Core Team

Alison WebberAlison Ascher Webber
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Alison Ascher Webber develops and leads innovative projects for the EdTech Center, including advising the new Employment Technology Fund and leading its field testing. She also manages the Mobile Up! Project bringing mobile learning and career coaching to low-wage immigrant service workers. Alison helped grow Cell-Ed as its first Education Director. As Associate Director at Avasant Foundation, she supported edtech and employment initiatives for youth globally. She also served as first Executive Director of the Leadership Training & Education Fund for janitors across California and helped form the associated non-profit, Building Skills Partnership. Alison holds a Masters in Education from U.C. Berkeley.

Jen VanekJen Vanek, PhD
Director of Digital Learning and Research

Jen Vanek directs the IDEAL Consortium at the EdTech Center and implements the field testing of technologies invested in by the Employment Technology Fund. 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.

Ebony VandrossEbony Vandross
Staff Associate

Ebony Vandross supports the EdTech Center, as well as other initiative for both World Education/U.S. and International. Ebony comes to us from the MCPHS University where she did administrative work for the past seven years.

Leah PetersonLeah Peterson
Assistant Director of the EdTech Center

Leah Peterson manages E-Learning PD, a collection of online courses that provide opportunities for adult education professionals to explore topics that they are facing in their programs, exchange ideas with one another, and get feedback from experts in the field. She also coordinates the IDEAL Consortium, and is the co-founder and editor for the Tech Tips blog. Leah is the Communication Coordinator for World Education/U.S. and supports the NELRC publication, The Change Agent. Leah is currently working toward her M.Ed in E-Learning and Instructional Design at Northeastern University.

priyanka patelPriyanka Sharma
English Now! Project Director

Priyanka Sharma is Coordinator of the National College Transition Network (NCTN) at World Education, Inc. Her areas of expertise include transition to postsecondary education and training for non­traditional students, professional development for educators and E-Learning. Priyanka facilitates online courses and works on online course development.

Ben BrunoBen Bruno
Instructional Technologist

Ben Bruno is an Instructional Technologist at World Education, Inc. As Instructional Technologist, Ben produces webinars, creates online audiovisual content, enhances website design, and leads online course development and tech support for E-Learning PD.

Project Advisors

Estelle Day
Senior Regional Advisor

Estelle Day has twenty-one years’ experience of working in the international education sector, focusing mainly on education programs for vulnerable youth in Asia, especially girls. Ms. Day has extensive experience in the planning, design, oversight, implementation, testing, monitoring and evaluation of formal and nonformal education interventions, with an increasing emphasis on the integration of technology for improved learning outcomes. Youth programming interventions span life skills curriculum development, teacher education, workplace readiness, practical and technical skills training, youth-led programming, and parental engagement.

Sandy Goodman
Director of Career Pathways

Sandy Goodman’s expertise is in college readiness and career pathways initiatives. She designs and facilitates e-learning and blended professional development and develops training for new trainers and facilitators. Sandy leads the statewide capacity building component of the Massachusetts Career Readiness Initiative, assisting adult education programs, career centers, and community colleges to incorporate blended learning approaches using ACT’s Career Ready 101 system. Sandy designed and managed Transition to College and Careers, an initiative implemented at six sites piloting the use of online occupational-focused courses embedded into face-to-face college transition programming. She holds a Masters in Public Administration.

Victoria Neff
Program Officer

Victoria Neff is a Program Officer at World Education, where she supports the design and implementation of education projects in Asia. She has eight years of experience managing education programs, which include e/m-Learning and ICT for education initiatives in Asia. Victoria also serves as an innovation and ed tech advisor for startups in the Boston area. Victoria received an M.A. in International Development from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.


David Noyes, PhD
Chief of Party and Senior Capacity Building Expert USAID | Aprender a Ler Program

Dr. David Noyes has over eight years of experience managing and implementing community development and education programs in Africa. He currently serves as the Chief of Party and Senior Institutional Capacity Building Expert for the USAID|Aprender a Ler (ApaL) project in Mozambique, implemented by World Education, Inc.  In this role, he provides senior level support to all Institutional Capacity Building and Monitoring and Evaluation actives for the program, including providing leadership to all data collection activities associated with the program impact evaluation.  Additionally, he spearheaded development of the mobile-based Rapid School Assessment, which develops the capacity of local education institutions to monitor school-level results and improve data-driven provision of pedagogical and management support.

Huai-Ming Sun
Education Technical Advisor

Huai-Ming Sun is an Education Technical Advisor at World Education, Inc. With over ten years of experience in education and international development, Ms. Sun is deeply committed to the role of education in the developing country context. At World Education, she currently provides advisory to a broad range of programs that focus on adult and teen functional literacy, mobile-based interventions, local capacity development, and public-private partnerships. Ms. Sun has also supported international programs on child labor, human trafficking, gender inclusion, formal education support services, and conflict mitigation and management. Prior to working at World Education, she spent time in the classroom, both formal and informal settings, teaching math and science to secondary school-aged children.

Willem van de Waal
Senior Reading Expert

Willem van de Waal is a senior advisor for World Education, with extensive field experience in several Asian and African countries. He has developed and led projects related to early literacy that included the use of digital teaching aids and M-learning tools.

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