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Faculty & Research

Fernando Reimers

Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education

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 Coordinator:  Tilman Freitag


Fernando Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of the Practice of International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative at Harvard University. An expert in the field of Global Education, his research and teaching focus on understanding how to educate children and youth so they can thrive in the 21st century. He was a member of UNESCOs Commission on the Futures of Education which wrote the report Reimagining Our Futures Together. A New Social Contract for Education. He has developed curriculum aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which is in use in many schools throughout the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic he led numerous comparative studies examining the educational consequences of the pandemic and identifying options to sustain educational opportunity and to build back better. 
In the graduate courses he teaches at Harvard on education policy and educational innovation he has developed signature approaches to engage students to contribute solutions to challenging education issues. Most recently, these approaches have included the design of strategies to sustain educational opportunity during the pandemic and developing country specific strategies to improve education aligned with UNESCO’s Futures of Education Report. 
His current work focuses on educational innovation and on the impact of education policy, leadership, and teacher professional development on education that supports the holistic development of children and youth. He directs the Global Education Innovation Initiative, a cross-country research and practice collaborative focusing on education for the 21st century. He has written or edited 45 books, of which the most recent include: Education to Build Back Better, a comparative study of how we can use lessons from large scale education reform; Primary and Secondary Education during COVID-19, a comparative study on the educational impact of COVID-19; and University and School Collaborations during a Pandemic, a comparative study of the way in which universities in 20 countries partnered with schools to sustain educational opportunity during the pandemic.
As part of his commitment to advancing educational opportunity, he serves on multiple advisory boards and committees at Harvard, particularly focused in advancing the global mission of the University and enhancing the effectiveness of the university’s programs to address climate change. He has served on the Harvard faculty since 1998. Before that he worked at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, the Harvard Institute for International Development and the World Bank.

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


Reimers, F., Amaechi, U., Banerji, A. and Wang, M. (Eds.) Education to Build Back Better: What can we Learn from Education Reform for a Post-Pandemic World. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 2022.

Vincent-Lacrin, S., Cobo, Cristobal and Reimers, F. (Eds.) How Learning Continued during the COVID 19 Pandemic: Global Lessons from Initiatives to Support Learners and Teachers. Paris: OECD. 2022.

Reimers, F., Budler, T., Irele, I., Kenyon, C., Ovitt, S. and Pitcher, C. (Eds.) Advancing a New Social Contract for Education: Collaborations to Reimagine our Futures Together. Independently Published. 2022.

Reimers, F. (Ed.) Primary and Secondary Education During COVID-19. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 2021.

Reimers, F. and Marmolejo, F. (Eds.) University and School Collaborations During a Pandemic: Sustaining Educational Opportunity and Reinventing Education. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 2021.

Reimers, F. and Opertti, R. (Eds.) Learning to Build Back Better Futures for Education: Lessons from Educational Innovation During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Geneva. UNESCO: International Burau of Education. 2021.

Reimers, F., Amaechi, U., Banerji, A. and Wang, M. (Eds.) An Educational Calamity: Learning and Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic. 2021. Independently published.

Reimers, F. (Ed). Leading Education Through COVID-19: Upholding the Right to Education. 2020. Independently published.

Reimers, F. (Ed). Education and Climate Change. Springer. 2020. (published also in Spanish).

Reimers, F. (Ed). Implementing Deeper Learning and 21st century Education Reforms. Springer. 2020.

Reimers, F. Educating Students to Improve the World. Springer. 2020. (also published in Spanish and Turkish).

Reimers, F. (Ed). Audacious Education Purposes: How Governments Transform the Goals of Education Systems. Springer. 2020. (also published in Spanish).

Reimers, F. (Ed). Empowering teachers to build a better world: How Six Nations Support Teachers for 21st century Education. Springer. 2020. (also published in Portuguese and Spanish).

Reimers, F. (Ed). Letters to a New Minister of Education. Seattle, WA: KDP. 2019. (Published also in Portuguese and Spanish by Organization of Iberoamerican States).

Reimers, F. and C. Chung (Eds). Preparing Teachers to Educate Whole Students: An International Comparative Study. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Publishing. 2018. (Published in Spanish and Arabic).

Reimers, F. et al. Learning to Collaborate for the Global Common Good. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace. 2018.

Reimers, F., M.E. Ortega and P. Dyer. Learning to Improve the World: How Injaz Al-Arab Helps Youth in the Middle East Develop an Entrepreneurial Mindset. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace. 2018.

Reimers, F. et al. Empowering Students to Improve the World in Sixty Lessons. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace. 2017. (Published in Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Spanish.)

Reimers, F. (ed). Empowering All Students At Scale. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace. 2017. (Published in Portuguese and Spanish.)

Reimers, F., V. Chopra, C. Chung, J. Higdon and E.B. O’Donnell. Empowering Global Citizens. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace. 2016). (Published in Spanish in 2018 and Portuguese in 2017.)

Reimers, F. and C. Chung (eds). Teaching and Learning for the twenty first century. Cambridge. Harvard Education Press. 2016. (Published in Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.)

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

"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. 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).

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.

"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).

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

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