training programs in the area of disability across the nation. Dr. Jalan is practicing professional, both teaching and training teachers and other professionals in the areas of child development, education, and disability.


Christine Chen, ACEI Liaison to the International Advisory Group

Christine Chen is President of the Association for Early Childhood Educators Singapore, an organization she started in 1990 (AECES). Dr. Chen offers support and advice in various critical areas of early childhood care and education to many nations in the Southeast Asia region and beyond. Much of her teacher education training efforts have focused on the nations of Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. In Singapore, Dr. Chen has been central to efforts for designing and promoting quality early care. She has been at the forefront of bringing resources and knowledge to Singapore to improve early care services. In 2010, she was honored as Singapore's Volunteer of the Year by his Excellency President S R Nathan and recognized for her positive impact on the community through her leadership and expertise in the field of early childhood education, for crafting Singapore's Code of Ethics for early education practitioners, and for setting standards for teacher education. Dr. Chen believes that every child in every nation should have a quality education, and a quality life.