Tara Stafford Ocansey


Tara is a program manager and education specialist with over ten years of experience managing education research and implementation teams from diverse education settings across numerous countries.

Since joining Columbia University’s Earth Institute in 2012, Tara has helped lead program implementation and ongoing management of the Connect To Learn technology in education initiative in 8 sub-Saharan African countries and Myanmar. As part of this work, Tara managed a collaborative action research study in Kenya and Uganda that worked with faculty from universities in Kenya, Uganda and the United States to identify best practices to integrating technology tools in rural, resource-poor classrooms. Tara managed Connect To Learn’s girls’ scholarship program that has helped enroll over 1,300 girls across ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Myanmar. She has helped develop new vocational and life skills programs aimed at supporting marginalized young women in building eco-friendly livelihoods beyond secondary school. Currently, Tara is leading the education team’s work developing Social Emotional Learning and Psychosocial Support interventions for over 200 primary schools in Northeast Nigeria through the Strengthening Education in Northeast Nigeria (SENSE) project.