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Emiliana Vegas Joins HGSE Faculty

She will begin her appointment as professor of practice on July 1, 2022, bringing deep expertise in global education policy.
Emiliana Vegas

Dean Bridget Long has announced that Emiliana Vegas, Ed.M.'96, Ed.D.'01, will join the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education as a professor of practice. Vegas, who will begin in her role at HGSE on July 1, 2022, was most recently the senior fellow of global economy and development and co-director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution.  

"I am thrilled to welcome Emiliana back to HGSE," says Long. “Her expertise in education policy in low- and middle-income countries and her professional experience, often working directly with governments to implement and evaluate education reforms, will be incredibly valuable to our community. We look forward to Emiliana’s contributions to our programs and students and her insight as we expand our global reach and engagement.”

Prior to Brookings, Vegas was the division chief of education at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. for seven years and worked in various roles at The World Bank from 1998 through 2012. In these and other roles throughout her career, Vegas has championed the importance of early-childhood education, teacher effectiveness, and systemic change to help ensure all children reach their full potential.

“I was convinced the only way to improve people’s chances and a country’s development chances was a good education for everyone,” Vegas told the Harvard EdCast. “[In order to do so], educators needed to understand the world of incentives and how the flow of resources affects what people do and how they do it.”

Vegas' work has focused on the development and use of empirical evidence to support education policy in low- and middle-income countries, often working directly with governments in the context of education reforms. She has focused in particular on policies that impact teacher quality, on the role of various investments in education, and on strengthening institutional capacity. Recently she has turned her attention to the COVID-19 pandemic’s likely long-term effects in low-income countries.

At HGSE, Vegas will teach in the Global, International, and Comparative Education concentration, as well as the Education Policy and Analysis master's program. Her courses will focus on education policy in Latin America and the economics of education in the developing world. 

"I am excited to return to HGSE after over 20 years working on research and practice to inform education policy in developing countries," says Vegas. "I am looking forward to working with faculty, staff and students to expand HGSE’s impact on education globally and, especially, to improve student learning among the most disadvantaged children and youth worldwide."

Vegas has authored or co-authored several books, including The Promise of Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean and Raising Student Learning in Latin America: The Challenge for the 21st Century. In addition to her Ed.D. from Harvard, Vegas holds a master’s degree in public policy studies from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism from Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela.