The GCE Secretariat team

GCE has an international secretariat which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The secretariat delivers the campaigns and advocacy work as per the global strategic plan adopted by the GCE membership and board.

Natalie Akstein

Networks Engagement Coordinator
Natalie Akstein is based in the Johannesburg office since late 2016. She plays an important role as the Communications Focal Point for southern developing country civil society constituency elected GPE Board representatives, as well as more broadly providing support to GCE's member and network engagement initiatives. Prior to joining GCE she worked in at CIVICUS and Imagina na Copa on initiatives aimed at strengthening civil society, youth participation and citizen action at local, regional and international level. She feels strongly about the need for governments to protect and ensure the right of everyone to a free, quality and public education, and is happy to play a facilitating/coordination role in GCE to support amplifying education coalitions' voices in this ongoing dialogue.

Edward Chikonyora

Grants & Finance Manager
Edward Chikonyora joined GCE in January 2018 as the Grants and Finance Manager responsible for the Asia Pacific region. Edward has solid experience in general management, financial management, risk management, fund management and accounting acquired over various sectors that spans over 25 years. Edward has a passion for institutional capacity development, governance, training, mentoring and small enterprise development. Prior to joining GCE, Edward was the Head of Risk and Compliance Management at Johannesburg Water a subsidiary of the City of Johannesburg. When not working he enjoys playing golf and playing the bass guitar.

Ever Chokunonga

Sub-Regional Finance Coordinator
Ever Chokunonga is a finance and admin professional with over 15 years’ experience in the NGO, banking and construction sectors. She joined GCE in January 2018 from PATH where she held a position of Finance Officer. Ever enjoys working with figures and is responsible of managing the assessment of the disbursement process, financial accounting and reporting of a number of Asian National Education coalitions of the CSEF programme, ensuring timeliness, quality and accuracy of financial information and providing financial management capacity support to the coalitions.

Lutfiyya Dean

Communications Intern
Lutfiyya Dean is a young, vibrant student activist studying a BA Degree majoring in Politics and International Relations at the university of Witwatersrand. She is the Founder of 360 The Revolution an organisation working on youth and women empowerment, including cultural heritage. She is passionate about education, in particular access to free, decolonised and equal education and plays an active role in strengthening student movements such as SASCO and UNICEF (Wits branch). She strives to amplify the voices of marginalised students and women. Major movements that she has led include The Hunger strike and #WitsAmINext? 2019.

Salma Deedat

Administration Officer
Salma Deedat is GCE’s Administrative Officer since 2010, based in the GCE office in Johannesburg. She provides technical and logistical support to GCE’s multiple projects, meetings, conferences, and workshops; coordinates office activities and operations to ensure effectiveness and efficiency within the movement; and supports the Secretariat colleagues, the GCE Board of Directors, and GCE members. Salma enjoys interacting with different types of people and learning new aspects of life. She is self-motivated and has a strong respect for other people’s ways and beliefs.

Frederikke Høgsgaard

Youth-led Organisations' Engagement Intern
Frederikke Høgsgaard is the Danish representative from the Danish National Coalition for Education. She is a master’s student in International Development Studies and Global Studies and are member of the International Committee in the Danish National Union of Students (DSF) representing Danish students of higher education in global matters. This include being member of the Danish National Commission and the executive committee of UNESCO, the European Students Union (ESU) and in the global partnership with Zimbabwe National Students Union (ZINASU).

Grant Kasowanjete

Global Coordinator
Grant Kasowanjete joined Global Campaign for Education as Head of Finance and Administration in February 2012. Grant has over 19 years working experience in finance, administration and project management. He has worked for major institution such as GIZ, DFID, EU, USAID, PACT etc. Grant holds an MBA (University of Wales) and studying DBA (UNISA). What excites him about the GCE Movement is the quality, passion and energy of GCE Secretariat staff and its members and “our shared commitment for a cause greater than all of us which will ultimately be of benefit to the generations that follow”.

Boitumelo Kgomo

HR & Administration Coordinator
Boitumelo Kgomo is since November 2014 GCE’s Human Resources and Administration Coordinator, based in the Johannesburg Secretariat office. Her current role involves supporting Human Resources administration, Membership engagements, Contracts management and Governance processes within the Secretariat office. She is also responsible for Office Management and oversees Travel logistics & events for the Secretariat staff, projects, the Board and coalition members based globally. Boitumelo joined GCE with the aim of being part of a team that is passionate about working towards access to free education for those from less privileged backgrounds and efficiently supporting the movement in reaching its objectives has been her goal.

