Alumni Profiles

Teachers College Alumni have gone off to do amazing things, this resource highlights some of the alumni that have graduated from the Comparative and International Education program at Teachers College to work in various capacities on the African continent.

Profile image of Jessica Lowden
MA 2008

Jessica Lowden completed her MA in International Educational Development in 2008. Immediately upon completing her degree, she began working with the International Rescue Committee in Liberia and then transitioned to another Liberia-based position with World Learning in 2010. In both positions she worked on a range of development programs in the health and education sectors.

Profile image of Kayum Ahmed
Ph.D 2019

Kayum Ahmed is Division Director at the Open Society Foundations (OSF) in New York where he manages the Public Health Program’s global work on access to medicines and innovation. Kayum leads OSF’s cross-regional People's Vaccine campaign, advocating for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics. As part of his advocacy work, Kayum recently published articles on the human right to vaccines and decolonizing the vaccine.

Ed.D 2011

Anne Smiley, EdD, currently serves as IRC’s Deputy Project Director of Research for the LEGO Foundation-funded PlayMatters project, an education program for refugee children in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. She has 15 years of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating education programs in Africa, with a focus on education in emergencies. She was formerly co-lead of the Education Equity Research Initiative and has been Principal Investigator on multiple large mixed-methods research studies that are building evidence around education in emergencies and education equity in Africa and globally.

Dr. Akemi Yonemura
Ed.D 2005


Akemi Yonemura has been the program specialist in Education with UNESCO for 19 years. Akemi has held several positions within UNESCO but most recently, she has managed educational projects and fund development, including the preparation of Education 2030 Agenda for 47 sub-Saharan African countries, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED) for the Sahel. Akemi also contributed to the development and operationalization of the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS).



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Program Analyst in the Democracy, Development and Innovation Bureau's Center for Education at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Kelsey Woodrick is a Program Analyst in the Democracy, Development and Innovation Bureau's Center for Education at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), contracted through Dexis Consulting Group. In her current role, Kelsey supports programmatic, operational, and technical work across the education sector.

Education Specialist with the Norwegian Refugee Council
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Dr. Stephanie Bengtsson
Ed.D., Class of 2011 Research Scholar, Wittgenstein Centre

Research and scholarly interests: Inclusive education in Sub-Saharan Africa; humanitarian aid and development assistance; emergency education; education and fragile states; positive and negative outcomes of education; relationship between global and local forces in educational settings; understanding educational discourse.


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