Global Campaign for Education-US Staff
Jennifer Rigg is the Executive Director of the Global Campaign for Education-US (GCE-US). GCE-US, a coalition of over 80 organizations, promotes access to quality education as a human right and mobilizes the public to create political will in the U.S. and internationally to ensure universal access to quality education worldwide. Jennifer brings over 20 years of experience, including international education and development, public policy, coalition building, strategic communications and public management. Previously, Jennifer was the Director of Policy & Partnerships and Interim Executive Director at the 1,000 Days Partnership. At Save the Children, Jennifer led policy and advocacy on education, early childhood development, nutrition and food security, livelihoods, microfinance, and aid effectiveness. Jennifer has also worked with CARE, United Way Worldwide, and the Nancy Bell Evans Center on Nonprofits & Philanthropy at the University of Washington. She received an MPA and graduate certificate in International and Community Development Policy and Management from the University of Washington, a certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Wisconsin/Learning Institute for Nonprofits, and a BA in International Studies/Political Science from Emory University.
Tom Sabella is the Inclusive Education and ECCE Partnership Coordinator at GCE-US and Light for the World. He has been a proud member of the Global Campaign for Education since 2016 and is dedicated to improving the education provided to children around the world. Tom researched teacher attitudes toward the inclusion of children with disabilities in rural schools of El Salvador for his PhD dissertation at the University of Maryland, and has also published research on USAID’s inclusive education policies and programs for GCE-US. He is a certified teacher who has instructed students and teachers in classrooms in the United States, Japan, Guatemala, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Rwanda. Before coming to GCE-US, he coordinated a USAID funded EDC program to allow Rwandan youth who had dropped out of school to begin vocational studies in agriculture. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in both Guatemala and Rwanda. Tom recognizes the importance of providing quality inclusive education for children with disabilities, as well as the critical opportunity to begin education during children's early development, and he knows that only with cooperation from governments and organizations can we ensure that the human right to education is realized for all children.
Megan Testen is a current undergraduate student at George Washington University and a GCE-US Fellow. She is completing her BA in Human Services and Social Justice, with a minor in Organizational Sciences. Her past experiences include being a 2018-2019 RESULTS Fellow, and interning with another one of our coalition members and partners, Global Kids. Through Megan’s experience she has grown her passion for equitable education for all. She hopes to expand this passion and to develop her career in education policy and advocacy throughout her time with GCE-US.
Shruti Nallappa recently graduated with a degree in Global Affairs, a minor in Korean Studies, and dual concentrations in Global Governance and Human Security from George Mason University. At the Global Campaign for Education - US (GCE-US), she is a Fellow, where she assists with many of the organization's needs including social media presence, communications, engagement, public policy, and advocacy work. As a Fellow, she hopes to gain knowledge about improving education at both an international and domestic level and the steps necessary in order to implement quality education policies. Shruti previously served as an intern for Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) in Washington, D.C. where she worked closely with the Legislative Director and Foreign Affairs staff. She has also studied at George Mason University Korea and the University of Oxford in England where she obtained a certificate in history, politics, and society. Shruti will be pursuing her graduate studies with a focus on public policy and international affairs.
Global Campaign for Education-US Board Members
Mahpari Sotoudeh, Co-Chair, is a Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute, where she works on the Middle East/North Africa team. In her capacity at NDI, Mahpari has supported civic education programming and youth-focused projects in Morocco, Algeria, and the West Bank. Prior to joining NDI, Mahpari worked at a non-profit that provides online civic education resources to Iranian activists and at the U.S. Department of State, Middle East Institute, and Project on Middle East Democracy. In her spare time, Mahpari teaches ESL to adults in the Washington D.C. area and leads a weekly civics class for aspiring U.S. citizens.
