Monday, January 15, 2007

Peter Plympton Smith

PETER PLYMPTON SMITH, UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Education, is the highest ranking U.S. citizen on the UNESCO staff. He took up the duties as Assistant Director-General on 20 June 2005.

Educational Qualifications:
Dr. Smith served as Assistant to the Commissioner of Education of Vermont, then in 1970 founded and served as President of the Community College of Vermont (1970-78), concurrently serving as Director, Office of External Programmes of the Vermont State Colleges (1975-76). In 1986, he became Vice President (1986-1988) of Norwich University, Vermont. Between 1991 and 1994, he served as Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) at George Washington University. From 1994 to 2005 he 1994, he was the Chief Executive Officer and Founding President of California State University, Monterey Bay.

Dr. Smith received an M.A. degree in teaching (1970) and doctoral degree (Ed.d) in Education Administration, Planning and Social Policy (1984) both from Harvard University.
Dr. Smith served as State Senator (1980-1982), Lieutenant Governor (1982-1986), and a Member of the U. S. House of Representatives (1989-1990) for the state of Vermont. During his tenure as Congressman-at-large, he served on the Education and Government Operations Committee and on the Select Committee on Children and Youth.
Read Dr. Smiths biography on the UNESCO website or his entry in Wikipedia.

Since his arrival at UNESCO, Dr. Smith has been very much involved in the reform of the educational sector. The Director-General and the Executive Board asked Dr. Smith as he assumed his post to create a decentralized, result-oriented Education Sector that operates more effectively and accountably in achieving its mission. They also asked him to work with the education sector staff to develop an Action Plan and a Management Framework for Education For All (EFA). Navigant Consulting, Inc., a U.S. consulting firm, is reported to have been contracted to advise on the reform. Progress is reported to have been good so far in the planning and reform process.

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