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UCLA Establishes New UNESCO Chair In Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education

(Feb.08, 2016, Los Angeles) – The UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies celebrated the establishment of a new United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education Monday night at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.


Speech of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova during the conference. 

The new UNESCO Chair was officially announced at a celebration honoring the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO featuring Director-General Irina Bokova.  She was welcomed by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and introduced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education will further the work of the University to understand and improve global learning and citizenship and its importance in protecting the environment.  The effort includes the development of a new UCLA initiative in Children’s Environmental Education with the UCLA Lab School and the UCLA Institute for Environment and Sustainability.

“We are very pleased to join with UNESCO in celebrating their 70th Anniversary and honored to partner with them in seeking to achieve their goals of global sustainability through the promotion of global education and citizenship,” said UCLA GSE&IS Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco.

“Improving global education and citizenship is critical to reducing poverty and inequality and key to protecting the environment. This new collaboration will greatly boost the efforts of UCLA to bring global citizenship education to a new level of excellence, rigor, and relevance,” Suárez-Orozco added.


Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Chair of International Advisory Committee of UNESCO-UCLA Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education; UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova; UCLA Distinguished Professor and UNESCO Chair holder Professor Carlos Alberto Torres; and Dr. Ana Elvira Steinbach Torres.

UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education Carlos Alberto Torres will serve as the inaugural UNESCO Chair. The work of the new chair will promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on global learning and global citizenship education and foster excellence and innovation in research and practice. The Chair will facilitate collaboration between high level internationally recognized researchers and teaching staff of the University and other institutions across the globe.

“It is a great honor to serve as the inaugural UNESCO Chair at UCLA,” said UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education Carlos Alberto Torres.  “This work is of critical importance and I look forward to collaborating with our UNESCO partners to place global citizenship education at the forefront of teaching and learning the world over.”

 At the event, global philanthropist and education leader Courtney Sale Ross was also honored as the inaugural recipient of the UCLA Global Citizen Award, which recognizes individuals making transformational change for children through visionary leadership in education in the global era.

“Courtney Sale Ross is a true pioneer championing transformational change,” said Dean Suarez-Orozco. “Ahead of her peers, she has recognized that preparing all students to meet the challenges of the 21st century requires an entirely new education model. We greatly admire her leadership in global learning and are honored to recognize her groundbreaking efforts.”

Guadalupe Francia

Guadalupe Francia

Associate Professor


  •  Associate Professor, Department of Education, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Senior lecturer (in Swedish: Högskolelektor) in the Department of Education, Uppsala University, from July 2005
  • Member of the Education Faculty Council, Uppsala university (2011-2017).
  • Guest teacher at the Master for Social Education Department of Education, Granada University since 2012

Other information:

  • Peer-reviewer for contributions for Network 25, Research on Children’s Rights in Education (EERA/ECER) since 2008
  • Expert of the Network of Experts on Social Aspect of Education and Training for the EU Commission, NESET (2011-2014);
  • Co-coordinator for symposium Education Policies in America Latina vid Congreso de Latin americanistas Brysell 2007)


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Education. Stockholm University

Research areas

  • Education policies in relation to Equity, Justice, Social Sustainability and Children’s rights.

Sofia Lerche Vieira

Sofia Lerche Vieira



  • Professor Education Graduate Programs at Nove de Julho University (Uninove), São Paulo and Ceará State University (UECE), Ceará, Brazil.
  • Senior researcher of National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
  • Professor Titular at Federal University of Ceará (UFC)
  • State Secretary of Education, Ceará.
  • Visiting Professor at University of International Integration of the Afro-Brazilian Lusophony (UNILAB), where was academic coordinator of UNESCO Chair in Education and Innovation for Solidarity-based Cooperation.

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Author of several books and articles about educational reforms and policies. Current research projects on impacts of educational policies in schools and schools with good performance in poor neighborhoods.


(Jan.30, 2016) – Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Global Forum shares his view on Global Citizenship Education which he believes would become one of important element to build sustainable peace and security in the Middle East.

Dr Carlos meeting with Deputy PM Vu Duc Dam

Dr. Carlos Alberto Torress, Chair of UNESCO-UCLA chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education (GCE) discussed with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister  Vu Duc Dam about promoting the GCE in Vietnam. 

Read Mr. Nguyen’ statement below.

The Boston Global Forum is gratified that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon supports the BGF’s Global Citizenship Education program.

In 2006, when I was  Chief Executive officer and Editor-in-chief of VietNamNet, I developed the idea of encouraging Vietnamese citizens to become global citizens. I believed that such a project would help Vietnam become a developed country. So I conducted a series of articles on global citizenship for VietNamNet.

I have since come to believe that Global Citizenship Education could become one of the most important ways to build sustainable peace and security in the Middle East.

How can we make it happen? The program would

  • Arrange for leaders of different religions – including Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and Hindus — to meet, talk and learn from each other as they discuss how to improve their fellow citizens’ lives, especially through education. The leaders should be encouraged to frequently resume their dialogues in order to continue to strengthen their mutual understanding over months and years. 
  • Make full use of technology, including the Internet and mobile phones, to organize the social networks that would provide a platform for Global Citizenship Education in the Mideast.
  • Make Global Citizenship Education content very flexible and accessible. For instance, this might include developing learning games to introduce people to the program’s principle.
  • Identify and nurture idealistic, highly intelligent and competent young adults to become leaders of the program’s educational campaign for peace and security. These young people would include volunteer leaders from G7 countries and the Middle East. They would help people in the region learn about the universal values of human rights as endorsed by the United Nations as well as the practical emotional, organizational and technological tools for applying these values in private life, business, government, schools and elsewhere to promote peace and strengthen a sense of shared community among people of different backgrounds in the Middle East
  • Persuade the G7 nations to support Global Citizenship Education financially and otherwise  to help develop peaceful, tolerant and prosperous civil societies, both for their intrinsic value for individual nations and to promote international peace and security.


