Lisa Hartenberger Toby, PhD, is an international development practitioner who manages formal and nonformal education projects in a variety of settings, including post-conflict and fragile countries. During her 20-year career, she has strengthened local education systems; overseen the development of classroom curricula; led teacher training initiatives; and built local capacity to deliver high-quality educational services in the Philippines, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and Sudan.

Hartenberger Toby has collaborated with ministries of education, funders, nongovernmental organizations, community members, and private sector partners to build sustainable, effective programs. In 2014, she coordinated EDC’s USAID-funded efforts to deliver literacy and numeracy lessons over the radio during West Africa’s Ebola crisis.

Hartenberger Toby holds a PhD in international communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

“It is a necessary struggle to make sure education is considered part of the primary response strategy to any emergency, not a secondary one.”

Speaking Highlights

Assessing Literacy with Low-Literate Youth: English in Liberia

Panel presentation, Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
Toronto, Canada
March 2015

Selected Publications

Bosch, A., Hartenberger Toby, L., & Alkhomsi, A. R. (2015). In a world of exploding possibilities in distance learning, don’t forget about the light bulb. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 16(2), 129–138.

Selected Resources


In this midterm evaluation of the Basa Pilipinas project in the Philippines, EDC tracked and measured changes in student reading performance.