Paul Frisoli

In January 2020, Paul joined the LEGO Foundation as a Senior Program Specialist supporting the foundation's new humanitarian portfolio with a focus on reaching school-aged and out-of-school children in crisis settings with Learning through Play interventions. The foundation supports holistic childhood development using play as a vehicle to build upon children's cognitive, social, emotional, physical and creative skills.


Paul oversees a new initiative that focuses on Ethiopia & Uganda in East Africa, both of which host large numbers of refugees. He also promotes play-based learning and comprehensive teacher professional development models at the initiative and global levels. Paul works closely on the Humanitarian Team at the LEGO Foundation with CIE graduate, Anita Anastacio, who oversees a similar initiative.


Previously, Paul was the Associate Director for Education in Emergencies (EiE) at Family Health International 360 (FHI360) where he built the new EiE practice area, led FHI 360's Social-Emotional Learning initiatives, and was the project director for two USAID-funded EiE activities in post-conflict southern Senegal and acute contexts in Northeast Nigeria. He also provided technical support for schools impacted by high prevalence of gang violence in Guatemala and El Salvador.


Before joining FHI360, Paul was the Senior Technical Advisor in Education at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). He lead IRC's global work in social-emotional learning and education technology & innovation to promote children's enrollment, retention and learning in crisis and conflict settings. He was also involved in the design, start up and the provision of technical support to education programs in Middle East Region - Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Syria.


He was involved in the design of a project with Sesame Street workshop to develop a "holistic early childhood learning and development program featuring the trusted Sesame Street reflect the experiences and to address the needs of refugee children, their parents and caregivers."


He is actively involved in the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), supporting the Teachers in Crisis Contexts (TiCC) and PSS/SEL collaboratives. He also engages in the Equity Initiative Teacher Social-Emotional Well-Being Task Team and the Basic Education Coalition Education in Conflict and Crisis Working Group. He was a steering group member of the Education and Conflict and Crisis Network (ECCN).


Paul's doctoral dissertation focused on Teachers' experiences of professional development in (post)crisis Katanga Province, Southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo: A Case Study of Teacher Learning Circles.




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CIE Graduate