Ms Josephine Bourne

Associate Director for Education of UNICEF


Jo’s career has been guided by a passion to enable children – especially children living in the poorest countries in the world – to reach their full potential through access to good quality education. Initially training as a primary school teacher, Jo worked in a Chinese teacher training college as a volunteer with Voluntary Service Overseas, and has taught primary age children in the UK and in China. After completing an MA in Education and International Development, she joined the UK Department for International Development. Overseas postings allowed her to work on education programmes in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda (with the European Commission) and Rwanda. Much of her work in these countries concentrated on working with national governments to develop, implement and monitor ambitious education strategies, whilst working simultaneously with key development partners to jointly finance education strategies – and strengthen accountability for results. Jo also held several positions at DFID’s London Headquarters, playing a leading role in shaping the organisation’s education policy, and strengthening technical capacity. Jo became UNICEF’s Associate Director for Education in February 2013. She is looking forward to working with UNICEF’s extensive global network to accelerate work on equity in education (especially girls’ education), put learning at the heart of all UNICEF’s education programmes, and explore how innovation (including, but not only technology) might contribute to improving educational opportunities for children.