The RISE Podcast: Asyia Kazmi OBE on Building Solid Foundations and Championing Quality Teaching

Episode 8 of the RISE podcast features Dr. Asyia Kazmi OBE discussing her 25-year career in education—as a teacher, mentor, advisor, and educationalist.


Image of Asyia Kazmi

Asyia Kazmi

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Image of Lant Pritchett

Lant Pritchett

RISE Directorate

Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

In this episode of the RISE Podcast, RISE Research Director Lant Pritchett speaks to Asyia Kazmi OBE, Global Education Policy Lead at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During the episode, they walk through Asyia’s wide-ranging experiences spanning her 25-year career in education—as a teacher, mentor, advisor, and educationalist—and reflect on the legacy of Girin Beeharry, the inaugural Director of Global Education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They also discuss the critical importance of getting kids literate and numerate, as well as the need to build systems that champion quality teaching and restore children's confidence in their ability to succeed. 


Guest biography

Dr Asyia Kazmi OBE is the Global Education Policy Lead at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with a focus on effective instructional practices, education advocacy and edtech. Nearly half of Asyia’s 25-year career in education was spent as a mathematics teacher and teacher coach. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Asyia was a management consultant in PwC leading the Girls’ Education Challenge, a $1bn fund set up by the UK to support the education of 1.5 million girls in 17 countries. Asyia has worked in three UK Government departments: as a senior education adviser in DFID, a project director in the Department for Education, and a senior Her Majesty’s Inspector in Ofsted, where she inspected schools, local authorities, initial teacher education and trained inspectors. Her areas of expertise include teaching, learning and formative assessment; school improvement; and large-scale programme management. Asyia has a Masters in Applied Mathematics from Imperial College London and a Doctorate in Education on teaching and learning mathematics from the Institute of Education, University College London. She has a PGCE in Leadership development and educational consulting, and a PGCE in mathematics teaching.


RISE is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Programme is implemented through a partnership between Oxford Policy Management and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford supports the production of the RISE Podcast.

Producers: Joseph Bullough and Katie Cooper

Audio Engineer: James Morris

RISE blog posts and podcasts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation or our funders.