RISE Core Group


Hernando Bernal Alarcón

Hernando Bernal Alarcón,

Hernando Bernal Alarcón has held positions as the Director General and member of the Board of Directors of several educational organizations in Colombia, as well as in the Latin American Region. As Director General of the Foundation for Cultural Action (ACPO), he was in charge of the implementation of educational innovations in the field of radio education for rural development in more than 14 countries in Latin America (1964-1981). As President of the Open University Program (UNISUR) of Colombia, he was a pioneer (1982-1985) in the use of distance education technologies for higher education. In his former position as Director General of the Colombian Institute for the Development of Higher Education (ICFES) (1986), he was in charge of the design and implementation of innovative national policies to promote accessibility and equity among higher education institutions in Colombia. As consultant for World Bank, IDB and AID (1997-2000), he collaborated in the design of educational reforms in Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, as well as in the evaluation of rural development alternative programs in Bolivia. In his position as Planning Director of the Universidad del Rosario in Colombia (1992-2001), he was involved in the introduction of administrative innovations for the attainment of higher levels of academic quality in higher education. He is currently the Representative of The RISE Institute in Colombia (2002-2007). His expertise includes: educational policy planning; adult basic education; distance education; higher education administration; design, implementation and evaluation of social development projects; production of educational materials; general planning and control of institutions of non-formal education; and fund-raising.

Marcia Bernbaum, Ph.D.

Marcia Bernbaum,

Marcia Bernbaum is a developmental psychologist who has spent most of her career working in education and who is, at heart, an applied cultural anthropologist. Her first “career” – as an education advisor and subsequently as a senior manager in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – took her to Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, and Kenya. Since retiring from USAID in 1996 she has split her time between conducting overseas consultancies (with a focus on program evaluation, organizational development, and strategic planning) in areas of continuing interest (education, human rights and social justice) and volunteering in the D.C. area. She derives her greatest satisfaction from carrying out case studies that document impacts, lessons learned and best practices of grass roots programs that promote leadership and empowerment. Case studies include: a program to train community leaders in Peru as human rights promoters; a girls' education program in Malawi; a program in the Dominican Republic in which private sector leaders promote basic education and education reform; civil society observation of Peru's controversial 2000 elections; and a case study of a program conducted by the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C. that assists immigrant multi-cultural youth to acculturate to living in the U.S. while dealing with the multiple traumas they have faced leaving their war torn countries, crossing over the border undocumented to the U.S., and facing the multiple challenges of adjusting to life in the U.S. Consultancies, since retiring from USAID, have taken her to Malawi, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Peru, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

Annette Hartenstein, Ph.D.

Annette Hartenstein,

Annette Hartenstein serves as the RISE Institute's Senior Advisor for Training and Workforce Development and as a human resource management consultant. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in the fields of Management, Organization and Human Resource Development, and Public Administration. In countries throughout the world, she has planned and conducted leadership and management development systems and training programs for government, industry, non-governmental organizations and academia. Her expertise includes: research, policy analysis and evaluation, coalition and community building, human resource development, organization performance improvement, institutional management, public administration; and skills training for low-income youth and adults. She has written numerous articles for professional journals.

Maureen McClure, Ph.D

Maureen McClure,

Profeser McClure is the Chair of Administrative and Policy Studies in the School of Education, Senior Research Associate in the Institute for International Studies in Education (IISE), and Director of the Global Information Networks in Education (GINIE) project, an Internet-based peer partner network. USAID, UNICEF, UNESCO and the University of Pittsburgh founded GINIE in 1996, following the Dayton Accords. It has designed innovative peer partner network responses for education in the Balkans, demobilized child soldiers in Sierra Leone, and sectoral leadership in Iraq, Indonesia and other countries in crisis. GINIE helped establish two UN-led interagency coordination networks, the Interagency Network on Education in Emergencies (INEE), and the Secondary Education Reform and Youth Policy (SERYP) network. GINIE peer partner networks are unique because of their low cost, high impact approaches to professional development and systems reconstruction during and after conflicts. They apply appropriate state-of-the-art technology to improve educational communications systems in nations with crises. Profeser McClure also works with the University of PittsburghÕs Ford Institute for Human Security. She also works on a University of Pittsburgh team that forms university partnerships with teacher education institutions in Indonesia through USAID's Decentralized Basic Education (DBE2) project. The team's work in Central Java, East Java, South Sulawesi and Band Aceh serve a population of 85 million. U.S. and Indonesian university partners are working collaboratively to upgrade primary school teacher quality through the development of decentralized clinical networks that support in-service activities. Prior to this, she headed a multi-year assessment team that produced a six-country case study of UNICEF's strategic responses to education in emergencies throughout the world.

Frank Method, Ph.D.

Frank Method,

Frank Method is a Senior Education Policy Advisor in RTI International's Education Policy and Systems (EPS) group. His broad international experience includes strategic planning, project and program design at the country level and participation in high level international working groups on education policy and assistance strategies. In Washington, DC, he has been active in public education working groups, including facilities planning, technology planning, and school restructuring. He has held senior education policy positions with USAID, UNESCO and the Ford Foundation. He was a visiting professor at Stanford University and has had a variety of consulting assignments with the World Bank, UNESCO, non-governmental organizations and private-sector firms. He represented the United States in international groups and policy fora including the International Working Group on Education, the Steering Committee for the World Conference on Education For All (EFA) and related education initiatives and continues to participate actively in the Basic Education Coalition and related advocacy and exchange networks. His interests and experience include strategic planning for knowledge economies; the need for new approaches to secondary and tertiary education relative to changing economies and technologies; policies emphasizing quality and quality assurance; education strategies in fragile states and post-conflict contexts; early-childhood education; adult and community education. A current focus is on the education and training implications of changing demographic trends, including slowing growth and declines in school-age cohorts in many countries and large cohorts of underemployed youth in urban areas of most countries.

Emily Vargas-Barón, Ph.D.

Emily Vargas-Barón,

In addition to directing and conducting activities for The RISE Institute, Emily Vargas-Barón consults internationally in the fields of education and integrated early childhood development, focusing on policy planning, training, program design and evaluation research. From 1994 to 2001, she was Deputy Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she directed the Center for Human Capacity Development. Previously, she founded and directed a research and development institute for early childhood development in Austin Texas, called the Center for Development, Education and Nutrition (now called Any Baby Can). Dr. Vargas-Barón was an Education Advisor for the Bogotá Office of The Ford Foundation and a Program Specialist in Education for UNESCO in Paris. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus on Education from Stanford University, where she was also an Associate of the Stanford International Development Education Center (SIDEC). She is the author of many books, chapters, articles, research and evaluation studies, and she has worked in Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and South Asia.

Serving Parents and Children in Countries with Violent Conflict
or Poverty