AsiaGlobal Fellows
Modupe Adefeso-Olateju

Modupe Adefeso-Olateju


The Education Partnership Centre, Lagos

Member of the Board

Malala Fund


About Modupe Adefeso-Olateju

Modupe (Mo) Olateju, PhD. is an international development specialist with expertise in public-private partnership in education and with research interests in education innovation, foundational learning, and public-private partnership in education. She is a Fellow with the Center for Universal at the Brookings Institution where she oversees the research and project agenda of a global network of organisations that have demonstrated committed to education systems transformation. As founding CEO of The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, she has led the organization’s pioneering work in applied education research in Nigeria and across Africa for the last ten years. In this capacity, she led the establishment of LEARNigeria, Nigeria’s citizen-led assessment, advocacy, and action program that implemented a model of effective public-private collaboration in education. LEARNigeria provides rich evidence on learning outcomes of 40,000 children across Nigeria and implements an accelerated learning program to address learning poverty at scale. She also co-established the annual pan-African education innovation summit (NEDIS), which is now in its eighth year, and its accompanying civil society network, the National Innovation Collaborative on Education.

In her role as a policy adviser, Olateju has supported policymakers, international think tanks, and corporations, and led workstreams on a range of education sector support initiatives funded by government agencies, multilateral organizations, and corporate funders. She drafted a section of Nigeria’s 2011-2015 education strategy, was a member of the technical team that developed Nigeria’s Medium- and Long-Term Strategic Plans in 2020, and in 2023, served on a three-member Policy Advisory Council, establishing education policy priorities for Nigeria’s newly inaugurated national government.

As an applied research practitioner and civil society representative, Olateju has provided technical leadership as a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges (Evidence Commission) at McMaster University. She has also provided advice and guidance on technical review and advisory committees convened by the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report, the Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP, Education Cannot Wait , Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Global Schools Forum (GSF), Lego Foundation, Lever for Change, and several FCDO (UK government)-funded programs including Education Research in Conflict and Protracted Crisis (ERICC) and Education Data, Research and Evaluation in Nigeria (EDOREN). She also offered technical advice on scaling education innovation to the Millions Learning project at Brookings. She has led capacity development activities with stakeholders in African countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Uganda.

Olateju chairs the global board of Malala Fund and serves as a trustee of Human Capital Africa and Slum2School U.S. Her previous work experience in the private sector included organizations like Accenture, where she was a management consultant, and Junior Achievement of Nigeria, where she was a regional vice-president.

As the IOE Centenary Scholar for Africa, she graduated from University College London’s Institute of Education with a doctorate in Education and International Development and prior to that, earned a master’s degree with distinction from the same university. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in educational administration from the University of Lagos and is a fellow of the Asia-Global Institute at Hong Kong University.

Modupe is committed to helping Africa reap the demographic dividends of a youth population that is expected to swell to 1.2 billion by 2050. Her research as an AsiaGlobal Fellow addressed the question: What can Africa learn from Asia about mainstreaming innovation in the education policy-planning process?


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