Jutta Urpilainen

Jutta Urpilainen is appointed Chair of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report Advisory Board

Jutta Urpilainen has been appointed the new Chair of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report Advisory Board, taking over from H. E. David Moinina Sengeh, Chief Minister for Sierra Leone, who was Chair of the Board in 20212023.

Before being appointed as the EU Commissioner for International Partnerships in 2019, Urpilainen served as a longstanding Member of the Parliament of Finland. She was the first woman to chair the Social Democratic Party in Finland and the nation’s first female Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. Urpilainen’s commitment to building inclusive and equitable partnerships to support sustainable development and her championing of education will be critical in her role to chairing the GEM Report, as we approach the target year of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

As a former teacher, witnessing the transformative power of education, I have made education my top priority during my mandate as EU Commissioner for International Partnerships. I am very proud of the significant funding increase that we have achieved in that perspective: the share of education of the International Partnerships budget has risen from 7% to over 13%. I believe in leading by example and have been an active champion of financing global education as a member of the SDG 4 High-level Steering Committee.”

I am excited to take this position as Chair of the Advisory Board for the GEM Report, and to leverage these experiences, supporting the team’s strategy to drive impactful action on education to 2030 and beyond so that the global community invests more and better in education”, said Urpilainen. 

Established in 2002, the GEM Report is an editorially independent report, hosted and published by UNESCO. At the 2015 World Education Forum, it received a mandate from the world’s governments to monitor and report on progress on education in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of national and international strategies to help hold all relevant partners to account for their commitments, as part of the overall SDG follow-up and review process.

Her role as Chair will involve leading the annual meeting of the Advisory Board, which is convened in Paris every June, as well as supporting and advocating for the work of the GEM Report and the overall SDG 4 agenda. Along with David Moinina Sengeh, previous eminent Chairpersons include Helen Clark, Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Amina Mohammed.

“Data should guide actions. I am a strong believer that research and monitoring can fuel collaboration and ensure that investments in education are as impactful as possible,” she continued.

The Advisory Board consists of 35 members, made up of multilateral organisations, donors, regional experts, regional organisations, civil society organisations and independent experts.

The Advisory Board provides oversight, guidance and suggestions about:

  • the vision, purpose and objectives of the GEM Report and their consistency with SDG 4 and the Education 2030 Agenda
  • the national, regional and international context
  • future GEM Report themes, priorities and approaches
  • the long-term development of the GEM Report
  • the identification of problems, priorities and concerns
  • the quality and timeliness of SDG 4 statistics and data
  • sources of expertise, knowledge, information and funding
  • communications and outreach, including advocacy, publications and partnerships.

A new five-year strategy for the Report will be finalized at the first Advisory Board meeting being chaired by Ms Urpilainen this month, outlining the outputs to be prioritized between now and 2030 that will best support the international community to identify policy priorities for improving progress towards the SDG 4 agenda.

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