Staff

Core Team

Alison WebberAlison Ascher Webber
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Alison Ascher Webber develops and directs innovative projects that advance digital equity and leverage technology to increase the reach and impact of education and workforce programs. Alison co-leads Digital US, a national initiative to close digital skills gaps by 2030. She advises online learning and ICT4D initiatives including for the National Immigration Forum, UNESCO, and the Employment Technology Fund @ JFF. Previous roles include Education Director at mLearning company Cell-Ed and Associate Director at Avasant Foundation. Alison served as first Executive Director of the Leadership Training & Education Fund for janitors across California and helped form the award-winning Building Skills Partnership. Alison holds a Master’s in Education.

Victoria Neff
Assistant Director of the EdTech Center

Victoria Neff is the Assistant Director of the EdTech Center and supports global edtech partnerships, e/mLearning projects and innovative engagements in North America, Africa and Asia. Victoria joins the EdTech Center from World Education’s Asia & Special Projects division, where she managed ICT4D and educational technology initiatives, from using mobile technology to optimize data collection for early grade literacy assessments under the TEST project to advising the Cambodian government and UNESCO to design and pilot the first online equivalency program for out of school youth under the Basic Education Equivalency Project (BEEP). Victoria has spent the last decade working in the education and global development and is passionate about catalyzing innovative partnerships and harnessing mLearning to accelerate learning and life outcomes.

Jeff Goumas
Digital Learning Lead

Jeff is involved in supporting digital equity, mLearning, and distance and blended learning initiatives through the EdTech Center. As founder of CrowdED Learning, he brings a strategic focus to expanding equity and access to learning by way of leveraging openly licensed, high-quality learning and professional development opportunities and resources for adult educators and learners. Prior to joining World Education, he worked as a classroom teacher in New Hampshire followed by nearly 15 years in educational publishing across all learner levels. He holds a B.A. in Elementary Education and an M.Ed. in Technology in Education and currently resides in Chicago, IL.

Ebony Vandross
E-Learning and Communications Associate

Ebony Vandross supports the EdTech Center in addition to multiple projects for the World Education U.S. division. She developed an interest in the field of adult education as a Literacy Volunteer with the Boston Public Library, and as a Resource Center Volunteer with Women’s Lunch Place. After arriving at WEI she became involved with The Change Agent, drawn to the publication and its commitment to center the voices of adult literacy students, immigrants, and people of color. She hopes this work will aid her in her support of social justice and progress for marginalized communities.

Jen Vanek, PhD
Director of Digital Learning and Research

Dr. Jen Vanek is the Director of Digital Learning and Research at the EdTech Center at World Education. In that work she conducts research, including the field testing of technologies invested in by the Employment Technology Fund, and supports PD initiatives across the US, including facilitating the IDEAL Consortium, a community of practice of state-level leaders who work together to support innovation in the area of distance education for adult learners. Jen co-authored the IDEAL Distance Education and Blended Learning Handbook and is the author of a new free course called Transforming Distance Education. She received her PhD in Curriculum & Instruction/Second Language Education at the University of Minnesota. She’s been working in the field of adult literacy since receiving her MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1995. Her recent work centers on creating online content for Adult Basic Education (ABE) learners and supporting the professional development of ESL and ABE teachers in the area of digital literacy, distance learning, and adult career pathways.  

priyankaPriyanka Sharma
Project Director

Priyanka Sharma leads innovative projects for the EdTech Center @ World Education on college and career readiness, technology integration, digital transformation, and digital skills development. Priyanka co-leads Digital US, a national initiative to close digital skills gaps by 2030, and also directs the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC), leading projects that emerge from collaboration among the policy-makers, professional developers, and practitioners in the five member states.

With a deep commitment to social justice and community involvement, she has served as the Board Chair of The City School, a youth leadership organization based in Boston. She previously served as the Board President of Friends of Community Learning Center, raising resources and public awareness for the Community Learning Center in Cambridge, MA.

Annalisa Crowe
Research and Program Support Associate

Annalisa supports digital inclusion projects including Equity in mLearning and Digital Navigators to advance technology access, digital skills development, and digital learning for millions of adults who have not yet had opportunities to develop digital skills. She holds a B.A. in psychology and education and brings to World Education a commitment to social justice and equity in education. Her background as the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant who was met with immense barriers to further developing his education sparked her interest in developing innovative projects to improve adult education.   

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