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Welcoming Chanwoong Baek as NORRAG Academic Director and Assistant Professor of Comparative and International Education at the Geneva Graduate Institute

Chanwoong Baek joined NORRAG as the Academic Director in September 2022. Aside from NORRAG, he is serving as an Assistant Professor of Comparative and International Education in the International Relations/Political Science Department, with a courtesy appointment in the Anthropology and Sociology Department at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

Prior to joining NORRAG, Chanwoong Baek was a Postdoctoral Fellow of Globalization, Comparative Education, and Policy Research at the University of Oslo. He completed his PhD in Comparative and International Education with a specialization in Sociology at Columbia University and his MA in International Comparative Education at Stanford University. He also brings applied policy experience in international education policy research, development, and coordination in the US and the Republic of Korea. 

Baek’s areas of expertise include global governance in education, comparative policy studies, and sociology of quantification. His research critically assesses the claims of “evidence-based” policymaking from a comparative and international perspective, employing both quantitative and qualitative methods. In particular, he examines the current ecosystem of initiatives, networks, and knowledge platforms and seeks ways to address the disconnection between knowledge production and utilization, global supply and local demand, and the Global North and the Global South. 

Below, Chanwoong Baek answers a few questions about his role at NORRAG. 

Chanwoong, you are joining the Geneva Graduate Institute as an Assistant Professor of Comparative and International Education and Academic Director of NORRAG. What makes this assignment special for you?

I believe that this assignment will allow me to strengthen the connection between foundational and applied research and bridge teaching, research, policy, and practice. I very much look forward to building a strong academic program in comparative and international education at the Geneva Graduate Institute and at the same time extending NORRAG’s reach and scope of activities with a special commitment to amplifying the voices of the Global South. Given the critical challenges education faces today such as inequality exacerbated by the pandemic as well as the privatization and digitalization of learning, I believe that this is a pivotal moment to strengthen the field of education, and I hope to be able to contribute to this meaningful effort through my roles at the Geneva Graduate Institute and NORRAG.

Do you have a message for the members of the NORRAG Network?

As someone who has been following and supporting NORRAG’s inspiring work for years, I am greatly honored and excited to join NORRAG as its Academic Director. For me, NORRAG is truly special not only because of our commitment and daily work to produce and mobilize knowledge to improve access, equity, and quality in education, but also because of our members across the world who work hard to address global and local challenges in education with care and dedication. Building on the tremendous work of the former director, Dr. Gita Steiner-Khamsi, NORRAG will continue to offer various opportunities for our members to connect, learn, and transform. I very much look forward to collaborating with you!

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