Our Board

The Global Campaign for Education is a membership organisation, which is governed by its members through the World Assembly (held every four years) and an elected board. The board represents our constituencies: two representatives from the teaching profession, two from international non-governmental organisations and one from regional and international youth-led organisations; the different regions are represented by two seats each from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe/North America. GCE’s President is elected by the World Assembly, with the Vice-President, Chair and Deputy Chair elected by the Board.

President: Refaat Sabbah | Constituency: Middle East

Refaat is a lifelong human rights and education activist. He is the General Director and Founder of the Teacher Creativity Centre in Palestine, the Chair of the Arab Network for Civic Education (ANHRE), and the General Secretary and founder of the Arab Coalition for Education for All (ACEA). Refaat completed his Masters degree in 2004 from Birzeit University, Palestine, in Women Development and Law, and got an honour PHD from Almaref University for his work to support education in Yemen.<br /> In addition to his work as the general director of the Teacher Creativity Center since its inception, Refaat worked as a chief editor of Al-Ghorbal magazine (1992-1995); Arabic and history Teacher in Ramallah schools (1992-1996); a teacher of social sciences and civic education at al-Mustaqbal (Future) schools (1997- to date); a chief editor of Ibda’ (Creativity), a magazine for civic education issues, (1995-to date); a member of the curriculum rectifying committee of the seventh grade, in the Palestinian Curriculum Development Center (2000); and a member of the editorial board of “handbook of civic adult education methods” issued by Freiderch Ebert Foundation, (1997-1998). Refaat was elected as a vice-chair of the Global campaign for education in 2015, and President in 2018. He is also the vice-chair of the Regional support group for the ED2030 with UNESCO, and was chosen to be a member in the ED2030 steering committee.

Chair: Samuel Dembélé | Constituency: Africa

Samuel Dembélé is the president of the board of the African Network Campaign on Education for All (ANCEFA; since November 2015), president of the board of the Coalition Nationale de l’éducation pour Tous du Burkina Faso (CN-ÉPT BF; since April 2014) and secretary-general of the National Union of Teachers for Secondary and Higher Education (SNESS, Syndicat national des enseignants du secondaire et du supérieur; since 2010). Currently a teacher of philosophy at the Lycée Nelson Mandela in Ouagadougou, Samuel has been teaching since 1994. In 1997, together with a colleague from the Lycée Louis-Vincent de Metz (France), he co-initiated an educational partnership delivering a support programme at Yako Provincial College. His union experience has enabled Burkinabe teachers to achieve several gains through independent or joint struggle with other unions. In 2011, Samuel Dembélé was named as Chevalier of the National Order of Merit to Burkina Faso for services rendered to the nation.

Vice-President: Madeleine Zúñiga | Constituency: Latin America & Caribbean

Madeleine is a founding member of Foro Educativo, a national NGO specialized in educational policy proposals and has been its Vice President and Board member in two periods. In 2001, she represented Foro Educativo in the GCE World Assembly held in New Delhi. That experience animated her to promote the constitution of the National Forum of Education for All with representatives of different sectors of the Executive Power and civil society organisations; she was the Vice-president of this Forum from 2002 to 2005. In 2003, she led the constitution of the Campaña Peruana por el Derecho a la Educación (CPDE), which gathers around twenty civil society organisations working in basic education projects in poor rural and suburban communities with special attention on indigenous populations, girls and women education, early childhood care and education and students with disabilities. Since 2006, Madeleine is the National Coordinator of the CPDE and works in alliance with other coalitions that focus in other human rights like the National Association of Centres, the Steering Committee for Investment in Early Childhood Care and Education, the National Initiative for Children´s Rights and is the education focus at the Agreement Platform for the Fight Against Poverty, a forum of State and civil society organizations. Madeleine Zúñiga is a PhD in Education from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, with special mention on languages and cultures in education. She is the author of several articles and publications on intercultural bilingual education issues for indigenous peoples and has been an independent consultant on the same subject for national and international organisations, such as UNESCO, UNICEF, GTZ.

