Headquarters Staff


ACEI’s staff members have professional expertise in areas of global education, international relations, child rights, communications, and nonprofit management. They continually seek innovative ways to advance children’s education.


Diane Whitehead is the Executive Director of ACEI. She has dedicated her career to issues that affect the lives of children and families. Diane specializes in children’s education, nonprofit leadership, management, strategic direction setting, and program development. She has designed numerous initiatives, programs, and events that have contributed to the improvement of children’s education worldwide. As Executive Director, she is committed to building ACEI’s global community and to advancing ACEI’s organizational reach, relevancy, and impact. Diane holds an M.A. in Organizational Leadership, a B.S. in Education Foundations, an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University, and a Certificate in Fundraising from Boston University. She has also completed a Certificate in Strategic Education Planning from the UK International Centre for Parliamentary Studies and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), a credential bestowed by the American Society of Association Executives.

Why do you like working at ACEI?
I am energized every day by the work we do at ACEI. We are very fortunate to have a wonderful team of dedicated professional staff members and a community of committed supporters around the world who are sincerely concerned about the education of children and youth. Education today is experiencing a rapid changes, which makes this a very challenging time for educators; however, these changes also present exciting new opportunities for re-envisioning education. We need to make the most of the opportunities that are presented to us to ensure that access, equity, and quality are foremost in how we design and deliver children’s education.

Why is children’s education important to you?
Simply put, children are the future of our world and we must ensure that children are ready and prepared to take on the enormous challenge of leading humanity toward a better future. Learning is essential to human development. All children should be provided with an opportunity to learn through either formal or informal learning environments.

Share a favorite memory from your own education when you were a child
I grew up in England just south of London. In school, we regularly listened to a series on BBC radio about people’s lives around the world. This series sparked my curiosity about the world around me and about how others experience their own world. As an adult, I still enjoy the communication medium of radio. I believe that stimulating our auditory senses helps us to be more imaginative, as it allows us to create our own visual images for the stories, people, and places that we are hearing about on the radio. I listen to world news from the BBC and other types of radio broadcasts regularly.

Michelle Allen is the Director of Operations of ACEI. She works to implement and manage smooth and efficient operations and systems to support ACEI programs. This includes office operations, technology systems, accounting and budgeting, and human resources. In addition to operations, she also manages the membership program and the logistical aspects of meetings and events for ACEI. Michelle has a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management and over 15 years of nonprofit organization experience, including her work in office operations and program development for an early childhood organization on the national level. Michelle enjoys working in the nonprofit environment, especially in the area of children and their well-being, and learning about global education and childhood programs.

Why is children’s education important to you?
From my experiences in raising my three children and spending time with my two granddaughters, I know how important education is for them, me, and the communities in the world. Today’s children will be the future leaders and it is important for everyone to provide them with the education resources, especially at a very young age, they will need to lead the world. I believe it is everyone’s responsibility, within their own capacity, to work toward better education and well-being for all.

Why do you like working at ACEI, specifically in Operations?
I enjoy watching the pieces connect together at ACEI, from development to implementation, and I appreciate the opportunities for professional growth in my area of operations. We have a great team at ACEI, and we share passion, energy, and productivity, which continues to motivate me in the work that I do and makes me feel whole as an individual.

Share a favorite memory from your own education when you were a child.
Many of my family members are teachers. My maternal grandmother was a primary school teacher in the Philippines. There were a few summers in my childhood when my grandmother stayed with us; every morning, she gave us school work to complete. She handwrote math problems for us and we practiced handwriting, both print and cursive. We could not play outside until we finished our work. To this day, I remember her telling me that we should never take a break from learning and this lesson has been ingrained with me from childhood to adulthood.

Anne Watson Bauer is Director of Innovation Exchange and Publications at ACEI and also serves as webmaster. She has over 24 years of education publishing experience. As Director of Publications, she oversees the peer review system for Childhood Education and the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, and conducts substantive editing for those two publications as well as the online publications Childhood Explorer and Early Years Bulletin. Anne also has coordinated submissions, conducted peer review, and provided substantive editing for 47 books regarding education. She earned a B.A. in English Literature and History from Loyola University in Maryland, and followed up with graduate courses at the University of Maryland.

Why is children’s education important to you?
Children’s education is where it all begins! If we want a world where peace, respect, and progress are possible and humanity can thrive, we need to start with quality education for our youngest citizens.

Why do you like working at ACEI?
Working at ACEI has been an engaging and enriching experience. Meeting and working with so many people who are dedicated to improving the lives of children worldwide is inspiring, and helps me remain optimistic about the future. Also, as our leadership strives to ensure ACEI is a relevant and current organization, those of us on the staff have many opportunities to expand our own horizons by learning new skills and knowledge.

Share a favorite memory from your own education when you were a child
I will always remember my 3rd-grade teacher, who recognized in me a fellow voracious reader. She spent time identifying books that I would find engaging and would share them with me. I credit her additional efforts on my behalf for the many, many bookcases full to bursting in my home.

