Kate Lapham is deputy director with the Education Support Program of the Open Society Foundations. Her work is focused on overcoming barriers to education for communities facing exclusion from or discrimination within schooling. Based in Istanbul, Lapham has worked with communities, civil society groups, and education policymakers in the Caucasus, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Mongolia and Russia for more than 15 years. She comes to the Open Society Education Support Program from IREX, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building quality education, independent media, and strong civil society.
Lapham has developed initiatives to strengthen civil society through exploration of common interests and challenges, including research for evidence-based advocacy, support for organizational development among young or small NGOs, and direct work with teachers and schools. She leads the Education Support Program’s grant making in support of the right to education in fully inclusive settings. She is also a PhD candidate in comparative and international education at Lehigh University with publications that include Learning to See Invisible Children: Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in Central Asia.
Lapham holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BS in foreign service from Georgetown University.