Vice-Chair: Mugwena Maluleke | Constituency: Teaching profession

Vice Chair
Mugwena Maluleke is the General Secretary of the South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU), and represents Education International on the GCE Board. A former maths teacher and Principal of Tshwane’s Rodney Mokoena Junior Secondary School, Maluleke has been a member of SADTU since its inception in 1990. He served as the Branch Organiser of SADTU, Soshanguve Branch when the Union was fighting for recognition from the apartheid government and became the Branch Secretary responsible for recruitment and administration of the political activities. He served in the Executive Committee of the Southern Transvaal Region of the Union before the 1994 political breakthrough. He was elected as the Deputy Secretary of SADTU Gauteng province where he was responsible for union administration and negotiations. He climbed the ladder to become the National Treasurer - a position he held for 10 years. As Treasurer, he was responsible for the union finances. In 2008 he was elected the Deputy General Secretary and was responsible for the administration of the union and collective bargaining. In 2009, Maluleke was elected the General Secretary at the National General Council. A trade unionist and political activist at heart, Maluleke’s role goes beyond SADTU. He is a member of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Central Executive Committee. COSATU is South Africa’s largest trade union federation with more than 21 union affiliates including SADTU with a membership spanning over 1.8 million. SADTU is the second largest union in COSATU with more than 235000 members and the single largest public sector union.

Board Members


Illiass Alhousseini | Constituency: Africa

Board Member
Illiass Alhousseini is a qualified inspector for primary education and has been active in the student union movement and in defending the right to education from a young age. From 1999-2000, he was the second deputy secretary-general of the board of the Niger Education Union (l’Union des Scolaires Nigeriens), an organisation which contributed to the restoration of democracy in Niger. Illiass has been involved in the development of various NGOs working on education. Together with his colleagues, he formed the NGO Team of Young Trainers and Facilitators for Development (Equipe des Jeunes Formateurs et Animateurs pour le Développement (EJFAD)) in 2001, which he coordinated until July 2007, and the Consultation Framework for the Promotion of Education (Cadre de Concertation pour la Promotion de l’Education (CaCoPED), which brought together organisations working to defend the right to education. This network, along with support from international organisations and ANCEFA, led to the creation of the Nigerien Coalition of Associations and Unions for EFA in Niger (Coalition Nigérienne des Associations et Syndicats en faveur de l’EPT au Niger (ASO-EPT Niger)). Illiass is the vice-president of the coalition, and also sits on the board of directors at the African Network Campaign on Education for All in Africa (ANCEFA) and the Global Campaign for Education.

Martina Darmanin | Constituency: International and regional youth and student led organisations

Board Member
Martina Darmanin is currently serving as the President of the European Students’ Union (ESU) and the representative of the youth and student-led constituency at GCE. Within the European Students’ Union, her main focus is on the social dimension of higher education with an emphasis on policy development, advocacy, and project coordination on access and student participation in higher education. Martina joined ESU in 2019, as Human Rights and Solidarity Coordinator. She has an academic background in the field of Health Sciences and holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Malta where her journey in the student movement began.

Nafisa Baboo | Constituency: International NGOs

Board Member
Nafisa is the Senior Advisor on Inclusive Education for Light for the World, an international Disability and Development organization working in 17 Low and Middle income countries globally. She a qualified speech-language therapist and audiologist, with a Masters in Inclusive Education focused on the inclusion of blind students in regular schools. Over the past 16 years, she has used her professional qualifications and life experience as a woman with a disability from the Global South to 1) research and advise on inclusive education policies and practices from early Childhood Development through to Higher Education; 2) advocate for the rights of children with disabilities and people with disabilities in general; and 3) train teachers, education officials and communities on aspects of inclusive education.<br /> Nafisa is from Cape Town, South Africa and has a good understanding of the realities of developing countries. Nafisa is the former chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium Inclusive Education Task group. Nafisa is a recognized thought-leader in her field and has authored several prominent publications on inclusive education including: #CostingEquity: The Case for Inclusive Education Financing ; Towards a Disability Inclusive Education; Documenting the Realities of Children with Disabilities in Africa. On the GCE board, Nafisa focusses on policy work including disability-inclusive education, education finance and early childhood care and education. She is an avid user of assistive technology and keen on activating multisectoral collaboraton with the aim of reaching the most marginalized and leaving no-one behind.
ram website

