Photo of Liesbet Steer

Dr. Liesbet Steer is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Education Development Center, a global nonprofit organization advancing lasting solutions to improve education, well-being, and economic opportunity across the world. In her role, she leads the management team; oversees EDC’s analytical, program implementation and policy engagement work in more than 30 countries; and is a member of EDC’s Board of Trustees.

Liesbet has more than two decades of experience in international development, education reform, and finance. Prior to EDC, she was the executive director of the global Education Commission, an international initiative established under the auspices of the UN Secretary General, driving greater progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal for inclusive and equitable quality education. The Education Commission was chaired by UN Special Envoy for Global Education, and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown.

Prior to her role with the Education Commission, Liesbet served in numerous development, education, and finance roles. She was a fellow at the Brookings Institution, Global Economy and Development, where her work included authoring the flagship report Financing Education: Opportunities for Global Action, which led to the establishment of the Education Commission. She has held leadership and other roles with several development organizations, including the Overseas Development Institute (UK), The Asia Foundation, the World Bank, and the IFC. Between 1997 and 2007, she lived in Vietnam and Indonesia where she worked on economic development in the Asia region.

Liesbet serves on the Board of the International Finance Facility for Education and the education philanthropy Greater Share, 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. She is fluent in Dutch and English and speaks French and Indonesian conversationally.