Ruth is an Education Specialist, Consultant, and experienced Charity professional with over 12 years experience in the sector. With a Masters in African Studies from the University of Oxford, Ruth is passionate about the advancement of education and opportunities for young people with a particular focus on the African Continent. She has focused her attention most recently on teacher development, championing teacher-led initiatives and promoting digital options for delivering high-quality and relevant professional development opportunities for Teachers.
Over 7 years she led and developed the Warwick in Africa Programme at the University of Warwick, working in partnership with education professionals in Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania. Her current work is focussed on addressing access issues for young people to gain a quality education and developing scalable teacher professional development solutions that are contextually appropriate.
Ruth believes in the power of connecting people who are passionate about learning and how connections can lead to opportunities for learning and growth for all involved.
Professor Lynn Ang
Professor Lynn Ang is Professor of Early Childhood Education and Pro-Director and Vice-Dean Research at UCL Institute of Education (IOE).
Professor Ang has a long-standing career as a senior academic in Higher Education for over 24 years and is world-leading expert in early years and primary education. Her research interests include the interdisciplinary fields of early childhood and international development, global and educational inequalities, teacher education and professional practice.
She is distinguished Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (PHEA) and appointed Assessor of the Office of Students (OfS). Professor Ang is Trustee for the Council for Education in the Commonwealth, has worked with the UK Commonwealth Secretariat for many years, and is instrumental for developing the first Early Childhood Care and Education Policy Toolkit in 2019 for commonwealth countries.
Chair - Stephen Twigg
Stephen was appointed as the 8th Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and took up this position from 1 August 2020.
Stephen Twigg is a former UK Parliamentarian, who was previously elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom as a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2005 (Enfield Southgate) and from 2010 to 2019 (Liverpool West Derby). During his parliamentary career, he held several senior positions including Chairperson of the International Development Select Committee, Minister for Schools and a range of Shadow Front Bench roles.
Before entering Parliament, he was elected as a Local Councillor in the London Borough of Islington. Following the 2019 General Election when he stepped down from Parliament, Stephen Twigg was instrumental in setting up the International Parliamentary Network for Education and was actively involved in parliamentary strengthening with both Global Partners Governance and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
Dr Neil Kemp MBE, OBE
Neil’s research and consultancy interests relate to the internationalisation of education, transnational education, international student mobility and, more broadly the economics of education. He has worked and lived overseas for over 20 years, including as a British Council country director; countries include India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Kenya and Pakistan.
For the British Council, Neil was also director for international development projects, Director, Science and Technology Division and Director Education UK. He is currently Board Member for the Hornby Education Trust and other previous responsibilities include: Visiting Fellow, Institute of Education, University College London; board member, Open University Worldwide; board member, Institute for Development Studies, University of Sussex; visiting lecturer for MA in International Higher Education Management, Edge Hill University, UK.
Neil commenced employment as an apprentice in industry and, after a physical sciences degree, completed a PhD in electron spectroscopy at Swansea University. After working in India and Indonesia he developed an interest in the economics of education, labour markets and education planning and enrolled as a research associate at the Institute of Education (UCL).
Rita Odumosu BEd, MA, MSc
Rita is a seasoned educationist with global experience in education leadership, management, and policy and a reputation for high-quality project work, consultancy, and innovative work.
Rita attained graduate and post-graduate qualifications from The University of Birmingham and London University Institute of Education and has worked as a senior advisor, education consultant and serves as Governor to different education authorities within the UK and abroad. Rita is involved in school improvement and consultancy, including serving as Trustees of UK charity offering support to Commonwealth girls - Commonwealth Girls Education Fund (CGEF) and providing advocacy and strategic direction in the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC). Sponsoring and meeting the education needs of girls within Commonwealth countries has involved extensive planning, fundraising, and diligent monitoring of progress and attainment for several years in over 35 countries. Both the CGEF and CEC Trustees have celebrated post 50 years of commendable service to the Commonwealth and its peoples.