Ram Gaire | Constituency: Asia Pacific

Board Member
Ram Gaire is the Program Manager of the National Campaign for Education Nepal (NCE-Nepal), a leading civil society network of more than 339 organizations working on the right to education since 2003. Ram coordinated several campaigns and initiatives working with Parliamentarians, Ministries, political parties, CSOs, donors and other partners. Under Ram's leadership, NCE-Nepal has been very responsive to the changing political landscape in the country. During the drafting of the Nepal Constitution, NCE Nepal maintained pressure on the political parties to enshrine the right to education in the new Constitution.<br /> Ram Gaire represented NCE Nepal in the different forums at the national level like Local Education Group (LEG) and served as a member from civil society organization in School Sector Development Plan (SSDP)’s thematic Committee. He is a member of SDG Forum which is responsible to work on the aspects of SDG implementation in Nepal. He has also participated in different regional education platforms like the Asia Pacific Meeting for Education 2030 and regional forums organized by Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) and global policy debates like World Education Forum in Incheon in 2015, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee meeting in Geneva 2016 and the GPE replenishment 2018. Ram Gaire gained a Master in Philosophy in Education from Kathmandu University.
JRGuevara wesbite

Jose Roberto Guevara | Constituency: Asia Pacific

Board Member
Jose Roberto ‘Robbie’ Guevara represents the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), a regional network of more than 200 civil society organisations and individuals operating in around 30 countries of the Asia-Pacific. He is the Immediate Past President of ASPBAE and the Vice-President (Asia-Pacific) of the International Council of Adult Education (ICAE). Robbie is an Associate Professor of International Development at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) Melbourne, Australia. He is an educator with extensive experience in adult, community and popular education with a focus on education for sustainable development and global citizenship education. He is a sought after facilitator for his expertise in participatory, creative and experiential learning methodologies developed from his years of working as a grassroots environmental educator and theatre practitioner in the Philippines. He was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame in 2012 for his contribution to adult learning in the Asia-Pacific. In 2016 he was awarded a CONFINTEA Research Scholarship by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. ASPBAE works towards promoting the right to quality education and transformative and liberating lifelong adult education and learning for all. Through its work, ASPBAE lobbies with governments to uphold education as an empowering tool to combat poverty and all forms of exclusion and discrimination, enable active and meaningful participation in governance, and build a culture of peace and international understanding.

Roméo Matsas | Constituency: International NGOs

Board Member
Romeo is Senior Policy Advisor at Plan International Belgium, in charge of advocacy on the right to education. He represents Plan international and the international NGOs within the GCE Board. He is also involved in Educaid.be, the Belgian Chapter of GCE. Romeo has previously worked for multilateral organisations and processes, as well as an advisor to European national governments and to one trade union. Plan International is a NGO active in over 75 countries with a focus on advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. Within GCE, Plan champions girls' rights to education and the meaningful and sustainable engagement of young people. Plan International is committed to encouraging greater transparency and accountability in GCE governance, attracting new members and allies, encouraging a plurality of voices and using new tactics and approaches to advocacy.
Aminta website

