Pilar Alegría Continente

Minister of Education and Vocational Education and Training

Pilar Alegría Continente has been the Minister of Education and vocational Education and Training of the Spanish Government since July 2021.

Born in La Zaida, Zaragoza, in 1977, Ms. Alegría graduated in Teaching, specializing in Primary Education, in the University of Zaragoza and holds a Master’s Degree in Advanced Studies in Social Education from the Complutense University of Madrid.

She was a member of the Congreso de los Diputados, the lower house in the Spanish Parliament, during the IX and X legislatures (2008-2015). Also, in 2015 she was part of the Regional Government of Aragon as Minister of Innovation, Research and University, being also a member of the regional courts from 2015 to 2019.

In 2019 she ran as the candidate for the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) in the municipal elections of Zaragoza, which was the most voted force. Later on, she served as spokesperson of the socialist group in the City Council of Zaragoza until February 2020, when she was appointed as the Delegate of the Government in the region, a responsibility she held until July 2021.

She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Pablo Iglesias Foundation.

Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional
Education International

David Edwards

General Secretary, El

David Edwards, PhD is General Secretary of Education International, a federation of 32 million teachers and other educators affiliated with unions and associations in 173 countries globally. David became General Secretary in 2018 after seven years as El’s deputy general secretary directing education policy, advocacy, research and communications.

Prior to joining El, David was an Associate Director at the National Education Association of the United States. He has worked as an Education Specialist at the Organization of American States and began his career as a public high school teacher.

David grew up in Pennsylvania. He is fluent in Spanish and German and is conversant in French. His Doctorate in Educational Policy and Leadership is from the University of Maryland in the U.S. Away from the commitments of work, he devotes his time to his wife and three daughters.

Education International

Susan Hopgood

President, El

Susan Hopgood is both President of Education International (El) and the Federal Secretary of the Australian Education Union (AEU).

Susan started her career teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Victoria, Australia, in 1974. She joined what is now the AEU as a young teacher, and became an active member and union representative at the school, regional and state levels. In 1985, she began working with the union in the position of women’s officer, a job she held until 1993.

Since then, Susan has held a number of positions in the education union, such as branch general secretary, AEU federal women’s officer, and deputy federal secretary. She was elected federal secretary of the AEU in 2006, the first woman to achieve that position.

In her work at El, Susan is active at both international and regional levels. She was elected as an El vice-president at the El World Congress in Thailand, in 2001, and then re-elected in Brazil, in 2004, and in Berlin, Germany, in 2007. She was appointed as president by the Executive Board in 2009 when the then president, Thulas Nxesi, resigned to be become a South African Minister. In 2011, she was elected unopposed as president at the El World Congress in South Africa.

Active at the regional level, Susan was elected vice-chairperson of El’s Asia-Pacific Regional Committee in 2000, and was twice re-elected, in 2003 and 2006.

She has also been involved in the Council of Pacific Education, holding the position of vice-president from 1998 to 2006.

Education International

Mathias Cormann

Secretary-General of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD

Mathias Cormann is the 6th Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

His five-year term commenced on 1 June 2021.

Prior to his appointment to the OECD, Mathias served as the Australian Minister for Finance, the Leader of the Government in the Australian Senate and as Federal Senator representing the State of Western Australia.

In these roles, he has been a strong advocate for the positive power of open markets, free trade and the importance of a rules-based international trading system.

Mathias was born and raised in the German-speaking part of Belgium.

He migrated to Australia in 1996, attracted by the great lifestyle and opportunities on offer in Western Australia.

Before migrating to Perth, Mathias had graduated in law at the Flemish Catholic University of Louvain (Leuven), following studies at the University of Namur and, as part of the European Erasmus Student Exchange Program, at the University of East Anglia.

Between 1997 and 2003, he worked as Chief of Staff as well as Senior Adviser to various State and Federal Ministers in Australia and for the Premier of Western Australia. Between 2003 and 2007, Mathias worked for major Western Australian health insurer HBF in a range of senior management roles. In 2001, realising a childhood dream, Mathias obtained his private pilot’s licence.

Mathias grew up speaking German and graduated in law following studies in French, Flemish and English.

He is married to Hayley, a Perth lawyer, and they have two young daughters, Isabelle and Charlotte.


Andreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He initiated and oversees the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and other international instruments which create a global platform for policy-makers, researchers and educators to innovate and transform educational policies and practices. He has worked for over 20 years with Ministers and educational leaders around the world to improve quality and equity in education. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said about Andreas in The Atlantic (7/2011) that “He understands the global issues and challenges as well as or better than anyone I’ve met, and he tells me the truth”. Secretary of State Michael Gove in the United Kingdom called Andreas “the most important man in English education”, never mind that he is German and lives in France. Andreas is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded for “exemplary democratic engagement” in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany. He holds an honorary professorship at the University of Heidelberg.


Anthony Mackay

Anthony Mackay is CEO and Board Co Chair of the Washington DC based National Center on Education and the Economy. He was Inaugural Chair Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), Inaugural Deputy Chair of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), and immediate past Chair, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). He is Co Chair of the National Project, Learning Creates Australia .

Anthony is Deputy Chancellor, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, Honorary Senior Fellow of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne and visiting Professor to the International Centre for Educational Enhancement, University of Bolton UK.

Anthony is cofounder of the Global Education Leaders Partnership (GELP), and Foundation Board Chair of the Innovation Unit Ltd, England.

He is an Expert Advisor to OECD/CERI, Consultant Advisor to Asia Society’s Global Cities Education Network and Senior Fellow IBE/ UNESCO.

Anthony is the Moderator of the Annual International Summit on the Teaching Profession and Moderator of Ministerial Sessions and Key Debates at the Annual World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE).