Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Liesbet Steer

Chair, ODI North America Board

Portrait of Liesbet Steer

Dr. Liesbet Steer has three decades of experience in international development, education reform, and development finance.

She was the Executive Director of the Global Education Commission, an international initiative established under the auspices of the UN Secretary General and chaired by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In this context she led the design and establishment of the International Financing Facility for Education (IFFEd), an innovative financing mechanism that is mobilizing $5 billion for education. She helped establish, and is a board member of Greater Share, an innovative financing instrument mobilizing philanthropic capital in partnership with private equity firms.

Currently, she is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Education Development Center, a global not-for profit organization with 1500 staff working in 30 countries to advance education, wellbeing, and economic opportunity.

Liesbet has served in numerous development, education, and finance roles. She was a fellow at the Brookings Institution, where her work included authoring the flagship report, Financing Education: Opportunities for Global Action, which led to the establishment of the Global Education Commission. She has held key roles with several development organizations, including the World Bank and IFC, and as Chief Economist at the Asia Foundation in Indonesia. Between 1997 and 2007, she lived in Vietnam and Indonesia where she worked on economic development in the ASEAN region.

She serves on the Global Leadership Council of UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited, the High-Level Steering Group of the Education Outcomes Fund, and the World Economic Forum Education 4.0 Alliance.

Liesbet was educated at the Universities of Antwerp and East Anglia and the London School of Economics. She holds a MSc in Quantitative Economics and a PhD in Development Economics.

Liesbet is married to Andrew Steer and has two children, Charlotte and Benjamin.