Our People

Our staff employs its extensive experience in government, policy research, think tanks and classroom teaching to advise governments, organisations and schools.

Dr Ben JensenCEO

Ben has advised governments in Australia, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia on education strategy and reform. Before founding Learning First in 2014, he was director of the Grattan Institute’s School Education Program. He also worked with numerous education systems across the world during five years at the OECD, where he conducted international research on education policy and school and teacher effectiveness.

Katie Roberts-HullDirector

Katie works on reform strategy for school systems, strengthening teacher professional development and evaluating school improvement. She has taught in a disadvantaged rural school in Texas under the Teach For America program, and worked in education policy role in the US at TNTP (formerly The New Teacher Project).

JACQUELINE MAGEEDirector

Jacqueline designs and implements strategies for improvement across systems. Her research is focused on the interactions between high-quality curriculum, teacher professional development and school improvement. Before joining Learning First, she managed the Centre for New Public Education at the Foundation for Young Australians, and taught at secondary schools in Melbourne's outer northern suburbs.

NICOLE MURNANESenior Associate

Nicole is working on teacher professional development, curriculum evaluation and reform, and school improvement in systems in Australia and overseas. Before joining Learning First, she taught science and biology for ten years in two Melbourne secondary schools, where she was also Science Learning Leader.

AARUSHI SINGHANIASenior Associate

Aarushi is working on teacher professional development, curriculum design and whole-system reform strategy. Before joining Learning First, she worked with Teach for India, Bangladesh and China in teaching and designing curriculum and pedagogy to promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

JAMES BUTTONCommunications Consultant

James works with Learning First and its clients to develop, through reports, policy briefs and blogs, a narrative of school reform told in strong stories and plain language. He spent 20 years as a journalist with The Age newspaper in Melbourne, was a speechwriter for former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and worked at the Grattan Institute.

DR ANNA CLARKLeadership Consultant

Anna works with Learning First’s leadership and training projects. A consultant with INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, she trains middle and senior managers in Asia, Europe and Australia on leadership development.