Instructors in the GCC program are renowned educators with deep experience in their field, selected specifically for their global education background and expertise. GCC participants benefit from a high level of interaction with course instructors. We look forward to expanding this list as the GCC program grows and adds additional courses.

Cate Biggs
Course Instructor: Poverty


Cate Biggs is a freelance writer, global education consultant, and principal of Writing for Global Engagement and the blog Grasping Global Poverty. She was the co-creator and author of the World Savvy Monitor, a series of online teachers’ guides to world affairs and current events. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, Cate has spent time in the field documenting the work of international organizations in Rwanda, Liberia, and Ghana, providing reportage and presentations for program monitoring, public outreach, and donor education. Her clients have included The Carter Center, Axis of Hope, Mercy Corps, and PhotoPhilanthropy.

Cate has a BA from Yale University, and a Master’s in Social Welfare Management and Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. She has been a high school teacher and K-12 curriculum consultant and has worked extensively in the foundation and non-profit realm. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Episcopal School of Knoxville in Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and three daughters.

Rose Chaffee-Cohen
Course Instructor: Sustainability and Environment

Rose Chaffee-Cohen is a member of the Upper School Science Department at Kent Place School, an all-girls K-12 independent day school in Summit, New Jersey.  At KPS, she teaches courses in AP Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, and The Bioethics Project, a student-directed research project in current bioethics issues.  She enjoys bringing relevant issues into the classroom and discussing them from multiple perspectives with her students. Before becoming a classroom teacher, Rose worked as an environmental educator for both the Appalachian Mountain Club and the New England Aquarium. She is passionate about environmental science, which she pursued at both Tufts University and Antioch University New England where she developed interests in scientific inquiry, project-based learning, and service-learning in the community. Last year, Rose traveled to Bangladesh with World Savvy as an educator with the American Youth Leadership Program to explore global cultural competency and climate change. She has also traveled, studied, and explored locally and abroad in Tanzania, Israel, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Europe, Seattle, Minnesota, and New England to name a few places. Over the past year, Rose has worked as an Educator Advisor to the Global Competence Certificate program. She looks forward to being a part of this exciting and innovative learning experience.  Outside of school, Rose enjoys cooking, traveling, gardening, and learning about the environment with her husband, Jake, and dog, Quinn.

Nicholas Coddington
Course Instructor: Capstone Seminar

Nick Coddington is a second year Ph.D. student at Teachers College, Columbia University with a research emphasis in teacher education at historic sites and museums. He also works at Teacher College’s Center for the Professional Education of Teachers (CPET) were he is a lead social studies coach and workshop facilitator for high schools in the greater New York City area. Prior to moving to New York City, Nick taught history and social studies for 10 years at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma, Washington. As an educator, Nick earned his National Board Certification in Social Studies as well as several national distinctions for his innovative teaching: The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous Teacher of the Year award, the Spirit of Anne Frank Teacher of the Year award, and the Evergreen State University Teaching Excellence Award. Before his teaching career, Nick served as a cavalry and intelligence officer in the U.S. Army working on security and humanitarian operations in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and South East Asia. Nick currently lives in NYC with his wife Wendy. They have two grown boys: Alexander, who is a professional theater director in Chicago and Ethan, a college junior in Philadelphia. Besides visiting historic sites and museums, Nick’s passions include riding motorcycles, cooking, and rooting for his Chicago Cubs.

Neelam Chowdhary
Course Instructor: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Global Competence

Neelam Chowdhary is the Executive Director of Global Learning Programs at Asia Society, a leading global education and cultural institution, and primary lead of Asia Society’s Partnership for Global Learning (PGL). In this role, she works to lead curriculum and professional development initiatives that strive to graduate students both college-ready and globally competent. This includes supporting the development of materials for the International Studies Schools Network (ISSN), a design-driven network of over 30 innovative public, charter and independent schools, located in eight states. In addition, she leads the development of online teacher professional development programs that provide the study and application of global competence to a national audience. Her work also includes designing and leading the annual Partnership for Global Learning conference that engages over 500 teachers nationally in global education implementation and advocacy.

Prior to joining Asia Society, Neelam was the Vice President of Programs at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) where she designed curriculum and professional development programs in the areas of youth entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition, she had a lead role in NFTE’s research and evaluation initiatives. Neelam has also taught in public schools in Los Angeles and New York City. She has a BA from the University of Southern California, a MS in Educational Leadership from Pepperdine University, and a Doctorate Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum Studies She is also a National Board Certified Teacher.

Deidre B. Combs
Course Instructor: Dialoguing in Global Education

Dr. Deidre Combs is the author of three books on cross-cultural approaches to resolving conflict and overcoming challenges: The Way of Conflict, Worst Enemy, Best Teacher and Thriving Through Tough Times. The books integrate ubiquitous advice from the world’s lasting cultural traditions with systems theory and brain research.

