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Sunny Varkey, Founder and Chairman of GEMS Education, has been appointed as a member of Harvard University’s prestigious Global Advisory Council.

Varkey is one of approximately 77 council members chosen from all over the world and is only the second representative from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries currently sitting in the council.

The Global Advisory Council is Harvard’s most authoritative advisory body, designed to offer advice and suggestions on the university’s global strategy. The council is comprised of leading individuals from various sectors and chaired by Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein.

The Council is also designed to assess the nature and effectiveness of Harvard’s global resources and derive strategies with the ultimate goal of ensuring Harvard’s continued global leadership in higher education and research.

Sunny Varkey said: “It is my privilege to be part of a prestigious institution that is made up of some the most eminent and prominent figures in the world. I am deeply honoured to be associated with Harvard University as I share their vision of education becoming the most powerful tool to a brighter future.”

Varkey is a passionate education entrepreneur who is the driver behind GEMS’ mission to advance quality education for all. His visionary ambition and efforts in the K12 education space has been widely recognised.

The UAE Ministry of Education conferred an award of distinction for his service to education in the country; the Indian Government honoured him with the Padmashri Award – one of the highest civilian honours; he also received the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Eminent Educationist. Further to his untiring efforts, he was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Education Partnerships.

Varkey will be part of this year’s annual meeting of the Council which includes active discussions between the members and Harvard University’s president, Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust. He will contribute to the discussions on Harvard’s current global activities and how they can be developed further and will share the outcomes and learnings throughout the GEMS Education network.

Read our interview with Sunny Varkey here.