Annelise Cohon, Co-Chair,
Annelise Cohon is an education specialist and innovative leader with more than ten years of professional experience working for national and international education and human rights organizations. She is currently a Senior Program/Policy Specialist with the National Education Association (NEA) and works at the intersection of leadership development, equity and social-emotional learning to support educators in their social-emotional development and growth as activist leaders. Before coming to the NEA, she was an Ambassadorial Rotary Scholar in Haifa, Israel and worked on issues related to violence against women and girls, disability rights and inclusion, and school health. She received her M.A. in International Training and Education from American University and B.A. from Scripps College.
Ngozi Lawal is the Project Director for CSSP’s Prenatal to 3 Initiative, aimed at increasing the number of children on track for kindergarten in EC-LINC communities. She convenes the prenatal to three communities and provides them with technical assistance on building effective early childhood systems. Prior to joining CSSP, Ngozi Lawal supported the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Education at the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human in implementing a national policy agenda to help states and communities help babies, toddlers and preschoolers get ready for school. She oversaw the federal State Advisory Councils and played a key role in the policy development and implementation of the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge and Preschool Development Grants. Previously, Ngozi managed the child care portfolio at the American Public Human Services Association, working alongside state child care administrators to develop policy proposals to improve implementation of the Child Care and Development Fund. She partnered with state child welfare directors to reduce the disproportionality of children of color in the child welfare system and improve the educational and social outcomes for youth who age out of foster care without permanent home placements. Ngozi began her career at Zero to Three where she tracked state and federal policies and initiatives on early childhood mental health. Ngozi has a Master of Arts Degree in Child Development from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Boston College.
Joanne Carter is the Executive Director of RESULTS/RESULTS Educational Fund (REF) and has been a part of RESULTS in a variety of capacities for over 20 years. Joanne became legislative director of RESULTS/REF in 1992 and associate executive director in 2007. As legislative director of RESULTS/REF, Joanne worked with key administration and congressional allies, partner organizations, and technical agencies orchestrating U.S. and international campaigns to tackle major diseases of poverty (particularly tuberculosis and major child killers), increase access to education, expand economic opportunity for the poorest, and reform World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies. An international expert and spokesperson on global poverty issues, Joanne regularly organizes media briefings on breaking legislative and technical news and works closely with the World Health Organization, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and other international organizations. She is also a founding board member of Global Action for Children.
Arnav Joshi is a Strategic Finance Associate at United Health Group (UHG) focused on developing financial reporting processes and improving operational efficiency. In this role, Arnav has worked with organizational leadership to establish business forecasting best practices in order to create effective long-range plans.
He previously worked at UHG as a Corporate Development Analyst where he assessed strategic acquisition transactions in the healthcare services space. Outside of the office, Arnav has experience teaching ESL courses as well as engaging with education-focused non-profits in the Washington, D.C.-area.
Amanda Guarino is the Policy Director for the First Five Years Fund (FFYF), and has over a decade of experience and policy expertise in early childhood education. Guarino joined FFYF after nearly twelve years with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where she played a crucial role in the Administration for Children & Families’ management of programs that support early childhood education and development. Beginning in 2010, Guarino served as Management and Program Analyst within the Office of Child Care at the Administration for Children & Families. In this role she provided strategic direction, leadership, and consultation regarding the coordination and delivery of Technical Assistance (TA) activities. This coordination included implementation of process quality improvement, budget monitoring considerations, Child Care/Head Start collaboration activities, and effective communication across federal programs and TA projects. Guarino also managed several TA projects including the State Capacity Building Center, the next iteration of the State Systems Specialist Network. In this role she worked tirelessly to ensure the delivery of TA is systematic, of high quality, responsive to grantee needs, and outcome driven. Guarino holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of the Holy Cross and earned a Masters of Arts Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Administration from Columbia University in the city of New York. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and lives on Capitol Hill.
Eric Harris is the Communications Director for U.S. Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) who serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, he published an array of opinion pieces for news outlets including the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. He has also led numerous professional development workshops for staff members in the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the Democratic Communicators Network. Prior to his time in the U.S. Congress, Eric worked as a media and public affairs strategist for corporate clients, nonprofit organizations, political campaigns, and cause-oriented initiatives. He is an NBC News THINK contributor, a graduate of UCLA, and a native of Calabasas, CA.