Maysa Jalbout joins MIT, ASU in education advisory role

As visiting scholar and special adviser on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, Jalbout will advise leadership on educational initiatives for vulnerable populations


September 19, 2019

Arizona State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are pleased to announce the joint appointment of Maysa Jalbout as visiting scholar and special adviser on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The announcement is made in advance of the 74th U.N. General Assembly in New York where world leaders and international organizations will gather to discuss global issues, including progress on the SDGs. 

As a global leader with a deep commitment and expertise in supporting the most vulnerable people in the world in multiple sectors, Jalbout will work with the leadership of ASU and MIT to channel their talent, resources and technology toward thoughtful and deliberate SDG strategies, initiatives and partnerships. Maysa Jalbout Maysa Jalbout's top priority will be to develop concrete ways in which to serve the education needs of displaced populations worldwide, underserved and disadvantaged communities, and under-skilled and underemployed youth. Download Full Image

Jalbout’s top priority will be to develop concrete ways in which to serve the education needs of displaced populations worldwide, underserved and disadvantaged communities, and under-skilled and underemployed youth. Jalbout will cast a wide net of potential partners including governments, the private sector, foundations and civil society organizations. 

“I am thrilled at the chance to work alongside the incredible talent of two of the world’s most innovative universities. It is an opportunity to think, learn and experiment in ways very few positions offer,” said Jalbout. “I believe that universities can solve some of the greatest global challenges of our time, and that ASU and MIT are leading the way.”

“Maysa is a unique leader who has been able to work effectively across multiple cultures, organizations and continents to drive successful educational outcomes,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “We’re looking forward to her strategic counsel on ways that ASU and MIT can further collaborate to meet our mutual goals of transformative impact and contributing to the U.N. SDGs.”

“Making a better world through education is at the core of the mission of MIT. We are continuously searching for new meaningful ideas, approaches and tools. We are delighted to welcome Maysa and look forward to collaborating with ASU”, said Professor Sanjay Sarma, vice president for open learning at MIT.

Jalbout has more than 25 years of experience advocating for the rights of vulnerable populations, advising global leaders, building organizations and partnerships, and exploring the use of human-centered technology to address development challenges. She is a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution and serves on the boards Generation and the International Baccalaureate Organization. She founded the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education and the Queen Rania Foundation and headed the government of Canada’s education policy in developing countries.

Jenkins selected as AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador


September 19, 2019

Arizona State University is proud to announce that Lekelia “Kiki” Jenkins, associate professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society has been selected as one of the 125 American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN Ambassadors.

IF/THEN, a national initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, seeks to further women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. Kiki Jenkins Kiki Jenkins Download Full Image

“I am excited, grateful and humbled to be a part of this program because I know so many other deserving women who are also doing inspiring work. This ambassadorship will be the biggest platform I have ever had to help young women succeed in science,” said Jenkins, who studies the human dimensions of marine technologies to create sustainable ocean uses and the role of dance in science communication. "If we train a young woman to use technical AND interpersonal career skills, then she will have the savvy to custom-craft a career in STEM that is fulfilling, impactful and lasting.”

“We firmly believe that if we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world,” said Lyda Hill, founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. “The goal of IF/THEN is to shift the way our country — and the world — thinks about women in STEM, and this requires changing the narratives about women STEM professionals and improving their visibility.”

To achieve this goal, AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors connect with students in person and through various media platforms. The ambassadors are contemporary role models who represent a diversity of STEM-related professions in the United States, from entertainment and fashion to sports, business and academia.

"I also desire to be a role model for African American girls interested in marine science,” Jenkins added. “I was the first African American woman to get a PhD in marine science from Duke University and all too often I have been the “first and only” throughout my career. African American girls need to know that marine science is an option for them and that if they pursue this field, they will not be alone.”

“AAAS is deeply committed to advancing education and opportunities for girls and women in STEM,” said Margaret Hamburg, chair of the AAAS board of directors. “This partnership enables us to reach more deeply into STEM education and help advance STEM careers for women and girls. It will help us to elevate the voices of women working in STEM fields and to inspire the next generation of girls and women in science.”

In October, the ambassadors will participate in the IF/THEN Summit in Dallas to take their outreach to the next level by learning from each other and receiving resources and coaching in science communication and effective STEM storytelling. The IF/THEN Collection, a digital asset library of photos and custom content, will be created as a tool to increase the number of accurate and powerful images of real women and girls in STEM. The robust collection can be accessed by media, educators and nonprofit organizations as they develop and share inspiring content and curriculum.

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