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Our History

Globalize DC started life as the DC Center for Global Education and Leadership (CGEL), created by Sally Schwartz during her tenure as Director of International Programs at DC Public Schools (1999-2008). In that role, she worked with PK-12 teachers and administrators to encourage and support global teaching and learning in DCPS classrooms. Partnerships were key to this work, especially given the meager to non-existent budget available in those years to support global education in the schools. Much of her work, by necessity, focused on facilitating connections between interested schools and outside partners with global education resources and information to share.

Sally recognized the need to create a nonprofit entity that could support her work in the public sector by mobilizing external resources, building sustainable partnerships, and creating a community-based constituency on behalf of PK-12 global education. CGEL was incorporated in DC and received its 501(c)(3) designation in 2009. Sally Schwartz, no longer with DCPS, has served as its Executive Director since that time. Subsequently, CGEL broadened its mission beyond its original exclusive focus on DCPS to incorporate DC’s “state” education functions and DC charter schools, which serve almost half of DC’s public school students.

Here’s a sampling of some of the fascinating work we were able to accomplish on behalf of DC students and educators – thanks largely to our network of committed partners: CGEL-OIP Partner Programs

The transition to Globalize DC

The organization has recently adopted a new name, Globalize DC, more reflective of its current mission and approach. It builds on decades of unique experience working in the local global education arena.

Why the name change?

  • The name Globalize DC is shorter – easier to say and much easier to remember.
  • The name Globalize DC has an active voice – we want it to describe a more energetic and mission-driven organization.
  • The name Globalize DC more closely describes our work and our vision. We believe strongly that global education is not a discrete subject or set of subjects that students need to master in the 21st century. Instead we believe that global awareness, global mindedness, and global engagement represent a point of view, a way our students will need to move forward in the world. Our students need to see themselves as “global” actors – with “global” competencies (knowledge, skills, mindset, and experiences) that will prepare them for life and work in the globalized world they will inherit.

Since its founding, the DC Center for Global Education and Leadership (CGEL) operated as a very small nonprofit without paid staff – but with a big vision. Now, as Globalize DC, we are working intently on building our capacity to advance this agenda and put Globalize DC on a pathway to become an effective, sustainable, appropriately resourced organization that can fulfill its mission with fidelity.