Anjum Lalla Yu

CSEF Internal Audit Coordinator
Anjum was a Financial controller before she joined the GCE in November 2016 as the Internal Audit coordinator. Her role is to examine and evaluate the adequacy, effectiveness and efficiency of GCE’s internal control systems and procedures. She particularly enjoys being able to bring positive changes to the organisation and its partners through the strengthening of their systems and the building of their financial-management capacity. Working with over 60 partners around the world has broadened her knowledge and understanding of varying cultural, operational, and financial contexts of organisations that work towards a common goal.

Wolfgang Leumer

Head of CSEF Programme
Wolfgang Leumer joined the GCE in January 2014 as the head of the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) Programme, after working 33 years for a German NGO in the field of non-formal and basic education. He worked on education projects in Asia-Pacific and Africa, and held posts in Europe, Madagascar, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He holds a Master degree in national economics and fluently speaks 4 languages.

Ndivhuwo Mafharalala

Finance Officer
Ndivhuwo is a finance officer and joined GCE in 2014. Ndivhuwo is responsible for processing of all financial transactions and payroll of the organization. Prior to joining GCE, he worked as the Accounting Assistant for Deaf Federation of South Africa. He has more than 10 years experience in the financial management within the NGO/NPO sector. He is proud to be part of the global education movement and the most talented team.

Maryline Mangenot

Head of Campaigns and Communications
Maryline Mangenot is a communications specialist, with 15 of experience in designing and implementing communications plans and strategies. Prior to joining the GCE in April 2018, she worked in various agencies and non-profit in France and Thailand, before moving to South Africa to work for Greenpeace. Maryline is passionate about making the world a better place, and strongly believes that education is key to building a more sustainable future. She holds a Masters degree in Communications from the renown Paris Institute of Political Sciences.

Vernor Muñoz

Head of Policy and Advocacy – in Costa Rica
Vernor Muñoz joined GCE in October 2017, after working with Plan International and acted as a consultant for UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and other international organizations. Vernor has higher studies in Literature, Law, Human Rights, Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Education and is widely published. He is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education (2004-2010). Building a strong civil society movement for a free inclusive public education is an inspiration for his work.

Khuselwa Mxatule

Monitoring, Evaluations and Learning Manager
Khuselwa Mxatule joined GCE in February 2017 as Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) Officer for the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) and was promoted GCE MEL Manager in June 2019. She is based in the Johannesburg office. Prior to joining GCE, Khuselwa worked for non-profit organisations such as SAEP, PASCAP & Masifunde and was involved in design, implementation and monitoring of education programmes. Working at GCE has given her an opportunity to be aware and contribute to dealing with education complexities beyond the borders of South Africa. She particularly enjoys being responsible for large amounts of data from different countries that contribute to identify the impact of the CSEF programme. It has given her an opportunity to be more innovative and considerate of global education targets.
Philani Ndebele

Philani Ndebele

Communications Officer
Philani is an experienced campaigns and communications professional with 10 years of experience and strong media relations, as well as a dedicated education activist. He has a strong academic background in Development Studies, Politics, Thought Leadership, International Trade and the African Political Economy. He has worked for the AIDS Foundation of South Africa, the ACTION Support Centre and participated in the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Cooperation (NOREC) Exchange Programme. He is passionate about technology and access to education, girl-child access to education, African renaissance, conflict transformation, infrastructures for peace, people-to-people solidarity across issues and sectors, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. He is also a seasoned fashion designer and tenor trombone player.

Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia

Policy and research Manager – In the UK
Luis Eduardo holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Manchester, and MSc in Economics and a BA in Economics from the National University of Colombia. Prior to joining the GCE in June 2018, Luis Eduardo spent many years working as both as a researcher and as a practitioner with a range of development and humanitarian organisations. Luis strongly believes in the power of education to bring social change, and that is why he joined the GCE.

Yoemna Saint

CSEF Programme Officer
Yoemna Saint joined the GCE as the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) Programme Officer in 2016. Yoemna is a dedicated and experienced development activist, specialising in non-formal youth and adult education civil society programmes. Yoemna held several leadership positions in various institutions including the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa Reflect Network (SARN) and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa). She is very passionate about education globally and her current position exposes her to interact and engage on education matters at a global level.

Astrid Schmidt

Youth engagement officer - In Denmark
Astrid joined GCE in June 2018 to map out and develop GCE’s engagement with youth led organisations. She first focused on the 2018 World Assembly and Youth Caucus, and now is responsible for coordinating the youth engagement and representation within the movement. She was previously doing an internship at Oxfam IBIS working in their Education Team. She holds a Masters degree in International Development and Education studies. As a youth coordinator, she is lucky to be doing some of the work that she finds the most interesting, namely giving the youth a voice in the decisions on their future. She believes that young people should be heard at all levels, to create together a better and more equal society.