Rebecca Winthrop is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Universal Education. She is the former head of education for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid NGO. Her research focuses on education in the developing world, with special attention to the skills children need to succeed in life, and improving quality learning for the most marginalized children and youth, including girls and children affected by extreme violence.
Dr. Winthrop works to promote equitable learning issues for young people in developing countries. She advises governments, international institutions, foundations, and corporations on education and development issues, and provides guidance to a number of important education policy actors. Prior to joining Brookings in June 2009, Dr. Winthrop spent 15 years working in the field of education for displaced and migrant communities, most recently as the head of education for the International Rescue Committee. There she was responsible for the organization’s education work in over 20 conflict-affected countries. She has been actively involved in developing the evidence base around and global attention to education in the developing world. In her prior position, she helped develop global policy for the education in emergencies field, especially around the development of global minimum standards for education in contexts of armed conflict and state fragility.
Select recent publications include Millions Learning: Scaling Up Quality Education in Developing Countries with Jenny Perlman Robinson; What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment with Gene B. Sperling; Why Wait 100 Years? Bridging the gap in global education, with Eileen McGivney.
She was educated at Columbia University, Teachers College (Ph.D., 2008), Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (MA, 2001), and Swarthmore College, (BA, 1996).