Aminta Navarro | Constituency: Latin America & Caribbean

Board Member
Aminta Navarro is the founder and Coordinator of the Dakar-Honduras Forum Coalition and member of the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), where she was part of the Board of Directors during the period 2014-2018. Since childhood, she's been involved in defending education, through being a faithful defender of free, public education as a responsibility of the State. She is a true activist, a leader throughout her trajectory as a student and an active member of youth movements in the fight for human rights, particularly women's rights. As a member of the Latin America Youth and Adult Council for Education (CEAAL), she was Coordinator of the Literacy Network for Central America and Director of CEAAL for the Central American and Caribbean region. Within the Dakar-Honduras Forum, she did an arduous work to change the legislation and educational policies. She believes in working within the network, and in national, regional and global partnership as a way to find collective solutions for the human right to education, and for free, quality, and public education as a responsibility of the State. This is why she accepted to represent Latin America in the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) Board, contributing to its important work in ensuring people are able to exercise their right to education without restrictions of any kind.

Beathe Øgård | Constituency: Europe and North America

Board Member
Beathe Øgård is Norwegian and the President of the Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH), the solidarity organization of students and academics in Norway. SAIH was established in 1961 and arouse from Norwegian students’ engagement in the anti-Apartheid struggle in South-Africa. SAIH’s motto is “education for liberation” and believe that education is the most effective weapon for creating change, and we work to promote the right to academic freedom. SAIH is a democratic student led organisation, representing 50 members from the higher education sector in Norway. Beathe represents the Northern Constituency on the GCE Board as a member of the Norwegian GCE coalition. As president and spokesperson of SAIH Beathe has been active in the public debate both in Norway and internationally regarding the right to education, violations of students’ rights globally, decolonizing higher education and nuanced aid communication. Beathe has served in the executive committee in SAIH since 2016 and has previous experience from UN Women and the Norwegian Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar.
elsy website-2

Elsy Wakil | Constituency: Middle-East

Board Member
Elsy Wakil is the founder of the Lebanese Coalition of the Global Campaign for Education (Arab Network Popular Education) (2010 – till now). ANPE is member in the CCNGO as well. She has taught her specialist field of Information Technology in schools and through popular education programmes and has held a number of management and administration jobs, including administrator of the WSCF Middle East Regional Office (1995-2002) and Finance and Administration Manager for Habitat for Humanity, Lebanon. She was appointed by the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) to the position of Executive for the Middle East & Program Director for Peace Building and Overcoming Violence. She is enthusiastic about taking up the Regional Secretary role and is ready for the challenge of bringing a Christian Arab woman’s perspective to the job for the first time. “As the first woman to take up this position, a major challenge will be to integrate the perspective of Christian Arab women into the WSCF mission, to translate this within its work and empower other women as we work to make transformations within both the church and Arab society” she said.

Chris Weavers| Constituency: Europe and North America

Board Member
Chris Weavers works for the NASUWT, the teachers’ union where he leads the union’s political engagement as well as maintaining relationships with a wide range of external organisations, domestically and internationally. Chris has chaired ‘Send my Friend to School’, the UK coalition of the Global Campaign for Education for almost 10 years. He has worked with other members of the UK coalition to run a campaign that harnesses the energy of young people across the UK and couple this with the expertise of our menbers to advocate our policies and achieve real change, domestically and internationally. Chris formerly worked as a policy advisor in municipal government and was Vice President of the UK National Union of Students, where he led on education policy and served on the Executive Committee of ESIB (now ESU). Chris is a specialist in advocacy and governance and is a trustee and/or board member of many civil society organisations and public bodies.
Antnia Wulff GCE Board member

Antonia Wulff | Constituency: Teaching Profession

Board Member
Antonia Wulff is a Coordinator at Education International (EI), the world federation of teacher unions, and represents the teaching constituency on the GCE board. Antonia coordinated EI's advocacy and engagement in the intergovernmental negotiations on Agenda 2030, and her work is now focused on SDG implementation, financing and monitoring. Prior to joining EI, Antonia managed a project on democratic education in Finland. She has a background in the student movement and is a former board member of the Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU) and Chair of the Council of Europe Advisory Council for Youth.