Rebecca Ward is a Senior Technical Advisor II in the Education Practice at IREX with responsibility for technical design and implementation oversight of a range of secondary and higher education system strengthening programs.
Rebecca directs and provides technical support to education programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eurasia, and the Middle East and North Africa. Her current portfolio includes design and implementation of training, U.S. exchange and small grants for university administrators across Africa to improve their institutions’ research and knowledge exchange performance; support to the government of Jordan and partner universities to reform pre-service teacher education, and research on educational data use in Kenya and Senegal. More broadly, she has supported TVET systems strengthening and the development of national quality assurance frameworks, in-service teacher professional development and university career centers. She co-developed IREX’s Higher Education Institutional Capacity Assessment Tool (HEICAT) and has applied it in a range of contexts to support performance improvement across universities' teaching, research and knowledge exchange practice.
She has over twenty years’ experience working in research, teaching, consultancy and management roles related to higher education internationally and in the UK. Prior to joining IREX, Rebecca worked in Zambia where she managed the University of Bolton’s shared-delivery programs in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this role, she provided training to partner faculty in student-centered learning and assessment, developed and ensured compliance with quality assurance procedures, and mentored partner staff. She was a Senior Lecturer and Program Leader for a blended learning Master of Public Administration and regularly taught courses in Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Previously, her work was focused on higher education and innovation policy, including government consultancy to evaluate national innovation and research impact policies, science park impact studies, and management of collaborative university–industry engagement projects for a Regional Development Agency.
Rebecca holds a PhD in Innovation Policy and Management from the University of Manchester's Institute of Innovation Research. Sponsored and co-supervised by the UK's Department of Trade and Industry, it focused on the role of universities in open innovation systems. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and a BSc Management Sciences with International Studies.