Information For:

Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

Faculty & Research

Fernando Reimers

Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education
Faculty Director, International Education Policy

Fernando Reimers

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, (1988)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.496.4817
Fax:  617.496.3095
Personal Site:   Link to Site
Vitae/CV:   Fernando Reimers.pdf
Office:  Gutman 461
Office Hours Contact:  Email the Faculty Assistant to set up the appointment
Faculty Assistant:  Lee A. Marmor


Fernando M. Reimers studies and teaches about innovative education policies and programs that help students develop competencies necessary for civic participation, work and life in the 21st century. He also works in the area of global citizenship education and in how to align education policies with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Reimers teaches a graduate course that examines the core global education challenges and the role of policy analysis in addressing them, and a course on educational innovation that supports social entrepreneurs in generating and scaling up programs that enhance the relevance of education to the challenges of our times. He chairs an annual Think Tank on Global Education, a Professional Education program that examines state of the art practices and programs to help students gain global competency.

He also directs the Global Education Innovation Initiative, a cross-national effort to support the improvement of public education towards greater relevance in helping students develop the cognitive and socio-emotional competencies essential to thrive in the 21st century.

Publications and more information about his academic work is available on his personal website. With his graduate students, Reimers has developed various innovative K-12 curriculum resources designed to developed competencies aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. He also writes a series of children’s books to foster intergenerational conversations about inclusive values.

Reimers is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, and a fellow of the International Academy of Education. He chairs the board of World Teach, and serves on the boards of Facing History and OurselvesTeach for All, and other educational organizations.

Click here to see a full list of Fernando Reimers' courses.

Areas of Expertise

Comparative Education

Education Leadership

Global Education

Twenty First Century Skills

Educational Innovation

Education Policy

Sponsored Projects


21st Century Learning in Diverse Education Systems: A Multi-nation Case Study (2014-2017)
Jacobs Foundation

Currently, the dominant conversation about how to prepare students for a globally interdependent world focuses mostly on cognitive skills. While there is an emerging consensus that a broader range of skills are necessary to face economic, environmental, technological, political and social challenges of our time, the question of how specifically to develop such skills has received less attention. Most of the current research is at the granular, curricular level, focusing on the particular cognitive skills and there exists little by the way of international comparative case studies that looks at the processes by which a balance of cognitive, interpersonal, and intrapersonal skills are developed in students. In such a context, this research project will address how educators in diverse education systems define and practice an education that is relevant to the 21st century. How do educational policymakers and practitioners in various high performing and rapidly improving countries conceptualize their understanding of the goals and purposes of education for an increasingly interdependent world in the 21st century? How are these ideas put to practice in exemplary educational programs? The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Global Education Innovation Initiative will conduct the study with partner institutions in Brazil, Chile, China, India, Israel, Mexico, and Singapore. The research will include a content analysis of national curriculum frameworks and standards, interviews with senior policy makers and other educational leaders, and qualitative studies of exemplary programs in each of these countries. The two-year project will produce eight country case studies and a cross-case analysis.


Reimers, F., N. Cooc and J. Hashmi. 2012. Adapting Innovations Across Borders to Close Equity Gaps in Education. In Hyman, J. (Ed). Increasing Equity in Education. Oxford University Press.,(2012)

Reimers, F. (2012). “Innovative Universities” Revista. David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Harvard University. Fall 2012.,(2012)

Reimers, F. (2010) “Pathways for Change. Educational Innovation in Latin America” Americas Quarterly. Fall 2010.,(2010)

Reimers, F. and C. Chung. (2010) “Teaching Human Rights in times of Peace and Conflict”. Development. 53(4),(2010)

Reimers, F. (2010). Education au cosmopolitisme et à la paix. Raisons Educatives, Vol. 14.,(2010)

Reimers, F. “Building Entrepreneurial Organizations to make learning in school relevant” Innovations 2010 vol 5, 2. 53-56.,(2010)

Reimers, F. and S. Cardenas. Youth Civic Engagement in Mexico. In Torney-Purta, J. et al. (Editors). 2010. International Handbook of Youth Civic Engagement. John Wiley and Sons.,(2010)

Reimers, F. Educating for Global Competency. In Cohen, J. and M. Malin (Editors). 2009. International Perspectives on the Goals of Universal Basic and Secondary EducationRoutlege Press.,(2009)

Reimers, F. “Enlightening Globalization. An Opportunity for Continuing Education” Continuing Higher Education Review.September 2009 (volume 73).,(2009)

