N’Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba

Professor N’Dri T. Assié-Lumumba

N’Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba is a Professor of African, African Diaspora and Comparative/International Education, social institutions, and the study of gender in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University. She is President of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES, 2016-2019), Vice-President of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) of UNESCOS’s Inter-governmental programme for the Management of Social Transformations (MOST), and past President of Comparative and International Education Society (CIES). She joined Cornell in 1991 as a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow and Ford Foundation/Africana Studies Fellow. She served as Director of the former Cornell Program on Gender and Global Change (GGC) and as Africana Studies Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). She is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Johannesburg and Extraordinary Professor in the Education Policy Studies Department at the Stellenbosch University (South Africa). She has been a Carnegie Diasporan Fellow at the University of Ghana (department of sociology), Visiting Professor at Hiroshima University (Japan), Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo, Research Affiliate at the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance of the University of Houston, Chercheur Associé at Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and Resident Fellow at the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris, France. With a Ph. D. in Comparative Education from the University of Chicago and 2 Masters and 2 BAs (License) (in History and Sociology from Université Lyon II in France, she has been active in research networks including CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa). She has published extensively articles in refereed journals and books on higher education, equity, gender, ICT for education and knowledge production.


Konai Helu Thaman

Professor Konai Helu Thaman

Konai is currently Professor of Pacific Education and Culture and was, until 2016, the UNESCO Chair in Teacher Education and Culture at the University of the South Pacific (USP). She was born and raised in Tonga where she received her primary and secondary education. She studied at the University of Auckland (BA in Geography), Auckland Secondary Teachers’ College (Teaching Diploma), the University of California at Santa Barbara (MA in International Education), and the University of the South Pacific (PhD in Education). She taught in high schools in Tonga and has been on the staff at the USP since 1974. She has researched and published widely in the areas Pacific curriculum, teacher education, indigenous education, women and university management, and more recently Pacific research frameworks and education for sustainable development. She has held a number of management positions at the USP including the Director of the Institute of Education, Head of the School of Humanities, and Pro Vice Chancellor. She is currently a member of the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee on the Recommendation on the Status of Teachers (CEART); a Fellow of the Asia Pacific Centre for Educational Innovations in Development (APEID) and was member of the UNESCO Asia Pacific Scientific Committee on Research in Higher Education, She is also a widely published poet whose work is studied by school children throughout the Pacific region and have been translated into several languages including Chinese, French, and German. She is married to Randy Thaman, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at USP. They have two adult children, and three grandchildren.