Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope is the Director of UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) in Geneva, Switzerland. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Chicago, a MA in Education from Pennsylvania State University, and a BA from the University of Botswana and Swaziland. Her professional career includes: 11 years university professorship; 10 years at the World Bank; 10 years in the United Nations; extensive advisory and consultancy services for governments, regional economic communities, regional research networks, ministries of education, bilateral and multilateral agencies; managing international research capacity development networks; and the civil service.
In recent years, she gained eminence as a global thought leader on the future of education and learning; the future of education and jobs; and future competences all global citizens require to thrive in rapidly changing 21st century work and life contexts. She is an avid advocate for closer engagement with the private sector, especially the technology sector, and the science sector in shaping the future of education, and in shaping the future through education. She continues to lead global intellectual dialogue on ensuring that education and learning systems attain and sustain credible scientific underpinning, future development-relevance; agility to adapt; equitable quality; resource efficiency; technology-savvy; and sustainability. She strongly holds that these parameters of education and learning systems are an inescapable foundation for broad-based and future-responsive human resources development, and for the long-term human capital accumulation required to assure every global citizen holistic development, and ultimately, fulfillment.
Dr. Marope calls for stronger private sector engagement in the transformation of education and learning systems into life-long-learning systems in their own right before they can be counted on to develop effective life-long-learners who are ready for unpredictable futures. She holds that such transformation demands 21st century education and learning systems to have capacity for: better use of science, technology, and big data to guide their futures; rigorous systemic diagnostics; research; foresight; and constant self-renewal. The transformation also demands normative and operational tools, as well as enabling institutional landscapes than currently exist. Dr. Marope works relentlessly to develop normative and operational tools required to support the transitioning of education and learning systems into the 21st century. These include systemic diagnostic tools, system prototypes, new global norms and standards, and futuristic models. In future, she seeks to intensify engagement with the private sector, and foundations in convening and mobilizing global talent and intellectual pool; as well as the political, technical, technological, moral, ethical, and financial capital required to create institutions that can enable future transformation of education and learning systems.
Throughout her career, Dr. Marope has built extensive experience at all levels and types of education, learning, and training systems. She is also highly experienced in the knowledge creation, brokerage and management required to underpin system transformation. Her publications cover a wide range of areas including: global norms and standard setting tools; system diagnostic tools; system prototypes; all sub-sectors of education, learning, and training systems; future global competences; education and development; capacity development; and award winning Setswana novels.