Margo O’Sullivan – CEO
With extensive insights and understanding of education and development, over a 33-year career to date, Margo has contributed to improving children’s lives through education by working with NGOs, bilateral and multi-lateral organisations, Ministries of Education, universities, and schools in 13 countries in Africa, Asia, Pacific and Europe. Her passion for and commitment to education and the difference it can make to the most disadvantaged children’s lives was ignited during her first job as a primary teacher 33 years ago, which was in a disadvantaged school in Ireland. She has led many teams and managed numerous large education projects, especially in the last ten years when she was Head of Education for UNICEF China and Uganda. Prior to joining UNICEF Uganda, she worked as a technical advisor in TIETD for almost three years from 2007-2009, supporting, in particular, the revising of Primary Teacher Education Curriculum and implementation of the Lower Primary curriculum. She regularly presents, including keynote addresses, at international conferences and has also published widely in internationally renowned journals, especially in area of teaching and learning, teacher education, and the critical role of teachers. She believes that teachers are the key to development and is particularly interested in what goes on in classrooms i.e. teaching and learning quality and capacity building. In light of her interest and belief in the key role of teachers in quality education for every child, she set up “Power Teachers Africa” with colleagues from Uganda, Ireland, China, US, Zambia and Australia. She has also set up with two colleagues an education project development and consultancy company, Education and Development Solutions, from which some of the profits will support Power Teachers Africa.
Some key achievements over her career include: setting up the Quality Assurance Office and the Teaching and Learning Unit while Associate Vice-President at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick, in 2005/2006; involved in setting up the first B.Ed. degree for women in the United Arab Emirates in 1999/2000; influencing the earmarking of some of the 100million GPE funds for Uganda to support ECD 3-6; Spearheading MoE focus on addressing Violence against Children in Schools in Uganda; Spearheaded the introduction of faith-based supported community ECD centres in Uganda, taken on board nationally by MoE in 2017; in 2016, Co-led the UN China Youth group and led the UN China’s most successful advocacy activity ever, “#Imagine 2030” to raise awareness of SDGs, which received 700 million hits; in 2017 engaged and worked with UNICEF’s most successful education advocate ever, Wang Yuan, a 16 year old boy-band member, who was voted one of Time magazines’ to 30 most influential youth in 2017; UNICEF Uganda and China’s Child friendly school standards incorporated into Ministry of Education’s (MoE) national school standards in both countries; the roving school-based teacher training approach included in national MoE rural teacher training plan in China to impact 3.3 million rural teachers by 2020.
The CEO is supported by two interns, Devon Hsiao and Joseph Kyeyune
Devon is programme coordinator for Power Teachers Africa. Devon Hsiao graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2019 with a B.A. in Humanities, party of a program where students self-design their coursework. Her thesis, based on 2 months of field work in Kampala, Uganda, is titled “No place we won’t go: Analyzing the Intimate China-Africa Through Chinese Traders in Kampala, Uganda”, and a revised version of it is currently under review for publication. Her professional and academic interests largely center around China-Africa interactions, including Chinese educational aid to the continent as well as trade and investments. Previously, she produced a research blog post for the research team Innovations for Peace and Development titled “Is Chinese Investment in Kenyan Infrastructure Helping or Hurting. Coming from a family of teachers, she is excited to join the Power Teachers Africa team because she knows the power of education, and looks forward to building on her own research and communications skills. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and proficient in Korean and would like to try her hand at picking up some French. Additionally, after gaining some work experience, Devon is considering pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy in the future.
Joseph is a Programme Assistant for Power Teachers Africa. He is a 3rd year student at the Uganda Christian University pursuing a degree in Governance and International Relations. He has a Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education and will complete his 3-year degree in 2020. He also has has a certificate in Cisco Networking Basics. He has a particular interest in public policy and public relations, which are the two fields that are most highlighted in governance and international relations. He also has a special interest in education, especially education policy, as he understands the power of education, especially in low-income and emerging economies like his native Uganda, in enabling children to have better lives and to supporting development. He has experienced firsthand the power of good teachers in inspiring him and supporting him to his current place at university and hopefully enabling him to have the career he dreams of that supports development in Uganda and globally. For this reason, he is very happy to work with Power Teachers Africa. Every child needs good teachers, good teachers are key to quality education and development. Joseph has already completed work experience in the international development sector. In 2018, he undertook his first internship with Enabel, the Belgian Aid agency, supporting a project on Teacher Training for Secondary Teacher Education in Uganda as a data clerk entrant. In December 2018, he participated in data collection for a survey on teacher incentive good practices in Uganda. Joseph also participated in data collection with Lugie Institute in 2017. He completed his second internship at Case Medical Hospital as a customer care officer in 2019.