Our Team

Our Team | Al Qasim Foundation | Ras Al Khaimah | Diversity


  • Senior Research Fellow

    Marvin Erfurth

    Marvin Erfurth has a background in research, secondary and higher education, and consultancy, and has joined the Foundation as a Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Research Department. He is currently working on his PhD in comparative and international education, focusing on education policy and the economics of education. His work explores education reforms that involve both the UAE and Singapore.

    Previously, he was a research associate at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster’s Institute of Education in Germany, as well as a Visiting Scholar at University of Oslo’s Department of Education, Norway, and at the Foundation. He also worked as a Student Research Assistant during his university studies at University of Kassel, Germany, where he started as an Associate Lecturer before joining Universität Münster. Before pursing his PhD, Marvin studied Political Science and Economics, Music(ology), and Education Science (Teaching Profession).

  • Research Associate

    David Dingus

    David Dingus, a Research Associate at the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, isa German-American who grew up in the United States, where he completed dual bachelor's degrees in Economics and German at Texas A&M University. He later completed a master's degree in Development Economics at the Georgia-Augusta University of Goettingen in Germany.

    David has taught English as a second language in South Korea and Saudi Arabia, and has also worked as an ECE teaching assistant in the United States. Prior to joining the Foundation, he worked as a research assistant at the Chair of Development Economics during his studies at the University of Goettingen. During this time, he also worked on a TVET project based in Shanghai with the German Development Organization (GIZ), and as a field researcher in rural India with the Centre for Modern India Studies.

    David's research experience and interests include education and public health, and how we can use research in these areas to develop evidenced-based policies to foster sustainable development.

  • Research Assistant

    Max Eckert

    Max Eckert joined the Al Qasimi Foundation as a Research Assistant after studying Social Research and Public Policy at New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. During his undergraduate studies, he spent semesters in Washington, D.C., and Accra, Ghana, and conducted research on refugee integration in his home country, Germany. Max’s fieldwork with refugees at vocational school formed his interest in education at the intersection with migration, socioeconomics, and policy evaluation.

    Max previously interned with the Research and Evaluation team at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where he investigated the effects of arts integration on underserved students and schools. During his time in the UAE, Max co-organized the 2018 Gulf Comparative Education Symposium and developed his interest in using evidence to tackle inequality.

  • Non-Resident Researcher

    Susan Kippels

    Prior to joining the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, Susan Kippels conducted research for UNICEF, did advocacy work with an international NGO in Uganda, and oversaw a business in Lebanon. With UNICEF, Susan researched non-formal education strategies as well as early learning in emergency contexts. Her background also includes professional development, recruiting, and tutoring experience in San Francisco, CA.

    Susan, an American, holds a dual bachelor’s degree (Economics and Arabic) from the University of Notre Dame as well as a master’s (International Education Policy) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, both in the United States. She also spent a year studying at the American University in Cairo and has taken Arabic courses at the American University of Beirut.Susan’s research interests at the Al Qasimi Foundation include philanthropy in education, private education in the Gulf, and migrant teachers.

  • Non-resident Researcher

    Elizabeth Bruce

    Elizabeth holds a BS with Honors in Textile Chemistry from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, United States. Currently, she is pursuing an MEd in Globalization and Educational Change at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States. Her research interests center on sub-Saharan Africa, specifically focusing on the areas of health research partnerships and academic publishing. Elizabeth has also been involved with work related to the migration and resettlement of Syrian refugees in Europe and is part of collaborative work examining the scientization of mass education worldwide. Elizabeth is providing background research support for a research project exploring global trends in boys educational attainment and retention.

  • Non-Resident Researcher

    Natasha Mansur

    Natasha Mansur is a Non-resident Researcher with the Foundation, as well as the Managing Editor for the Gulf Social Policy and Education Review. She is in the process of receiving her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in dual-title degree, Education Theory and Policy and Comparative and International Education. She holds a MA in International Education Development from Columbia University, and a MA in English literature from City University of New York, Hunter College. Natasha has analyzed child protection concerns including child labor with UNICEF in New York and in Dhaka. Her research interests include ethnographic fieldwork for policy impact, quality education for marginalized children, and child labor.