Hanny Alshazly

Hanny Alshazly, MEd, is senior regional director at Blackboard Inc (Bb). As senior regional director at Blackboard, Alshazly cultivates opportunities in the higher education, K-12, and corporate markets by highlighting how learning technologies improve the quality of education globally and are the means to meet the dynamic needs of the universal learner. With customer success as his mission, Alshazly is dedicated to ensuring that each one of Bb’s customers’ goals and vision are met in the long term. Having been a part of the online education field since its early days, Alshazly possesses pragmatic insights into the online teaching and learning industry, which encompass both corporate and academic perspectives. His extensive experience allows him to serve on several educational boards including the Gulf Education Advisory Board. Being a regular speaker at multiple conferences worldwide, Alshazly is also well known for his interactive keynote presentations on education and educational technologies. Over the course of his career, Alshazly’s contributions and his dedication to his field have garnered him several awards and recognitions, the most recent being the Distinguished Alumni Award from Athabasca University in Canada, where he received his Master of Education and Advanced Post Graduate Diploma in distance education and technology. During the ceremony, Alshazly was also honored to have been added to the Nova Scotia Legislature for his career achievements. Alshazly also holds a BSc in computer science with a focus on business administration from Dalhousie University in Canada.


Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson has over 25 years of experience in higher education. She is currently vice president of the New England Commission of Higher Education located in Burlington, Massachusetts where she collaborates with member institutions and external constituencies in New England and internationally on all aspects of the institutional accreditation process, including: becoming accredited; preparing accreditation reports and the self-study; training and education; and the assessment of student success. Dr. Anderson serves on the Regional Committee for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement – a national initiative to ensure access to high quality online education. She also serves on the national Council of Regional Accreditation Commission’s For-Profit Task Force – an initiative to ensure the quality of education at for-profit institutions. Dr. Anderson presents at workshops and educational sessions at universities and conferences in New England and beyond. Internationally, she has presented in Switzerland, China, Ukraine, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Bangladesh, and Lebanon. Dr. Anderson holds a BA and MA in psychology; an EdD in adult education, and a doctorate in law and policy with a focus on regional accreditation and distance education.


Mustafa Aydın

Mustafa Aydın is a professor of international relations at Kadir Has University (Istanbul), and the president of International Relations Council of Turkey. Previously, he worked at Ankara University (1994-2005) and Economy and Technology University (2005-2009), and was the rector of Kadir Has University between 2010 and 2018. Professor Aydın was guest researcher and/or lecturer at Michigan (1998), Harvard (2002, Fulbright Fellow), and Athens (2003, Onassis Fellow) universities, as well as at Richardson Institute for Peace Studies (1999, UNESCO Fellow) and the EU Institute for Security Studies (2003). In addition to the Global Relations Forum, he is a member of International Studies Association (ISA), Turkish Atlantic Council, Turkish Political Sciences Association, European Leadership Network, Greek-Turkish Forum, and European Academy of Art and Sciences. Professor Aydın’s areas of interest include international politics, foreign policy analysis, security issues related to Central Asia, Caucasus, the Black Sea and the Middle East, as well as Turkish foreign and security policies. Some of his works are International Security Today; Understanding Change and Debating Security (with K. Ifantis, 2006); Turkish Foreign and Security Policy (2006); Turkish Foreign Policy; Old Problems, New Parameters (2010); and Non-Traditional Security Threats and Regional Cooperation in the Southern Caucasus (2011).


Richard Boyum

Richard Boyum is the university partnerships coordinator at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Office of Press and Public Diplomacy.  He oversees collaborative partnerships between American universities and institutions in South and Central Asia. Partnerships focus on developing capacity through faculty enrichment, curriculum revision, research, and cross-cultural understanding. He was previously a foreign service officer in the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of Academic Programs, specializing in English language teacher education, exchanges, and programming.  He served in Washington, Cairo, New Delhi, Sao Paulo, Bangkok, and Santiago. Richard was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, and received an MA from Georgetown University in bilingual education.


