Who We Are

Our Secretariat Staff

Lisa Chung Bender
Executive Director

Lisa Chung Bender is the Executive Director of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack. She has over 15 years of experience working in child rights, humanitarian response, and equity-focused social programs. Lisa has brought a commitment to intersectional feminism and child-centered approaches to organizations ranging from United Nations…

Alexander Kochenburger

Alexander Kochenburger is a Coordinator at GCPEA. He supports GCPEA’s programmatic work, including through assisting the Coalition’s advocacy and research efforts as well as managing its communications and finances. Previously Alex worked at the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy as an analysis supervisor and at AMIDEAST as a…

Apolline Montoya
Advocacy and Policy Adviser

Apolline Montoya is the Advocacy and Policy Adviser at GCPEA. Apolline supports GCPEA’s advocacy related to promoting the endorsement and implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration and the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict. Apolline previously worked at the UK Mission in Geneva in…

Ilaria Paolazzi
Senior Advocacy and Policy Adviser

Ilaria Paolazzi is the Senior Advocacy and Policy Adviser at GCPEA. Ilaria leads and coordinates GCPEA’s Working Group on the Safe Schools Declaration to ensure effective multi-agency advocacy for protecting education in armed conflict. Ilaria has extensive experience in human rights advocacy at the international level, including ten years in…

Felicity Pearce
Research Consultant
Michela Ranieri
Implementation Network Consultant

Michela Ranieri is the Implementation Network Consultant at GCPEA. She has extensive experience promoting and protecting children’s rights with a focus on children affected by armed conflict. Prior to joining GCPEA, Michela worked as the Humanitarian Advocacy Advisor at Save the Children, Spain, leading on the organization’s humanitarian advocacy strategy,…


Our Steering Committee

Amnesty International

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 10 million people who take injustice personally. We are campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Its Children’s Rights Division documents attacks on education and advocates for protection. It currently co-chairs the coalition, houses the GCPEA secretariat, and sponsors internships that serve GCPEA.

Plan International

Founded in 1937, Plan International is a development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan International strives for a just world, working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners.

Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict

Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) is a program of the Education Above All Foundation, founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education. Initially named Education Above All, PEIC was established in 2010 as a policy, research and advocacy organization to respond to the devastating impact of insecurity and armed conflict on education.

Save the Children (Fiscal Sponsor)

An internationally active non-governmental organization that enforces children’s rights, Save the Children provides relief and helps support children in developing countries. It was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts. Save the Children currently co-chairs the coalition, houses part of the secretariat, and some of its staff members are involved in GCPEA working groups.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Part of the United Nations System, UNICEF provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. UNICEF has provided funding for programmatic initiatives, as well as a global network of program officers involved in working groups and information sharing.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

A specialized agency of the United Nations, UNESCO’s stated purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture. UNESCO furthers universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and the human rights along with fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the UN Charter. UNESCO produced the groundbreaking studies, Education under Attack 2007, Education under Attack 2010, and Protecting Education from Attack: A State-of-the-Art Review 2010. UNESCO provides subject expertise, guidance in research, and staff for GCPEA working groups.

Our Supporters

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) is extremely grateful to all of its supporters, past and present, including Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC), a project of Education Above All, the Government of Norway, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), NoVo Foundation, UNICEF, Open Society Foundations, and Columbia University’s Program on Forced Migration and Health. GCPEA also receives support from donors who wish to remain anonymous.

If you or your organization are interested in being a contributor to GCPEA, please contact gcpea@protectingeducation.org.

Our Fiscal Sponsor

The Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) is a project of the Tides Center, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Tides’ full state-by-state disclosure page is linked.