Nguyen Anh Tuan is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Boston Global Forum ( and Chair of International Advisory Committee of UNESCO-UCLA Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education. 


When Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, launched in 2012 the Global Education First Initiative (GEFI), he envisioned education as the linchpin for reducing poverty and hunger, to end wasted potential–and as a key element for the development of stronger and better societies for all.[1] Three pillars support this initiative: putting every child into school, improving the quality of learning, and fostering global citizenship. The GEFI, currently being supported by UNESCO, has encouraged national government agencies, transnational and non-governmental organizations, teachers and researchers to pursue various policies, programs, and pedagogies for global citizenship education (GCE). However, many questions remain regarding the nature and possibility of education that can foster global citizenship.

Traditionally, citizenship education has been associated to ‘civic education’, that is the teaching of constitutional democracy. Three categories are associated with civics education: civic knowledge, which in the context of constitutional democracy entails the knowledge of basic concepts informing the practice of democracy such as public elections, majority rule, citizenship rights and obligations, constitutional separation of power, and the placement of democracy in a market economy that is used as the basic premises of civil society. The second category associated with citizenship building is civic skills, which usually mean the intellectual and participatory skills that facilitate citizenship’s judgment and actions. The last category is civic virtues, usually defined around liberal principles such as self-discipline, compassion, civility, tolerance and respect. Universities will face their own perish if they do not build national and global citizenship based on substantive civic knowledge, civic skills, and civic virtues.

The UCLA UNESCO chair will be delighted to work with the Boston Global Forum-G7 Summit Initiative addressing how Global Citizenship Education can help Peace and Security in the world.  In our Global Citizenship Education Chair at UCLA one of the key goals is to help build a culture for peace and security, and our recent work with UNESCO and the Arab League in Egypt exemplifies how important is this topic. We hope the G7 Summit in Japan in 2016 will discuss how to build a culture of peace and security, with a particular focus on the current Middle East situation.

Régis Malet

Régis Malet



  • Full professor of Comparative education in the University of Bordeaux, Graduate School of Education – Ecole Supérieure du Professorat et de l’Education (ESPE)
  • Director of the Laboratoire Cultures, Education, Sociétés (LACES EA4140) of the University of Bordeaux and deputy-director of the Graduate School of Education, in charge of international development and research.
  • Former director of the Faculty of Education in the University Charles de Gaulle of Lille and director of the Master’s degree in Education of the Faculty. 

 Awards, Honors, Fellowships

  • He has also been the President of the French-speaking Society of Comparative Education (AFEC) and the Editor of the international research journal “Éducation Comparée” for almost a decade.
  • Currently the Vice-Chair of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) Publications Standing Committee.
  • Member of the Canada Research Chairs College of Reviewers, a member of the French National Council of Universities (CNU), and produces expertise for ANR, COFECUB, FRQSC projects, European programs and French High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher education (HCERES).

Teaching and Research Interests

His fields of research include comparative education, education policy analysis, teachers’ education and youth identity & citizenship, domains in which he has an extensive publication record.

James H. Williams

James H. Williams, Ed.D.


  • Chair holder of the UNESCO Chair in International Education for Development at The George Washington University.
  • He has done extensive educational development work in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
  • He worked at USAID in the Africa Bureau for two years, has taught in Japan for a number of years and serves as Director of GW’s International Education Program.


  • Undergraduate degree in religion and East Asian studies
  • Masters degree in English language teaching
  • Doctorate from Harvard University in international educational planning, administration, and policy.

Teaching & Research Interests

  • He teaches classes in education and development.
  • His research interests include education and conflict; education for marginalized and conflict-affected populations; decentralization and administrative reform; education and health, equity and achievement in large cross-national data sets, and the internationalization of higher education.
  • His recent research includes work in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia as well as Japan, and, several years ago, the Philippines and Bangladesh. He is currently editing a series of books entitled (Re)Constructing Memory: School Textbooks, Identity, and the Politics and Pedagogies of Imagining Community.

Feb 8: The West Coast Celebration of The 70th Anniversary of UNESCO

January 27, 2016 



UCLA and its Graduate School of Education & Information Studies

are honored to invite you to

The West Coast Celebration of
The 70th Anniversary of UNESCO

Proceeds will benefit the new UCLA Children’s Environmental Education Initiative
and the vital work of the UCLA UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education

Ms. Irina Bokova
Director-General of UNESCO

Courtney Sale Ross

Global Philanthropist and Educational Visionary

Monday, February 8, 2016

6 pm Reception
7 pm Dinner and Program

The Skirball Cultural Center
2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90049

Business / Cocktail Attire
For ticket information, click here

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization. UCLA is honored to be partnering with UNESCO and together we recently announced the new UCLA UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education.

unnamed (1)UCLA Lab School Children in the Redwood Forest

Feb 8: International Research Conference on Global Citizenship Education at UCLA

(January 27, 2016) – The UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, and the Paulo Freire Institute-UCLA will host the conference held on Monday, February 8 in the Hacienda Room of the UCLA Faculty Center. 

The International Research Conference on Global Citizenship Education will provide a much-needed cooperative and dialogical academic space where over twenty international experts through regional perspectives and from multiple disciplines will present innovative approaches, best practices, and critiques concerning theories, methodologies, policies, and pedagogies of Global Citizenship Education.

The conference is open free for the UCLA community and beyond.

Questions regarding to the conference could be sent to

 More information about the Agenda and Speakers could be found here.

UCAL International research conference