She has served as a professor at Montana State University for over a decade teaching intercultural leadership and critical thinking. Since 2007, she has also provided intensive leadership training to more than a thousand State Department, Muskie Foundation and Carnegie-selected students, K-12 teachers, activists and professionals from just about every country in the world. Combs has been a guest instructor at La Universidad de Sagrado Corazón, Puerto Rico, El Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico and PP International School, India.

Dr. Combs is a management consultant, executive coach and mediator. She has worked with a variety of corporate, government and NGO clients including Aveda Corporation, US Postal Service, IBM, Agenda Ciudadana and Landmine Survivors Network. She has been a featured keynote speaker at the US Forest Service, Montana Library Association, and TedxBozeman.

She holds a BA in Mathematics and Spanish from the University of Wisconsin — Madison, a master’s degree in Information Systems Technology from George Washington University, and a doctorate focused on world religions from UCS/Naropa University.

Karishma Desai
Course Instructor: Capstone Seminar


Karishma Desai is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research interests include transnational feminism, gender, curriculum theory, and teacher education. She is interested in questions about what knowledge and ideas of personhood are deemed worthy across educational policies, discourses, and curricula. Karishma holds a decade of experience as a literacy and social studies teacher, instructional/curriculum leader, and teacher educator. Most recently, she was the founding Staff Developer at a middle school in central Queens, and currently serves as a literacy and professional development consultant. She has worked on several international educational development and research projects across India, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Zanzibar, and co-led a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad for teachers to Tanzania. Karishma holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters in Childhood Education from Pace University.

Claudia Ford
Course Instructor: Economic Globalization

Dr. Claudia J. Ford has had a global career spanning three decades and all continents. Her professional experience includes management of international programs in environment and natural resource management, public health, women’s empowerment, civic participation, and girl’s education for academic, development, and humanitarian organizations. Claudia’s research interests are in gender, traditional ecological knowledge, historical ethnobotany and sustainable agriculture. Dr. Ford earned her BA at Barnard College, and MA/PhD at Antioch University. She currently teaches Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies, Environmental Literature, Global Business Economics, and Business Ethics and Social Justice. Claudia is also a midwife and an artist, and she has shared the adventures and challenges of her worldwide work and travel with her four children.

William Gaudelli
Course Instructor: Introduction to Global Competence

William Gaudelli is associate professor of social studies and education at Teachers College. His research areas include global citizenship education, media as curriculum tools, and teacher education/development.  He is currently engaged in research projects related to how students and teachers employ visual media to make meaning of global issues and case studies of global citizenship education. He recently served on the executive board of Theory and Research in Social Education and currently serves as an executive board member for the John Dewey Society and the College and University Faculty Association of National Council for the Social Studies. He has published a variety of pieces in scholarly journals, including Teachers College Record, The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Teaching Education, Theory and Research in Social Education, along with two books: World Class: Teaching and learning in global times (Erlbaum Associates, 2003) and Social Inequality in the Global Culture (Kluwer, 2008, co-edited). William is involved with a variety of international projects, including collaboration with the Global Education Leadership Foundation in India, and received a US-DOE FIPSE grant for an international exchange project. William is a frequent presenter at professional development meetings, an invited speaker at a variety of national and international conferences, and has guest lectured in the Netherlands.

Olga Hubard
Course Instructor: Aesthetic Experience

Olga Hubard is Associate Professor of Art Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is interested in the humanizing power of art, and in how educators can help promote meaningful art experiences for all learners.  She has published extensively about this issue, particularly in the context of museum education. At Teachers College, Olga teaches courses in museum education, cultural diversity in art education, research in art education, and studio art.

Olga moved to New York form her native Mexico to pursue an MFA in visual arts. Eventually, she also received master’s and doctoral degrees in art education from Teachers College. Before her appointment at Teachers College, Olga worked as a museum educator, a teaching artist, and as head of education of the Noguchi Museum – all in New York City.

Craig Perrier
Course Instructor: Digital Pedagogy for Global Competence

Craig Perrier is the High School Social Studies Curriculum and Instruction Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in Fairfax, VA. He also is an online adjunct professor of history and education for Northeastern University and the teacher certification program, Educate VA . Previously, he taught at American Schools in Brazil for six years and for six years in public schools in Massachusetts. After leaving the classroom, Craig was the Coordinator for Curriculum and Instruction for Social Studies and History at Virtual High School and then the PK-12 Social Studies Coordinator for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools. He has consulted on global education for IREX, IIE, iEARN, The Global Campaign for Education, and the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian. In addition, Craig has an M.A. in Global History and an M.Ed in Secondary Education. He maintains a blog “The Global, History Educator” and is the creator of the free online teacher resource “U.S. History in a Global Context.” You can follow him on twitter @CraigPerrier.

