The 23rd Session of UNESCO IITE Governing Board

The 23rd Session of UNESCO IITE Governing Board (GB) was held at UNESCO HQs in Paris, France on 8-9 June 2023 upon the decision of the Governing Board.  The GB meeting was chaired by Professor Asha Kanwar. GB elected Professor Mohamed Jemni as a new Vice Chair, also reviewed and approved reports delivered by IITE Director Mr. Tao Zhan and IITE team.

On June 8, Professor Asha Kanwar, the Chair of the Governing Board, opened the Session and welcomed all members of the Governing Board, and participants of IITE which were present in capacity of Chiefs of three programme units (Digital Pedagogy and Learning Materials, Teacher Professional Development and Networking, ICT in Health Education) and Head of Administrative Office of IITE ( The session followed with reports and discussions on the activities of the Institute, financial situation and programme implementation.

On June 9, the second day of the Meeting was attended by UNESCO Assistant Director-General (ADG) for Education Ms. Stefania Giannini, the Secretary General of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO Ms. Tatiana Dovgalenko, GB members, and IITE team. At the meeting, Statements were delivered by the Chair of GB, UNESCO ADG for Education and Russian representatives. Professor Kanwar expressed thanks and appreciation to the Russian government for continued support and to UNESCO ADG for Education for the leadership.

“It is a pleasure to have a full Board with Ms. Ksenia Trinchenko, the new member from the Russian Federation. Thank you all for travelling long distances from all regions of the world. Your expertise and guidance will serve to further strengthen IITE and take it to the next level within the framework of its Medium-Term Strategy 2022-2025. We know how important the role of the Board is — not just to provide oversight but also strategic direction and to open up new opportunities for fund raising and visibility. This has been a very challenging time for everyone. Even so, our profound gratitude to the Russian Federation for their continued support, both financial and intellectual. Thanks to ADG for Education, Ms. Stephania Giannini, for her direction and constant encouragement. The Director and his colleagues have demonstrated that IITE is a resilient team that responds to the needs of Member States and delivers results. Our warm tribute to them”, cited from the Statement of the Chair.

Ms. Stefania Giannini, UNESCO ADG for Education, made a statement where she stressed the important role of IITE and its contribution to UNESCO global strategies. She also highlighted new opportunities for IITE within the framework of transforming education initiatives, in particular the Gateway to Public Digital Learning. The Secretary General of Russian Commission for UNESCO, Ms. Tatiana Dovgalenko and the new GB member from Russia, Ms. Ksenia Trinchenko, Director of Department of International Cooperation from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education presented online statements, which included highlights and achievements of the Institute, suggestions to the programme activities and continued support to the Institute. Other representatives of the host country from the National Commission, Ms. Ksenia Gaverdovskaya, Permanent Delegation, Mr. Nikita Shalygin, and Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Ms. Alena Nikolaeva, also participated in GB meeting.

All reports were adopted and decisions made during the 23rd Session of the Governing Board meeting. IITE GB members stressed that IITE has done impressive work collectively with its global partners in supporting Member States, policy makers, teachers and mobilizing youth. During the Session, GB members also provided further comments on IITE’s partnership and fundraising, programme priority and focus, enhancing visibility, collaboration with UNESCO HQs and the Russian Federation – the Host Country and other relevant issues. It was decided by the GB that in December 2023 a virtual working meeting of GB would be organized.

During the first day of the meeting, a Collaboration Roundtable was also organized with participation of colleagues of UNESCO HQs from ED, CI and PAX Sectors. Colleagues from ED Sector, Mr. Manos Antoninis, Director of Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, Mr. Fengchun Miao, Chief of Unit for Technology and AI in Education, Ms. Justine Sass, Chief of Section of Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality, Mr. Gwang-Choi Chang, Chief of Section of Education Policy, Ms. Joanna Herat, Chief of Section of Health and Education, a.i, and Ms. Xianhong Hu, Programme Specialist, Division for Digital Inclusion and Policies and Digital Transformation, CI Sector and  Ms. Magalie Lebretom-Traore, Senior Consultant, Contextual Analysis and Foresight Unit, PAX Sector made presentations on their respective activities and shared ideas and collaboration opportunities with IITE GB members and IITE team.

The IITE Governing Board usually meets at least once a year to define the general policy of the Institute, to approve the IITE Programme Activities and Budget as well as to provide guidance on the Institute’s operations.

Members of IITE Governing Board are appointed by the Director-General of UNESCO on a geographical distribution and gender balance, are chosen for their eminence in the field and sit in a personal capacity.

The list of current IITE GB Members

Chair of IITE Governing Board:

Ms. Asha Singh Kanwar, President and Chief Executive Officer, Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Canada

Vice Chair of IITE Governing Board:

Mr. Mohamed Jemni, Director of ICT Department at the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALESCO), Professor of Computer Science and Educational Technologies, University of Tunis, Tunisia

Members of IITE Governing Board:

Ms. Nicola Jane Gray, Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair on Global Health and Education, Vice President of International Association for Adolescent Health and Trustee of UK Association for Young People’s Health, UK

Mr. Didier Jourdan, UNESCO Chair on Global Health and Education, Professor and Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research in Education and Health, INSPE Clermont-Auvergne, France

Ms. Tone Lisbeth Mork, Chair of the Commission on Education of Rehabilitation International (RI), Norway

Ms. Maria Cecília Calani Baranauskas, Professor at the University of Campinas, Brazil

Mr. Dato’ Dr. Ansary Ahmed, Founder President of Asia eUniversity (AeU), Malaysia

Mr. Dejian Liu, Founder and Chairman of NetDragon, Co-Dean of Smart Learning Institute of Beijing Normal University, China

Mr. Ricaud Auckbur, Acting Chief Technical Officer of the Ministry of Education of Mauritius, Mauritius

Ms. Dorothy Gordon, Chair of UNESCO Information for All Programme (IFAP), Ghana

Ms. Ksenia Trinchenko, Director of Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Russian Federation