Rita is Director of a Training & Consultancy limited company and currently holds a brief including leading and managing teachers’ training and consultancy to schools and education boards in India, Africa, and the Caribbean.
Anja has worked in international education advocacy and programmes for over five years. She has experience across a number of organisations, including The Royal Commonwealth Society where she managed The Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition.
Anja is currently the Senior Policy Adviser for Education and Youth at the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), leading the organisation's domestic and international education policy advocacy. In addition to the right to education, Anja is also passionate about sustainable and ethical fashion.
Dr Sue Dale Tunnicliffe (The Lady Tunnicliffe)
An expert on children learning about animals, plants, and early years STEM, and ‘voice’ of learners of all ages. Dr Tunnicliffe has published widely. She graduated in zoology from Westfield College, University of London, and has specialised in education, a qualified teacher, she has taught at all ages from the early years to university and been an OFSTED inspector.
She holds a PhD from King’s College, London, and is Reader in Science Education at UCL IOE. She set up and ran an advisory team in primary science and design and technology for an Education Authority, was Head of Education at the Zoological Society of London, and worked part-time as a cultural museum science adviser and education officer at the BBC. She has taught at Cambridge and Winchester Universities. She supervises PhD, D Ed, and Masters degree students. She received the NSTA’s Faraday Award for Science Communication (USA) in 2016, the first foreigner,and The Rajiv Ghandi Scince Centre, Mauritius award for services to science education. She fervently believes in the role of natural history dioramas as essential tools in developing particularly biological capital as well as the importance in learning of listening to the learner.
Pro Vice-Chancellor - Global Engagement, Portsmouth University
Chris Chang has wide Commonwealth knowledge and experience, particularly with international students and this is of interest to the Board as it would like to expand its remit and membership to Commonwealth students.
Chris is responsible for providing strategic leadership in the development and implementation of an ambitious Global Engagement strategy for the University; for extending its global partnerships and reach; and in making the university’s high-quality brand of education even more accessible worldwide. A colleague said of him, “Chris has a wealth of experience delivering international activity in the higher education sector, which makes him an excellent addition to the senior management team at the university”. “With students from over 130 countries, we already benefit from a strong international culture.”
Before joining the University in September 2016, Chris was Pro Vice-Chancellor Corporate Marketing, International and Development Services at Anglia Ruskin University. He has over 20 years’ experience in the higher education sector and a background as a lawyer. He qualified as a Barrister in 1986 and began his career working as an advocate and solicitor at the High Court of Malaya, advising large corporate clients.
Dr Alba de Souza
Born in Kenya, Alba started her career as an A-Level teacher in Economics. After completing her Master's in Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, she worked for the Kenya Government in the Ministry of Education as Deputy Head of the Planning and Development Department for 14 years.
Alba also did an Advanced Planning Degree at UNESCO's International Institute of Educational Planning in Paris. On completing her Ph D. in the Economics of Education at Stanford University's School of Education, she came to live in London and worked as a consultant in education for the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
From 2006-2012, Alba's work at the UK National Commission for UNESCO involved implementing the UK’s priorities in education and training at UNESCO; organising various international and national seminars/conferences/colloquia. She brought international experts together to critically examine policy processes and good practice on topical issues in education and training. She worked on education for international development, unpacking current concerns, particularly in raising quality and increasing quantitative expansion to meet the then Millennium Development Goals of Education for All. She has worked with multi-lateral and bi-lateral aid agencies, NGOs and INGO’s as well as Faith Based and Community Based organisations to meet these goals.
Alba worked with UNESCO/ IIEP on education for Nomadic Peoples in six Eastern African countries, and together with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth of Learning, organised a landmark Seminar on ‘Educating Nomadic & Pastoralist Children’. Her work also included the provision of education to the marginalised children in rural and slum areas in ten African countries, funded by the World Food Programme and AfDB.