Deborah Sawch
Course Instructor: Inquiry Based Learning for Global Competence

Deb Sawch is a former business executive and classroom teacher who spent the last five years engaged in global research on educational practices in high-performing schools around the world. As a Co-Founder/Director of Studies in Educational Innovation (SEI) at Teachers College, Columbia University, she works with school districts both in the US and internationally to cultivate district- and school-wide approaches to 21st century teaching and learning and transformational change. She is a co-founder of the Global Learning Alliance, a consortium of scholars and educators from around the world dedicated to sharing and creating effective approaches to global readiness.

Deb received her Doctorate in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where she also received her MA and EdM degrees and was selected by faculty and administration to serve as the Masters commencement speaker. She earned a BA with Distinction, magna cum laude from the University of Connecticut where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Deb is Chair of the Teach for America-CT Advisory Board on which she has served since 2008.

Dr. Sawch has published in English Journal, Ed Leadership and presented papers at the American Educational Research Association as well as the New Directions in the Humanities Conference and the Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society. She and her colleagues are editing the book, Education for 21st Century Global Capacities–An International Perspective, which features insights on global education policy, research, and practice from scholars and educators around the world (Springer, in press).

Sandra Schmidt
Course Instructor: Global Systems

Sandra Schmidt is assistant professor in the Program in Social Studies at Teachers College.  Her research studies the intersection of geography and civic education, in particular exploring how civic identity and civic efficacy are shaped by engagement in public spaces including schools and museums.  This questioning also entails examining how public spaces are impacted by acts of civic engagement and protest.  Her research pays particular attention to issues of gender and sexuality and how spaces invite women and sexual minorities to engage as citizens.  Her research has been published in Theory and Research in Social Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Journal of Geography.  She serves on the executive board of the College and University Faculty Association of National Council of Social Studies, the Queer Studies SIG of AERA, and the Center for Civic Education as well as the editorial board for Theory and Research in Social Education.  She taught secondary global studies in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Dedza, Malawi.  She has been involved in research and development projects in Malawi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.  She volunteers as a Global Village team leader for Habitat for Humanity and has taken teams of teachers, students, and other volunteers to Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, and Lesotho.

Ken Simon
Course Instructor: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment for Global Competence

Ken Simon is the Director of Programs at World Savvy. He has nearly 20 years of experience working in urban schools, having served as a social studies classroom teacher, curriculum/instruction leader, district administrator and professional development provider across all content areas. He is a published curriculum writer and also teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses at the university level. Ken previously served as a school designer and professional development provider for Expeditionary Learning Schools, conducting workshops and presentations on pedagogy, literacy and Social Studies content across the nation to K-12 public school teachers. Before coming to World Savvy, Ken served as the Director of College and Career Readiness for Minneapolis Public Schools. Ken earned a B.A. in Politics & Government from Ripon College, and a B.S. in Secondary Education and M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota.

Andy Snyder
Course Instructor: Discussion Leadership for Global Competence

Andy Snyder has taught self-designed Humanities courses at two small, progressive New York City public high schools for the last 15 years, organizing courses that help students to rethink the consensus trance while also building their core intellectual capacities. At his present school, Harvest Collegiate, which serves primarily high-needs students, he teaches economics and an ethics course around competing visions of a good life. A few of his favorite books are “Being Mortal” by Gawande, “Feed” by Anderson, and “A Solitary Blue” by Voigt. He has also enjoyed working as a professional developer, adjunct professor, and curriculum developer. Before becoming a teacher, his most formative experience was leading a youth-run youth center in southwest Florida, where he is from. Andy earned a bachelor’s degree in General Studies from New College of Florida, a Master’s in Social Sciences of Education from the University of South Florida, and was certified as a National Board teacher in 2005.

Danielle Zagar
Course Instructor: Human Rights and Global Competence


Danielle has a combined B.Sc. and BA in Biology and Sociology from the University of British Columbia, and a Masters in Post-War Recovery from the University of York, UK. During her Masters studies, she focused on the role of youth, education and employment in conflict creation, prevention and resolution, particularly in countries recovering from conflict. Her field research in Sri Lanka focused on teacher education programs in post-conflict settings, and the role of inter-generational trauma and collective guilt amongst Hutu youth in Rwanda, post-genocide.

As a high school educator for over 16 years, she has also been a consultant to the Ministry of Education in British Columbia for school design, Curriculum Head of English, and developed and implemented numerous District courses in Leadership and social sciences, as well as an inter-disciplinary Global Education program for senior high school students. She has chaired multiple social justice and genocide conferences in both Canada, and Rwanda, and is actively involved with facilitating overseas experiential learning programs in international development in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Capacity building, human rights and social justice education have been at the center of Danielle’s personal and teaching focus. Conflict and peace studies – particularly genocide studies – and scholarly pursuits in Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Israel, as well as cultural proficiency and international development studies in Canada and the United States, have fueled her passions. She also has a strong interest in the effects of climate change and globalization on conflict creation, the complexity of ethical dilemmas in humanitarian aid and international development, and transitional justice regarding violations of International Humanitarian Law, particularly with respect to ethnic conflicts.