Columnist

Gordon Brown

Gordon Brown, former prime minister and chancellor of the exchequer of the UK, is UN special envoy for global education and chair of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity. He chairs the advisory board of the Catalyst Foundation.

Latest published



Social impact investment just paid off

Big ideas are few and far between. Progress usually occurs incrementally, bit by bit. But sometimes a big idea — even one that starts modestly — can thoroughly transform our view of what is possible.

July 31, 2017

The disunited kingdom

Today, the United Kingdom is united in name only. With different regions and industries desperately trying to opt out of a “hard Brexit” from the European Union, and Scotland even considering independence, whatever ties bind the UK together are being severely strained.

November 27, 2016

Education innovation in the Mideast

Supporting the millions of newly displaced people of the Middle East demands resources far beyond the capacity of the United Nations, and is a continuous humanitarian-aid challenge for companies, foundations, and public-sector donors.

October 27, 2016

Leading, not leaving, Europe

Can the United Kingdom ever reconcile itself to being part of Europe? If recent British newspaper headlines about the June 23 referendum on continued European Union membership are any guide, the answer appears to be a decisive “no.”

June 17, 2016

Education in conflict zones

Educating refugees and children in conflict zones is one of the biggest challenges facing the international community. Their schools have been reduced to rubble. Their teachers have fled or are struggling to survive. Their libraries have been looted or burned.

February 22, 2016

Antidote to radicalization

No visitor to the Middle East can avoid noticing the yawning gap between the educational, entrepreneurial and occupational aspirations of the region’s young people and the harsh reality that deprives so many of them of a positive future.

December 24, 2015

Britain’s EU dilemma

Europe is once again divided between East and West — only this time the fault line runs through the European Union. The eastern members are clinging fast to the EU in the face of Russian aggression.

March 14, 2015

Respecting the right to education

The odds are weighed heavily against achieving the target set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (MDGs) of ensuring by December 2015 that every school-age child is actually in school.

September 03, 2014