Dan Wagner

Professor and UNESCO Chair, University of Pennsylvania

Dan Wagner is the UNESCO Chair in Learning and Literacy, and Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the International Literacy Institute, co-founded by UNESCO and the University of Pennsylvania, Founding Director of the federally-funded National Center on Adult Literacy, and Director of PennGSE’s International Educational Development Program. After an undergraduate degree in Engineering at Cornell University, and voluntary service in the Peace Corps (Morocco), he received his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Michigan, was a two-year postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, a Visiting Fellow at the International Institute of Education Planning in Paris, a Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva (Switzerland), and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Paris.

Dr. Wagner has extensive experience in national and international educational issues, and has served as an advisor to UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, USAID, DFID, and others on international development issues. He is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, and American Anthropological Association. Among other honors, Dr. Wagner was a recipient of the UNESCO Confucius International Literacy Prize; was appointed Special Advisor on Literacy to the UNESCO Director-General; served as Chair of the Brookings Global Research Task Force on Learning; was appointed by the U.S. Department of State to be a Member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and was named a Literacy Award Honoree by the U.S. Library of Congress. He is the recipient of the Honorary Fellow Award of the Comparative and International Education Society.

His most recent multi-year projects have been in India, South Africa, and Morocco. In addition to over 200 professional publications, Dr. Wagner has written/edited over 25 books (in English, with translations into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Japanese). His recent books include Learning as Development: Rethinking International Education in a Changing World (Routledge, 2018) and Learning at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Science, measurement, and policy in low-income countries (UNESCO, 2018).

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