On 11 February 2017, Mr. Tao Zhan was appointed to the post of Director of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) by the Director-General of UNESCO.
Mr. Zhan has extensive experiences in mathematical research, education administration and ICT in education. He holds a Doctorate Degree in Science (1987) from Shandong University in China, majoring in number theory at Department of Mathematics. After graduation he joined Shandong University and later became a research fellow supported by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, at the Albert Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany (1991 – 1992). Upon returning to Shandong University he was promoted to Professor of mathematics and afterwards the Vice President of the university. In 2000, Mr. Zhan took office as President of Shandong University. In 2008, he joined Jilin University (Changchun, China) where he held the position of President till 2011. Prior to joining UNESCO, he worked as Director-General of the Educational Management Information Center under the Ministry of Education in China (2011 – 2016). He was also Co-Chair of the Office of ICT in Education in the Ministry.
Before his new appointment, Mr Zhan participated actively in a number of UNESCO programmes. He served as member of the Governing Board of UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education of Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) in India, member of the extended EFA (Education For All) Steering Committee which was responsible for drafting of the Incheon Declaration at the World Education Forum 2015 and Framework for Action “Education 2030”, and continued to be a member of the new Steering Committee of Education 2030 Agenda till 2016.