Transforming Education Summit: UN Secretary-General appoints Leonardo Garnier of Costa Rica as Special Adviser

Young African girl with school book

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Leonardo Garnier from Costa Rica as his Special Adviser on the Transforming Education Summit, which will take place in September 2022. 

The Special Adviser will provide strategic advice on issues of transforming education and will work under the leadership of the Deputy Secretary-General/Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group and will liaise closely with the Summit Secretariat hosted by UNESCO to build momentum in advance of the Summit.  He will also support the Secretary- General in consulting governments and engaging stakeholders with a view to shaping concrete and ambitious deliverables to be presented at the Summit. 

Education systems today are at a crossroads. The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the learning opportunities of hundreds of millions of children and young people, exacerbating a pre-existing learning crisis and growing inequalities. Education must be transformed in order to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and values they need to address new challenges and thrive in our rapidly changing world.

The Transforming Education Summit, a key initiative of Our Common Agenda, is an opportunity to renew international political commitment to education as a fundamental public good.  It will serve to mobilize action, ambition, solidarity and solutions to recover pandemic-related learning losses, reimagine education for the future and reignite global efforts to deliver the education-related Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

Mr. Garnier is a Lecturer at the University of Costa Rica, has held a number of posts in the public sector in Costa Rica and in international organizations. He served as Costa Rica’s Minister of Planning and Economic Policy from 1994 to 1998 and two terms as Minister for Education, from 2006 to 2014.  Mr. Garnier has published books and articles on different economic and social topics linked to development and to education.