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Echidna Global Scholars Program

The Echidna Global Scholars Program at the Center for Universal Education (CUE) at Brookings seeks to catalyze and amplify the impact of local leaders working to advance gender-transformative education across the Global South.

During a six-month fellowship, Echidna Global Scholars conduct individual research focused on improving learning opportunities and life outcomes for girls, young women, and gender non-conforming people, develop their leadership and evidence-based policy skills, build substantive knowledge on gender and global education issues, and expand their pathways for impact. Upon completion of the fellowship, scholars transition to the Echidna Alumni Network, a growing community of practice aimed at promoting their significant, sustained, and collective influence on gender-transformative education globally and locally.

Since its inception in 2012, the Echidna Global Scholars Program has hosted ten cohorts of fellows and currently supports an alumni network of 33 scholars from 20 different countries.

This program is made possible by the generous contribution of Echidna Giving.

The application period for the 2023 Echidna Global Scholars Visiting Fellowship is closed. Please email with any questions about the program.

2022 Echidna Global Scholars 

Halimatou Hima | Niger

Education, Policy and Learning, Global Partnership for Education (GPE)

Halimatou Hima’s interest lies at the intersection of policy, research, and people—with the goal of shifting development paradigms and improving access to quality education, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. As minister counselor at the Permanent Mission of Niger to the United Nations (2020-2021), she worked on security council affairs including children and armed conflict, humanitarian issues, women, peace and security, and multilateral affairs with nongovernmental organizations and U.N. agencies, and was the principal negotiator on the landmark Security Council resolution 2601 (2021) on the protection of education in armed conflict.


Halimatou has worked extensively in the social and economic development sectors in Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Burkina Faso, among other contexts, and was part of the World Bank’s Global Delivery Initiative, where she co-authored multisectoral publications on education, water and sanitation, and agriculture. She has also published on education, socioeconomic inequalities, critical gender analysis, and public sector reforms. As part of the 2018-2020 Next Einstein Forum, she organized the first series of Africa Science Week in Niger, impacting thousands of Nigerien students.


Halimatou holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, an M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard University, and a B.A. in International Relations, Economics, and Africana Studies from Wellesley College. At Brookings she will study how multidimensional disruptions such as conflicts, climate-induced disasters, and humanitarian crises affect girls’ education and gender equality.


Follow Halimatou on Twitter via @halimahima.

Anthony Luvanda | Kenya

Co-Founder & Executive Director, Magharibi Innovation Hub; Senior Lecturer, Information Technology department, Defence Forces Technical College at the National Defence University-Kenya

An active player in the western Kenya entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, Anthony Luvanda is the co-founder and executive director of Magharibi Innovation Hub (MIH), a digital innovation hub based in western Kenya, and a founding member of the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs. At MIH, Anthony dedicates himself to empowering youth in entrepreneurship by enhancing their digital literacy and technology skills and reducing gender disparities within digital technology.


Currently a senior lecturer at the Information Technology department, Defence Forces Technical College at the National Defence University-Kenya, Anthony has worked for more than 15 years as a university teacher and researcher. He was previously at Alupe University in Busia Kenya and at the School of Computing and Information Technology at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.


Anthony holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, an M.Sc. in Computer-Based Information Systems from the University of Sunderland, and a B.Sc. in International Business Administration from the United States International University-Africa. He is also a graduate of the Africa Innovation Leaders Course at the Politecnico di Milano/Politecnico di Torino in Italy. Anthony’s research at Brookings will focus on developing an education policy response to bridge the gender divide in digital technology careers in Kenya.


Follow Anthony on Twitter via @AnthonyLuvanda.

Hina Muhammad Saleem | Pakistan

Advisor, Literacy and Life Skills Program, The Citizens Foundation

Hina Muhammad Saleem is deeply interested in researching and designing contextualized, gender-responsive education programs that are informed by communities residing in rural districts, which have both the highest proportion in the country of out-of-school children and the lowest literacy rates for women. From 2019 to 2021, Hina spearheaded the development of The Citizens Foundation’s (TCF) first community-led literacy and life skills program for out-of-school children and coordinated its implementation in rural areas of the province of Sindh, Pakistan.


Prior to joining TCF, Hina conducted research on teacher training with the World Bank and Global Partnership for Education and spent two years teaching at a public school as a Teach for Pakistan Fellow. Hina has an M.Ed. in International Education Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an MBA and BBA in Finance from the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi, Pakistan. In 2017, she was selected for the Education Pioneers Fellowship in Washington, D.C.


At Brookings, Hina will continue her research engaging out-of-school children—particularly girls—in quality learning opportunities, at the right age and with the objective of informing education policy and programming that responds to the lived realities of children in rural areas.


Follow Hina on Twitter via @hinamesiya.

Bhawana Shrestha | Nepal

Co-Founder, My Emotions Matter

Co-Founder of the organization My Emotions Matter, Bhawana Shrestha is a redemptive storyteller and Nepali educator dedicated to helping individuals and teams develop the mindset and skills for emotional intelligence. Bhawana became an advocate for girls’ education when she herself was still a child after noticing the gender-based differences within her community and the impact of systemic gender barriers on girls like her.


At the age of 18, she began a career as a journalist in pursuit of social change but switched careers in 2013 to spend three years as a Teach for Nepal fellow in rural schools. Her interest in emotional intelligence stems from this experience, as she realized its significance to improving educational and life outcomes, especially for girls and young women. A faculty member at King’s College, Nepal, Bhawana co-founded and leads the Office of Safe and Respectable Learning, working to prevent harassment and discrimination and advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice at the college.


Currently pursuing her Ph.D in educational leadership from Kathmandu University, Bhawana holds an M.Phil. and an M.A. in English from Pokhara and Tribhuvan Universities, respectively. She was also selected as a “Living Through Lived Experience” fellow for Teach for All in 2019. Bhawana’s research at Brookings will focus on supporting the emotional literacy of female teachers in Nepal.


Follow Hina on Twitter via @bhawana_sh79.

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