Over his nearly 40-year career, Joshua has worked domestically and internationally with a panoply of institutions dedicated to creating better futures for children, their parents, and communities. This journey has taken him from school classrooms in suburban Philadelphia to living in two refugee settlements in the remote reaches of Sudan, and to many other locations in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia in between. In education, Joshua has combined work with classroom teachers, local authorities, communities, and central system leaders to improve the quality of delivery and outcomes in areas such as classroom instruction, learning assessment, gender equity and inclusion, technical and vocational training, literacy, and many other aspects. He has also worked in the areas of economic development, gender equality, agriculture, water, sanitation, and health (WASH), refugee relief, and integrated community development, among others.
In all of his work, Joshua maintains a laser focus on systems change that moves beyond policy and plans to real and lasting improvements in classrooms, communities, and beyond.
An accomplished educator, thinker, doer, and researcher, Joshua has published and presented widely. Most recently a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Senior Education Officer at the Aga Khan Foundation, he completed his doctoral and master’s studies in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania and received his B.A. at Dartmouth College, where he majored in French Literature and minored in Anthropology.
Why did you decide to work at Geneva Global?
I was excited to join Geneva Global due equally to the solid quality and relevance of their current programs and to the opportunity to work with a group of outside partners and clients who bring a passion, a sense of innovation, and a solid understanding of risk which is commonly absent with traditional bilateral and multilateral donors. Geneva Global’s existing projects focused on the nonformal education “Speed School” model represent an essential approach to attaining the global commitment to education for all which most traditional donors continue to dismiss. The prospects for extending such “outside-the-box” thinking to tackle the critical aim of providing high quality, relevant education to all children with Geneva Global’s current and future partners is extremely exciting.
How many countries have you visited?
My older son and I share a goal of having been to as many countries as we have accumulated years of age. I am ahead of my goal, having just visited my 70th country. (I’ll not say how far ahead.)
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The favorite part of my job is working with teachers and local education officers to help them discover their full potential and that of their students, finding ways to situate the formal curriculum within the local context to equip children not just as capable test-takers but as productive, engaged, fulfilled social, economic, and cultural actors. My aim is to support teachers and the systems within which they work to liberate the creativity and initiative of all. Seeing this operate in schools and the classroom in a durable way keeps me excited
What’s your best travel advice?
Smile! When I am traveling in a new place and don’t feel fully confident, I find that smiling and greeting folks on the street, in shops, and in other locations usually echoes back with smiles. They are as uncertain with me as a stranger as I am with them, but a smile usually eases everyone’s tension or doubts.