DR BEN JENSEN
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.
DR ANNA CLARK
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.
Danielle is leading a project for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that focuses on improving initial teacher education. She has advised on education research and policy for state and federal governments, and for five years led an indigenous education reform organisation in Cape York, Queensland.
Katie is working on how high-performing systems have reformed early school education, and on evaluating professional learning programs across systems. 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).
Tim is working with an Australian state on system-wide school reform and teacher development. He has worked in education policy and research in Australia and the United Kingdom, including coordinating school reform activities for the Victorian state government.
Jacqueline is team working with an Australian state on system-wide school reform and teacher development. Before joining Learning First she managed the Centre for New Public Education at the Foundation for Young Australians. She also worked as a classroom teacher at a government secondary school in Melbourne's outer northern suburbs.
DR PHOEBE DOWNING
Phoebe has produced a report for the US National Center on Education and the Economy on how the world’s high-performing systems have improved their school leadership. Her work focuses on system reform, with a focus on high-performing systems such as Canada, Singapore and China.
Samara is working on initial teacher education and is helping to develop a community of practice to address challenges faced by teacher educators around the world. She has co-authored a number of high profile reports, including the Grattan Institute’s Making time for great teaching and Turning around schools: it can be done.
Sanaya Khisty junior associate
Sanaya is helping to evaluate professional learning programs across schools in Victoria, and to design and implement reforms to improve initial teacher education around the world. Before coming to Learning First, she managed casework for a federal MP, primarily working with people from non-English speaking backgrounds.
Kate is our Business Manager and Accountant, and part of the management team. Formerly at KPMG, she provides financial and business management and strategic advice to the CEO, and is responsible for annual budget development, and monitoring and records management..
James Button Director communications and strategy
James is working with Learning First and its clients to develop a narrative of school reform, told in strong stories and plain language. He spent 20 years as ajournalist with The Age newspaper in Melbourne, was a speechwriter for former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and worked at the Grattan Institute.