Tony Bloome – Executive Director and Founder
Anthony Bloome is the Founder and Executive Director of the Mobiles for Education (mEducation) Alliance. He has specialized in the field of international development and technology for over 25 years.
From 2009 to 2020, he was USAID’s Senior Education Technology Specialist where he provided technical advice to HQ, Missions and counterpart agencies regarding the appropriate uses of technology to support quality educational outcomes in developing countries. While working at USAID, he founded the mEducation Alliance to strengthen global collaboration and catalyze knowledge exchange and evidence-informed investments for edtech use in developing countries. He also founded the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development as an open innovation competition and partnership with World Vision and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to catalyze tech-based innovations to advance early grade reading. He subsequently managed both programs for 11 years before leaving USAID in 2020 and establishing the mEducation Alliance as an independent non-profit.
From 2006-2009, he was Peace Corps’ technology for development specialist where he supported staff and volunteer activities across all development sectors. From 1995-2006, he served as a distance education specialist for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and Zimbabwe where he focused on various applications of technology for education, health, and youth and workforce development. While at the World Bank, he also served as the Zimbabwe Country Director and Anglophone Africa Regional Coordinator for the World Links for Development (WorLD) initiative which supported national edtech policies, teacher training, and national schoolnet development. He has a M.A. in Telecommunications from George Mason University and a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA.
Scott Isbrandt – Director of Strategic Initiatives
Scott is an edtech entrepreneur and advocate for innovation with technology to promote education, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. Scott has worked extensively with local experts and local organizations to enhance edtech ecosystems by collaborating and co-creating, supporting the startup and development of thousands of small businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.
Over the past two decades, Scott has developed edtech solutions to bring affordable educational multimedia to developing communities across rural Africa, focusing on those with limited access.
Scott previously led Project ABC (Alphabétisation de Base par Cellulaire) in Niger, delivering basic education services to rural learners via mobile phones and improving the livelihoods of agricultural producers by creating systems to access agricultural market data. Scott also designed, prototyped, and produced interactive multimedia, building the initial architecture for the Pearson Education Interactive Textbook digital platform in partnership with Macromedia and the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media. He is also the creator of an edtech learning platform called Stepping Stone, a content creation tool and delivery system for low-cost mobile phones, delivering learning and training content to hundreds of thousands across Africa (early grade learners, teachers and entrepreneurs).
Scott has a Master’s in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and also holds a B.S. in Cinema and Photography from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College.
Nicole Carney – Director of Engagement
Nicole is not new to the world of education nonprofits, but working for one with a specific focus of technology was not an opportunity she would have imagined when she first began her career journey. She is now a passionate advocate of education technology and ensuring that learning is accessible to all.
She graduated from Chestnut Hill College with her bachelor’s degree in Communications. During that time she interned, and later worked for, a marketing firm that represented nonprofits and foundations. It was also during college that Nicole had her first experience overseas, spending a summer at a Tanzanian school as a tutor and proctor.
Later Nicole would go on to teach in Thailand and volunteer as an English language instructor in a children’s center in Nepal. Upon returning to the U.S. Nicole served two years as an AmeriCorps member in the United Way network and worked on both education and economic development projects. Additionally, she has also traveled to Rwanda on behalf of an impact investor to survey agricultural cooperatives.
Nicole went on to pursue a Master’s in International Education at George Washington University. With a research focus on education in emergencies, Nicole applied to the Virtual Student Federal Internship with USAID in 2019 as an Education Technology Intern. This placement happened to be supporting the mEducation Alliance and her supervisor was none other than the founder, Tony Bloome. She saw this internship as an opportunity to learn more about the role of technology in the continuity of learning when traditional education settings are not available. Little did she (or the rest of the world) know that a global pandemic would make her area of interest a reality.
Finishing her master’s in 2020, Nicole was honored to continue working for the mEducation Alliance as a full-time staff member, first as the Communications Lead and now as the Director of Engagement.