Dirk Van Damme is Senior Counsellor in the Directorate for Education and Skills at the OECD in Paris. He holds a PhD in educational sciences from Ghent University and is also professor of educational sciences in the same university (since 1995). He held academic positions at the Free University of Brussels (1997-2000) and at Seton Hall University, NJ, USA (2001-2008). His main academic work focused on the history of education, comparative education, lifelong learning and international higher education. He also served in various positions in the field of education policy in the Flemish Community of Belgium, among others deputy and chief of staff of various Flemish education ministers. His current interests are innovation in education, the science of learning, comparative analyses of educational systems, and open education.