These 5 education leaders are changing the world


International Education Week celebrates the benefits of cultural and academic exchange programs around the world. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education promotes how international education programs:

  • Prepare Americans for a global environment.
  • Invite the world’s future leaders to exchange ideas and experiences in the United States.

Today, the celebration kicks off at World Savvy by highlighting the accomplishments of five global education leaders whose impacts on education expand internationally. World Savvy has had the great fortune to partner with these regarded leaders and benefited from their diverse perspectives. 

We will promote International Education Week on our Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook page throughout the week. World Savvy will also join the festivities with EXPLR Media webinar on November 16. Our very own Shumit DasGupta, Professional Learning Facilitator, will lead the session, which focuses on the video “We Create Together,” about a STEM program that brings Jewish and Muslim kids together in Gaza. The video — complemented by a corresponding lesson — explores how to use content as a vehicle to increase student engagement by building connections between content and each other. 

Global Education Leaders 

Madiha Murshed

“Despite income levels, social backgrounds, types of schools, and language or cultural differences, there are archetypes of teachers that hold true across national boundaries. In coming back and working here, I realized that east and west are not so far apart as they sometimes seem.”

Madiha’s contributions to global education are remarkable — from co-founding World Savvy with Dana Mortenson to now serving as the Managing Director of two schools in Bangladesh. Madiha recently opened the Aurora International School in Bangladesh, which teaches an international curriculum designed to build global competency skills for all its students. Since 2008, she has served as the Managing Director of Scholastica, a well-regarded English-medium private school in Bangladesh. Madiha graduated from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 2002 with a Masters in International Affairs and a concentration in Economic and Political Development. She received a Bachelor’s Degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Development Economics from Harvard College in 1999. Since May 2006, Syeda Madiha Murshed has served as Executive Director of SPEED, a training center in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

Dr. Muhammad Khalifa

“How can we reform education without understanding the realities of the people we serve?” 

Dr. Muhammad Khalifa is a leading expert in changing how school leaders enact culturally responsive leadership and anti-oppressive schooling practices. He has published four books and over 50 other publications in some of the most highly rated journals in education. His most recent book, Culturally Responsive School Leadership (Harvard University Press, 2018), is a top-seller and is being used in over 100 leadership training programs across the U.S. and Canada, as well as other parts of the world. Dr. Khalifa also regularly partners with school districts to conduct equity audits using research-based practices to help school leaders eliminate systemic disparities in schools and society. He is currently starting a new non-profit (TEECH), which would develop culturally responsive teachers training teachers to empower community-based settings. Dr. Khalifa was formerly the Robert Beck Endowed Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and is currently a professor of Educational Administration and the Executive Director of Urban and Rural Initiatives at The Ohio State University. He also is a former district administrator and science teacher in Detroit Public Schools and a leading expert on educational reform in African and Asian contexts.

Dr. Khalifa has served on our Global Advisory Board here at World Savvy and has partnered with us in our work with schools. We are fortunate to benefit from his incredible wisdom.

Dr. William Gaudelli

“Being a global citizen means being aware of diversity in your community, learning to live at peace with one’s neighbors, and to appreciate the diversity that exists with people around you. I think as well as being concerned about the biosphere and the way in which we interact with the earth and its resources coupled with an awareness of how power operates on the planet.”

Dr. William Gaudelli is a prominent international scholar whose research focuses on global citizenship and teacher education and development. His career spans 30 years as a classroom teacher, researcher, professor, and seasoned administrator. He has published over 60 scholarly pieces and three books. In his latest book, Global Citizenship Education: Everyday Transcendence, he analyzes global citizenship education in various global locales. Dr. Gaudelli is a frequent keynote speaker at international conferences and guest lecturer at multiple universities worldwide, including China, Italy, Israel, Thailand, Japan, India, Poland, Hong Kong, Germany, and South Korea. He has participated in panel discussions and conferences with UNESCO, UNAI, UNAOC, WFUNA, and many professional organizations.

World Savvy is proud to have co-founded the Global Competence Certificate (GCC) program in partnership with Dr. Gaudelli and the Asia Society. Bill is currently serving as a Dean and Vice Provost for Innovation in Education at Lehigh University. 

Petteri Elo

“Education cannot be mainly about learning and reproducing facts.”

Petteri Elo is a renowned Finnish educator and educational consultant who has worked with educators worldwide on hands-on pedagogical and curriculum development. He turns his innovative and experimental practices with his students into engaging and thought-provoking training concepts for educators worldwide. As a trainer and consultant, Petteri is praised for his passion, energy, and expertise in curriculum development/implementation and innovative pedagogy from various viewpoints. Petteri’s way of combining theory and practice brings life to the critical goals of 21st-century education. 

World Savvy is thrilled to have been selected to present with Petteri at the upcoming SXSW Edu conference on March 7-10, 2022. World Savvy’s Chief Program Officer Mallory Tuominen and Petteri Elo will co-present a session titled, Phenomenon Based Learning for Local Citizenship. The session will explore how phenomenon-based learning centers students in the learning process and supports global competence development. 

Dina Buchbinder Auron

“Every person in the world is an agent of change. Wherever you are, there is something you can do to improve your community, your city, your country, your world.”

Dina Buchbinder Auron is a social entrepreneur that has introduced an innovative, action-oriented international education model called Education for Sharing (E4S) to systems that have long struggled with passivity and rigidity. E4S mission is to form better global citizens from childhood through the power of play. Since its inception in 2007, E4S has worked with over 1.3 million children, teachers, and families with important results in Mexico, the United States, Guatemala, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Panama, and New Zealand. Dina is an Ashoka Fellow and an emerita member of the BOD of the International Youth Foundation. She is a Vital Voices Lead Fellow, a WEF Global Shaper, and an Edmund Hillary Fellow. She is also a Hubert Humphrey Fellow in Urban Planning at MIT and holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Education for Sharing and World Savvy both focus on developing global citizenship among K-12 students and are planning collaboration in 2022.

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