Dziko Crews is ACEI’s Communications Manager. Prior to joining ACEI, she worked for a marketing communication agency developing integrated marketing campaigns, multi-media content, and communications strategies for corporate and nonprofit clients. She has also independently developed branding strategies and marketing campaigns for small businesses and start-up organizations in the Washington metropolitan area. Dziko holds an M.A. in Strategic Marketing and Communications from the University of Greenwich in London and a B.A. in Public Relations from Hampton University. She also holds a Certificate in Editing from the Poynter American Copy Editors Society.

Why is children’s education important to you?
Education has the power to positively transform and enhance lives. Without a quality education, I would not have been able to experience some of my most life-changing moments. I sincerely believe that every child deserves to experience life outside of his or her environment, and quality education can spark that knowledge and interest.

Why do you like working at ACEI?
It is a joy to work with a team of dedicated and passionate professionals, who work tirelessly to advance education for children on a global scale. I love working with ACEI because it allows me to share ACEI’s rich history, innovative work, and new strategic direction with new audiences, internationally. The future of education for children depends on ACEI’s work and it is exciting to be a part of the movement.

Share a favorite memory from your own education when you were a child
As a child, I was able to learn under the Maria Montessori curriculum. There, I developed an interest in and love of different cultures by experiencing a variety of languages and international field studies. My favorite experience was a field study to Andros Island in the Bahamas, which served as my first cultural exchange opportunity.

Diane Whitehead,
Executive Director

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Michelle Allen,
Director of Operations

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Anne Watson Bauer,
Director of Innovation Exchange and Publications

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Dziko Crews,
Communications Manager

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Adrienne Henck is the Director of Global Schools First, ACEI’s new initiative to promote global citizenship education. Prior to joining ACEI, Adrienne led projects on improving school quality in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India, and published research on child labor, child-friendly schools, and the social construction of childhood. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Policy and in Comparative and International Education (dual degree) from Penn State University, an M.A. in International Education from New York University, and a B.S. in Psychology from Mary Washington College. Adrienne’s favorite activity when traveling abroad is exploring the aisles of local supermarkets.

Why is children’s education important to you?
Educating children is the most sustainable way to make the world a better place.

Why do you like working at ACEI, specifically Global Schools First?
I believe it is up to all of us to share the responsibility of creating a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world. I love that I get to do my part every day at ACEI.

Share a favorite memory from your own education when you were a child.
I grew up on a farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hidden on a grassy hillside in our fields was a rock formation large enough to seat a family of four. It was here on the “reading rock,” as this special place came to be called, that I first learned to sound out written words and navigate the endless worlds opened to me through books. As I grew older, I would devote countless, solitary hours to leafing through the stacks of National Geographic magazines that my family seemed to hoard. I loved reading about and seeing the pictures of people and places all over the world.

Adrienne Henck,
Director of Global Schools First

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Yvette Gatilao Murphy is Director of Global Advocacy and also serves as Director of the Center for Education Diplomacy. She is passionate about ensuring equity and social justice through education and has dedicated her academic research and work to addressing issues that affect the most disadvantaged children and youth. Yvette’s experience includes bilingual education, advocacy, professional development, program development, and working in the private sector. Prior to ACEI, Yvette worked for the George Washington University (GWU) Institute for Education Studies as a Program Administrative Director for a professional development project serving educators in Lahore, Pakistan. She was also a bilingual classroom teacher in the Creighton School District in Phoenix, Arizona. Yvette holds an M.A. in International Education from GWU and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Why is children’s education important to you?
Children have the potential to transform their world if they are given an opportunity to be heard, participate in meaningful ways, and drive their own learning. Education and the systems that shape its delivery can provide that opportunity. The generations that create pathways for young people need to believe in the humanity and capacity of children and youth so that they may reach their full potential.

Why do you like working at ACEI?
I enjoy working at ACEI because I enjoy being a part of change and meaningful work. ACEI is an exciting place to work because of its long history advocating for children’s rights and education but also for its role in developing new, innovative concepts such as Education Diplomacy. Education Diplomacy is ACEI’s primary advocacy and leadership program. The concept has always resonated with me, given my diverse professional background that includes being a teacher and an engineer. Our work in education today requires interdisciplinary cooperation, sharing of knowledge, and diplomacy skills. It is motivating to help develop the concept, support educators’ growth as they see the potential of Education Diplomacy as a field of work, and provide a framework around effective best practices advancing education in today’s rapidly changing world.

Share a favorite memory from your own education when you were a child
My favorite memory that contributed to my education as a child is lying on the grass and looking up to watch the airplanes fly across the sky. I would wonder if my Lola (grandmother in the language of the Philippines, where my parents are from) was on that plane, as she regularly split her time living in the United States and the Philippines. She traveled to many other countries well into her old age and enjoyed telling me about her encounters as a Filipina woman in different cultures. She made me curious about the world and taught me the value of humility and graciousness.

Yvette Gatilao Murphy,
Director of Advocacy and Education Diplomacy

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