Reimers, F. and F. Knaul. Mexico. In Epstein, Irving (Editor). 2008. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Children's Issues Worldwide.,(2008)

Reimers, F. and J. Jacobs. 2008. Leer (Comprender y Aprender ) y Escribir para Comunicarse. Desafios y Oportunidades para los Sistemas Educativos. Madrid. Editorial Santillana.,(2008)

Reimers, F. “Civic education when democracy is in flux: The impact of empirical research on policy and practice in Latin America.” Citizenship and Teacher Education Vol 3, No. 2, December 2007.,(2007)

Reimers, F. and S. Cardenas “Who benefits from School Based Management in Mexico.” Prospects. March 2007.,(2007)

Reimers, F. and E. Villegas-Reimers. Educating democratic citizens in Latin America. In Kagan, J. and L. Harrington (Eds.) Essays in Cultural Change. Pp 95-114. Routledge. 2006.,(2006)

Reimers, F. Social Progress in Latin America. Victor Bulmer-Thomas and John Coatsworth (Eds.). Cambridge Economic History of Latin America. Vol II. Pp. 427-480. Cambridge University Press. 2006.,(2006)

Reimers, F. Principally Women. Gender in the Politics of Mexican Education. In Randall, L. (ed.) The Changing Structure of Mexico. Pp. 278-294. M.E. Sharpe Publishers. 2006.,(2006)

Reimers, F. (Ed.) 2006. Aprender Mas y Mejor. Politicas, Programas y Oportunidades de Aprendizaje en Educacion Basica en Mexico. Fondo de Cultura Economica. México City.,(2006)

Reimers, F. “Citizenship, Identity and Education. Examining the Public Purposes of Schools in an Age of Globalization” Prospects. Vol. XXXVI, No 3. September 2006.,(2006)

Reimers, F. “Teaching Quality Matters. Pedagogy and Literacy Instruction of Poor Students in Mexico” Harvard Education Review. 2006.,(2006)

“Principally Women,” in The Changing Structure of Mexico (ed. by L. Randall),(2005)

"The Social Context of Educational Evaluation in Latin America," in International Handbook of Educational Evaluation (ed. by D. Nevo and D. Stufflebeam),(2003)

Reimers, F. “War, Education and Peace” Prospects. Vol. XXXIII, no 1. March 2003.,(2003)

Reimers, F. Compensatory Education Policies and Programs in Latin America. In Guthrie, J. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Education, Second Edition. Macmillan Publishers.,(2002)

Unequal Schools, Unequal Chances: The Challenges to Equal Opportunity in the Americas at the End of the XX Century, Spanish translation available,(2000)

"Educational Opportunities for Low-Income Families in Latin America," Prospects,(1999)

"Educational Chances of the Poor at the End of the XX century," Prospects,(1999)

Informed Dialogue: Changing Education Policies Around the World, Spanish translation available (with N. McGinn),(1997)

"Education and Structural Adjustment: Unmet Needs and Missed Opportunities," in Education and Development: Tradition and Innovation (ed. by J. Lynch, C. Modgil, and S. Modgil),(1997)

Reimers, F. "Changing schools through participatory knowledge management in El Salvador: Can education systems learn?" in Chapman, D., L. Mahlck and A. Smulders (Eds.) From planning to action: Government initiatives to improve school level practice. London: Elsevier. 1997.,(1997)

"Where are 60 Million Teachers? The Missing Voice in Educational Reforms Around the World," Prospects (with E. Villegas-Reimers),(1996)

Hope or Despair? Primary Education in Pakistan (with D. Warwick),(1995)

Education, Adjustment and Reconstruction: Options for Change, Spanish and French translations available (with L. Tiburcio),(1993)


Director, Facing History and Ourselves,(2018-present)

Faculty Associate, Center for International Development, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,(2002-present)

Executive Committee, David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University,(1998-present)

Massachusetts Board of Higher Education,(2012-)

US Commission for UNESCO. United States Department of State.,(2012-)

Board of Directors Room to Read,(2009-)

Fellow, International Academy of Education,(2007-)

Advisory Board of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Academy of Sciences,(2006-)

Advisory Board of the Federal Institute for the Evaluation of the Quality of Education in Mexico,(2006-)

Advisory Board for the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices at the Organization of American States,(2005-)

Council of Foreign Relations,(2005-)

Fellow of the International Academy of Education,(2005-)

News Stories
Professional Education Programs