Colla MacDonald

Colla MacDonald earned the titles of Distinguished University Professor and Professor Emeritus from the University of Ottawa prior to retiring in 2016 and accepting the role as senior researcher at the University of Malta. Dr. MacDonald has demonstrated a cutting-edge vision for education that is recognized around the world. She has conceptualized, designed, and delivered groundbreaking teaching strategies and innovative learning solutions in schools, universities, and healthcare institutions that have impacted learners, teachers, and staff at all levels. Over her 30-year career, Dr. MacDonald’s research agenda has adapted to meet the demands of the educational and global climate. For well over a decade, her focus has been on the shifts in learning that have been being driven and affected by massive technological change. She is curious about the conditions under which learning can be made richer, more effective, and more meaningful for learners, particularly adults, in online environments. This has resulted in a life’s work of innovative pedagogical approaches. Over the course of her career, Dr. MacDonald has published 100 refereed articles, books, and book chapters, and presented at numerous national and international conferences. She was awarded the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education Award for Excellence in Research, the eLearn’s Outstanding Paper Award, was appointed a senior researcher at the Bruyère Research Institute and was the only member of the Faculty of Education to ever be cross-appointed with the Faculty of Medicine. In 2007, because of her outstanding research record and work in the field of eLearning, Dr. MacDonald received Canadian Foundation for Innovation funding to establish the Faculty of Education’s Innovation in eLearning Research Laboratory. Within this laboratory, Dr. MacDonald and her graduate students have collaborated to produce scholarship that has had significant impact at the local, national, and international levels. For example, their eLearning frameworks have been used to guide the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of learning programs in several countries across four continents both in the university setting and with global organizations such as the World Health Organization, the National Board of Medical Examiners in the United States, Doctors Without Borders, and the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa to name just a few. In collaboration with the School of Nursing, Dr. MacDonald created a bilingual toolkit of assessment instruments to assess healthcare education, which were validated with over 1,000 learners in three countries and are currently being used as quality standards to assess healthcare workers in various programs in Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, across Canada and the United States. Dr. MacDonald led the development and evaluation of award-winning ePhysicianHealth.com/ eSantedesMedecine.com, a program comprising 14 bilingual online modules on physician wellness topics. ePhysicianHealth.com is a highly regarded learning platform that is used by medical schools, hospitals, healthcare organizations, and national/international medical associations and policy think tanks. The impact of this research is felt internationally with the program being used by over 26,000 individuals in more than 130 countries. Dr. MacDonald is a leader in her field and has been invited onto the global stage. She designed workshops with the World Health Organization in Africa, Europe, and North America. Dr. MacDonald’s high standards of teaching are reflected in the awards she has received for her eLearning courses and modules, including the WebCT Exemplary Course Award, the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education Awards of Excellence, Excellence and Innovation in Instructional Design, and the International E-Learning Award for Business/Professional E-Learning awarded by the International E-Learning Association. Dr. MacDonald has successfully supervised two post-doctoral fellows, 15 doctoral students, four master’s students, and three students doing interim reports, in addition to being on over 30 thesis committees.


Arno Meerman

Arno Meerman is a co-founder and a CEO of the University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN). In his role, Meerman oversees UIIN’s daily activities. To foster innovation and entrepreneurship, he also leads several of UIIN initiatives, including UIIN events, Good Practice Case Studies as well as national and EU projects. He has been a leading organizer of more than ten major events, including conferences with more than 300 participants. Meerman is currently involved in a project (PUSH) which looks at hybrid value creation (open innovation) in a regional context. He also manages UIIN’s involvement in the SHIP project (Erasmus+Knowledge Alliance) in which four regional alliances are built to stimulate open innovation and collaboration. Meerman was a project manager and a researcher in several European and national research projects, including the largest European study completed in the area of university-business cooperation, commissioned by the European Commission.


Concepcion V. Pijano

Concepcion V. Pijano is the chair of the Advisory Council for Higher Education Accreditation International Quality Group (CIQG) which addresses higher education quality assurance worldwide. She served as president of the Asia-Pacific Quality Network (APQN) from 2007–2010. APQN is the regional network of quality assurance agencies in the Asia-Pacific Region. Ms. Pijano has shared her experiences and expertise in accreditation with various institutions, both local and international. She has served as a consultant for accreditation and quality assurance to a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa. For the past seven years, she has been involved in the ASEAN‐QA Project, a joint initiative carried out by seven international partners which aims at strengthening quality assurance within the region. Currently, she is a consultant for UNICEF in Timor-Leste, assisting the Ministry of Education in establishing the licensing and accreditation system for the country. She is also involved in the European Union project on Strengthening Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (EU-SHARE). She has authored several manuals and tools for accreditation, conducted research and capacity building workshops, advised governments on quality assurance issues and presented papers in regional and international conferences.She was Executive Director of the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities until April 2018. She earned her master’s degree in Public Administration at Pace University in New York, USA.


Gard Titlestad

Gard Titlestad is the director of Nordic Insight. Today, Titlestad works as consultant for his company Nordic Insight, for NordForsk and the Nordic Research Collaboration. He also works as an expert (governing board member) for the UNESCO Institute for IT in Education and a few international projects. He retired in the summer of 2018 from the International Council for Open and Distance Education, ICDE, where he led the ICDE operations and the Permanent Secretariat. At ICDE he worked in close partnership with UNESCO for the new sustainable development goals, in particular number four. Collaboration between institutions, associations, companies and individuals was a key priority for him, on a regional, global and north-south-south basis. He led the ICDE participation in the Teachers Task Force for Education 2030, the Global Alliance for Literacy and the UNESCO led initiative for Quality Assurance in Higher Education. Gard joined ICDE in 2011 after serving at the Nordic Council of Ministers, NCM, in Copenhagen, Denmark, as head for the Department of Knowledge and Welfare. He managed the secretariat for several configurations of ministers including the ministers for education, research and IT, the ministers for health and social affairs, the ministers for labour affairs, for a shorter period the ministers for enterprise and the ministers for finance. Before joining the NCM, Gard served as Research and IT Counsellor for Norway, and as member of the executive team for the Norwegian delegation to the European Union. Prior to this, he was a senior official in the European Commission in Brussels, Directorate General Information Society. In Norway he worked for the Norwegian Government in research and development agencies. Gard is a member of the Advisory Board of the African Virtual University (AVU) online Journal of Research in Open, Distance and e-Learning (JRODeL), the editorial board of the American Journal of Distance Education and he was the publisher of the open access journal Open Praxis.