Andrew (Andy) Cunningham is the Global Education Advisor with the Aga Khan Foundation based at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Andy co-leads AKF’s global education portfolio, working in partnership with governments, school faculties, parents and communities to develop affordable, innovative solutions that raise the quality and accessibility of public school systems for marginalized children across 16 countries in Eastern and Western Africa, Central and Southern Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He oversees AKF’s global education improvement program for children in primary and secondary education alongside identifying meaningful uses of ICT for improving student learning, professional learning and systems learning. It is estimated that AKF education supported programmes directly reaches 2 million learners every year. Through AKF, Andy is also a steering committee member of the International Education Funders Group, a consortium of 100 private foundations investing in education improvement in the Global South.
Before joining AKF, Andy worked for UNICEF Kenya, the World Bank, World Learning, and the Education Above All Foundation, among other leaders in the sector. In 2006, he co-founded the Women’s Institute for Secondary Education and Research (www.wisergirls.org) in Muhuru Bay, Kenya as the first girls secondary boarding school in the region offering full-scholarships to all girls, living out of a mud-hut as its Executive Director during its first two years. WISER has emerged as one of Kenya’s top-performing girls’ secondary schools in the country, especially in STEM and global health.
Cunningham graduated summa cum laude from Duke University with a double major in International Comparative Studies and Chinese and received a Masters in Comparative International Education at Oxford University with distinction. He has also recently submitted his PhD at Oxford University, understanding local realities of effective school leadership strategies through mobile and cloud-based technologies in Kenya. He is the recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, Truman Scholarship, Robertson Scholarship, Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Award, Oxford University’s Vice Chancellor’s Award for Social Impact and Duke’s President’s Young Alumni Award for global leadership.
Andy is a proud Vermonter. He was born and raised in Rutland, Vermont and attended Rutland High School where he traveled to Southern China with the Experiment in International Living (based out of Brattleboro, Vermont) and thereby began his lifelong career in exploring ways to improve quality education, worldwide.