Jennifer Bowser Gerst has begun her duties as Project Director for Reading within Reach (REACH) and Director of the Global Reading Network Community of Practice. She replaces Sakil Malik, who is transitioning to a position as Vice President of Global Education for World Learning.
Jennifer Bowser Gerst has over 20 years’ experience managing education programs and teaching in Africa and in the United States. She most recently worked at ]Millennium Challenge Corporation, where she assessed country proposals, supervised program design and provided technical supervision for over $250 million in MCC grants to support school quality improvement, reading, STEM, adult literacy and technical/vocational education in the MENA, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia regions. Her previous positions include Africa Regional Officer for the International Literacy Association, where she supervised World Bank, UNESCO, USAID, Ford and Banyan Tree Foundation-funded technical assistance to and evaluations of teacher training programs in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. She earned an M.S. in Continuing and Vocational Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We welcome Jennifer and look forward to the leadership she will bring.
Sakil Malik brought stability and strong leadership during his time leading REACH and the Community of Practice. Major accomplishments during his tenure include development of the Early Grade Research Agenda on Early Grade Reading and the Landscape Report on Early Grade Literacy, as well as the launch of the Enabling Writers initiative, which is currently operating in six countries to support teams of local writers to prepare decodable and leveled books in local languages. Under his leadership, the Global Reading Network Community of Practice grew exponentially, now encompassing more than 2,500 members. We thank Sakil for his many contributions and wish him well in his new endeavors.