Hall of Fame Class of 2019
Gina Ebner has had a transformative impact as the Secretary General of the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). With a clear emphasis on bringing the empowerment and joy of learning to adults throughout Europe, she has continuously pushed for systemic change while maintaining that adult education is a right and a vital part of overall social justice.
Since she was appointed in 2007, she has worked closely with the EAEA Board and forged robust and effective relations with the European Union (EU) commission. She has worked with a wide range of partners, consolidated the finances of the non-government organization, and developed active support for the smaller and emergent associations in the east of the continent.
Under Ebner’s leadership, EAEA introduced advocacy training programmes for young and emergent leaders in adult education. Her efforts led not only to an increase in adult education supporters in the European Parliament, but also at the national level of member nations, where EAEA has been established as civil society experts and a key reference point for advocacy in adult education in Europe.
She was elected to chair the Lifelong Learning Platform of the EU, representing a wide coalition of transnational bodies across the post-compulsory education sector. In this role, she has had a visible impact on the lifelong learning policy of the EU and the rest of Europe, notably in securing the role of NGOs. Her commitment has led to not only the strengthening of budgets for adult education within the EU, but also to creating a dialogue with all 42 European nations that has enabled organizations outside the EU to gain access to information and resources that promote adult education.