Yuri Belfali, Head of Division, Early Childhood and Schools, OECD

Yuri ID

Ms. Belfali supports the Directorate for Education and Skills in providing strategic direction to the work on knowledge generation and its policy implication concerning skills development in early childhood education, care and school systems.  She oversees large scale surveys including the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Teaching and Learning International Survey programme (TALIS) and thematic analyses and reviews. These programmes are key components of the OECD’s work to help countries promote learning opportunities for all, which promotes economic growth and social progress.

Ms. Belfali joined the OECD in 2013 as a Senior Analyst in the Directorate for Education and Skills’ Policy Advice and Implementation Division, where she managed knowledge mobilisation, education policy country reviews and accession technical reviews.

Ms. Belfali spent the last 20 years in France, the US, and in several countries of South East Asia, Africa and Middle East and North Africa regions.  Before joining the OECD, she worked for UNICEF as Chief of the Education Section in Morocco and the World Bank in the field of human development between 2002 and 2012.   She had a leadership role in advising governments for education reforms and gender mainstreaming, as well as managed co-operation projects on early childhood, teaching, learning, and youth development.

Ms. Belfali, a Japanese national, holds a Master’s degree in International Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Tsuda College, Tokyo.

Daniel Caro, University of Oxford
Daniel Caro cc

Daniel is a Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment. He completed a PhD in Education at the Freie Universität Berlin, a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick, and a BA in Economics at Universidad del Pacifico. Daniel is alumnus of the OECD’s Thomas J. Alexander (TJA) Fellowship Programme and alumnus of the International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course. His research interests include education inequality, educational effectiveness, international large-scale assessments, and advanced quantitative methods. Jointly with TJA Fellow Przemysław Biecek, Daniel has developed the R package ‘intsvy’ for the analysis of international assessment data (e.g. PISA, PIAAC, TIMSS, PIRLS).

Sotiria Grek, University of Edinburgh

Sotiria Grek c

Sotiria researches the role of education/learning as a policy sphere that actively contributes to Europeanization. She is interested in performance monitoring and comparison as forms of education governance. Her research focuses on an analysis of global education policy convergence through an examination of the mediating effects of national/local policies and practices. Further, she researches policy learning in transnational education governance, and especially the relationship between the European Commission and the OECD in the governing of education in Europe.

Therese N. Hopfenbeck, University of Oxford

Therese Hopfenbeck CC

Therese N. Hopfenbeck is Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment where she is leading a team working on large-scale assessment studies, assessment for learning and self-regulation. Therese’s research interests focus on large-scale comparative assessments and how international testing has shaped public policy across education systems. She is Research Manager of PIRLS 2016 in England and member of the PISA 2018 Questionnaire Expert Group. Therese is Lead Editor of the international research journal Assessment in Education: Principles, policy and practice.

John Jerrim, UCL Institute of Education


John is a Reader in Educational and Social Statistics at the UCL Institute of Education. He has worked extensively with the OECD datasets, including PISA, PIAAC and TIMSS. He is a Thomas J. Alexander fellow, and is leading the PISA 2015 national reports for three countries: England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

David Kaplan, University of Wisconsin – Madison

David Kaplan

Dr. Kaplan’s program of research focuses on the development of Bayesian statistical methods for education research. His work is directed toward applications to quasi-experimental and large-scale cross-sectional and longitudinal survey designs. He has served on PISA’s Technical Advisory Group and Questionnaire Expert Group. Dr. Kaplan also sits on the Questionnaire Expert Group for TALIS as well as the Design and Analysis Committee and the Questionnaire Standing Committee for NAEP. Dr. Kaplan is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, an elected member of the National Academy of Education, a recipient of the Humboldt Research Award, a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 5), and was a Jeanne Griffith Fellow at the National Center for Education Statistics.

Eckhard Klieme, German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF)


Prof. Dr. Eckhard Klieme is Director of the Center for Research on Educational Quality and Evaluation at the DIPF, and has held the Chair of Educational Sciences at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main since 2001. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, as well as a member of the Advisory Boards of several national and international journals. Eckhard Klieme served as the president of the German Association for Empirical Educational Research (AEPF) (2003-2007) and as coordinator of the EARLI Special Interest Group on Educational Effectiveness (2007-2011). His current research interests focus on educational effectiveness and quality of teaching, classroom assessment, and international comparative educational research. Since 1998, Eckhard Klieme has served on various national as well as international consortia and expert groups for PISA. He was the International Study Director for Questionnaire Development and Analytical Frameworks for PISA 2015.

Leonidas Kyriakides, University of Cyprus

Leonidas Kyriakides

Dr. Leonidas Kyriakides is Professor of Educational Research and Evaluation and the head of the Department of Education at the University of Cyprus. His field of research and scholarship is the evaluation of educational effectiveness, whether of teachers, schools or educational systems. Currently his research agenda is concerned with the development of a dynamic model of educational effectiveness, and the application of research to the improvement of educational practice. Leonidas has been involved in several international projects. His work has contributed not only to theory improvement but also to the testing of theoretical models and using them for improving the quality of education. He acted as chair of the AERA SIG on School Effectiveness and Improvement and as a chair of the EARLI SIG on Educational Effectiveness. Finally, he is member of the editorial board of various international journals with referee system and the author of more than 100 papers, 8 books, and 90 book chapters.

Sølvi Lillejord, Norwegian Knowledge Centre for Education

Solvi Lillejord c

Sølvi Lillejord is the Director of the Knowledge Centre for Education at the Research Council of Norway and Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Professor Lillejord has established research groups, supervised PhD students and set up regional and national research schools in education. She established and ran a national programme for school leaders and was funded for 12 years to build research capacity in the Southern African region. In 2011, she was external member of a panel reviewing the Department of Education, University of Oxford. In 2015, she was external member of a review panel evaluating TIER, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research in the Netherlands. Professor Lillejord is a member of AERA and EARLI. She has published in journals such as Journal of Education and Work, Journal of International Cooperation in Education, International Journal of Web Based Communities, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Pam Sammons, University of Oxford

Pam Sammons

Pam Sammons is a Professor of Education at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford. Previously she was a professor at the School of Education, University of Nottingham (2004-2009) and a professor at the Institute of Education University of London (1993-2004) where she was director of the International School Effectiveness and Improvement Centre (ISEIC) from 2000-2004. Her research over more than 30 years has focused on school effectiveness and improvement, school leadership, teaching effectiveness and promoting equity and inclusion in education. She has a particular interest in longitudinal studies and the use of mixed methods research approaches.

Steve Strand, University of Oxford


Steve Strand is Professor of Education at the University of Oxford. Previously he was Professor of Education at the University of Warwick (2009-2012) and Associate Professor (Reader) in Quantitative Research Methods (2005-2008) at Warwick. Prior to that (1998-2005) he was Senior Assessment Consultant and Head of Research and Data Analysis at nferNelson, the UK’s leading educational test and assessment publisher, and one of the authors of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT). Before that he was Head of Research and Evaluation at Wandsworth Local Education Authority (1990-1998) and Head of Assessment and Evaluation at Croydon LEA (1988-1990) and in these roles was responsible for pioneering work on ‘value added’ analyses of school performance. Steve has worked extensively with Government departments, Local Authorities and individual schools on the analysis of pupil attainment, school effectiveness and differential pupil progress. His research interests are in educational equality (particularly ethnicity, social class, and gender) in a range of educational outcomes (achievement and progress, special education, attendance and exclusion).