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Julia Gillard New Board Chair at Global Partnership for Education

- Former Australian Prime Minister takes on new role leading fundraising efforts to provide education to 57 million out-of-school children worldwide

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the only multilateral partnership devoted to getting all children in the world's poorest countries into school for a quality education, has appointed former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to be the new Chair of its Board of Directors.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140210/DC62291)

As Australia's Prime Minister from 2010 to 2013 and throughout her career in public office, including as Minister of Education, Gillard distinguished herself as a passionate and effective champion for education. In October 2013, she was named Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Center for Universal Education by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.  

In her new role with the Global Partnership for Education, she will advocate to get out-of-school children in some of the world's poorest countries in school for a quality education.

"I am delighted to take on this new role with the Global Partnership for Education," Gillard said. "I believe that with 57 million of the world's children still lacking access to a basic education and 250 million children unable to read, write or master simple math, there can be no higher priority. I am also alarmed about the recent sharp decline in donor support to education that threatens the progress achieved over the past decade, particularly for girls' education. The global community must respond generously to the upcoming call for a renewal of multilateral, bilateral and national financing for basic education."

"The Global Partnership has a proven track record of support and has delivered results in the world's poorest and most fragile countries," she added, "and I believe it is uniquely positioned to address the main challenges in global basic education." 

"The international community has a historic opportunity right now to build on the progress we've seen in global education over the last decade, and to tackle obstacles that impede countries' ability to deliver a quality basic education to all of their young people," Gillard said. "It is an honor to accept the role of Board Chair for the Global Partnership for Education. There is much to do and little time."

The Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education, Alice Albright, welcomed Ms. Gillard's appointment, calling her "one of the world's most articulate and effective advocates for improving access and quality of education for children in the poorest countries. She joins the Global Partnership for Education at a pivotal moment as we call on donor nations to increase their contributions at our June replenishment conference. Prime Minister Gillard will help us make the case that a strong commitment to replenishment this year will build on the momentum we've seen in global education over the last few years."

"Prime Minister Gillard follows in the impressive footsteps of our former Board Chair Carol Bellamy and Interim Chair Geeta Rao Gupta," Albright said. "All of us at the Global Partnership for Education are enormously grateful to them for the hard work, wisdom and powerful contributions to our success thus far."

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Julia Gillard comes to the Global Partnership for Education after a distinguished career of public service in Australia. She served as Prime Minister of Australia between 2010 and 2013 and successfully managed Australia's economy during the global economic crises and reformed Australia's education at every level.

The Global Partnership for Education is made up of nearly 60 developing country governments, as well as donor governments, civil society/non-governmental organizations, teacher organizations, international organizations, and the private sector and foundations, whose joint mission is to galvanize and coordinate a global effort to provide a good quality education to children, prioritizing the poorest and most vulnerable. www.globalpartnership.org

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