JOANIE COHEN

Senior Literacy and School Readiness Advisor

 

GETTING TO KNOW JOANIE

Beyond your job title, please explain your role at Creative.

I am the Project Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development-funded READ II early grade reading project in Ethiopia. As Project Director, I supervise senior staff, assist in resourcing short-term technical assistance, build relationships with clients and partners and manage overall program quality and compliance. I provide direct technical oversight and guidance to project implementation, ensuring all deliverables are met and best practices are incorporated into the technical program.

Do you have an accomplishment or programmatic result or activity that you are particularly proud of?

Many years ago, I conducted a sector diagnosis for the Early Childhood and Special Education sectors for the country of Haiti. While I had spent considerable time in Haiti previously working in very localized programs, this work offered the opportunity to work across the entire country with a Haitian counterpart conducting focus groups and in-depth interviews with educators, parents, local, regional and national Ministry of Education officials and government staff.  These conversations opened my eyes to the many disconnects between policy dialogue, policy decisions and local realities. I was able to come to the international donor table with my recommendations with the voices of parents and local educators in mind. No one else was reaching out to so many stakeholders at the time and I remain very proud of that work.

What is it that drew you to the company?

I was drawn to Creative because of its origins in education, particularly early childhood education. I figured that a company that valued early childhood education stood for things I valued as well. Creative being conceived by four strong women also resonated for me. I wanted to work in an environment where I could further hone my technical and managerial skills and continue to work in partnership with communities to further their aspirations, something that Creative values and insists upon in all its work.

 

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