Barbara Louise Trudell, Ph.D.

Senior Literacy and Education Consultant


  • Ph.D., International Education, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 2004
  • M.A., Interdisciplinary Studies (applied linguistics and education), University of Texas at Arlington, 1991
  • B.Sc. (magna cum laude), Chemistry, Houghton College, New York, 1979

Current positions

  • Certified Senior Literacy and Education Consultant, SIL International, 2012–2016, 2017–
  • Director of Research and Advocacy, SIL Africa, 2010–

Other professional experience and service

  • SIL International Literacy and Education Consultant, 2005–
  • SIL International Board of Directors, 1996–2012
  • Director of Academic Affairs, SIL Africa Area, 2004–2010
  • Instructor, International Perspectives on Education and Training, University of Edinburgh, 2003–2004
  • Director, Women Organized for Reading and Development (WORD), 2000–2001
  • Literacy programs coordinator, SIL Africa Area, 1993–2000
  • Literacy programs coordinator, SIL Peru Branch, 1991–1992
  • Instructor, English Composition for International Students, University of Texas at Arlington, 1989–1991
  • Literacy programs administrator, SIL Peru Branch, 1986–1989
  • Instructor, Literacy and applied linguistics, University of Texas at Arlington, 1985–1986
  • Literacy facilitator, Huanca Quechua language community, SIL Peru Branch, 1982–1984

Professional memberships

  • Global Literacy Special Interest Group co-chair, 2012–
  • Comparative and International Education Society, 2010–
  • Multilingual Education Network of Eastern Africa, Steering Group, 2006–
  • International Reading Association, 1985–

Language proficiencies

  • English: ILR 5
  • Spanish: ILR 4
  • French: ILR 1+

Research projects

  • 2014–2015. UNICEF-commissioned study of language policy and student learning outcomes in 21 countries of Eastern and Southern Africa
  • 2014. Study of the impact of the local development and use of Kamba-language supplementary reading materials, Kenya
  • 2013. Study of orthography reform and local-language reading instruction among Maasai communities of Kenya
  • 2012. Collaboration with RTI (response to intervention) and SIL researchers in Kenya, studying the outcomes and implications of early grade reading assessment in Kenyan primary schools
  • 2010. Study of seven primary education alternative programs being implemented by government and non-government sponsors in Burkina Faso
  • 2008. Study of the context, processes and outcomes of local-language adult literacy programs in five language communities of Senegal
  • 2002–2003. Study of primary education and language maintenance in three language communities of Northwest Cameroon, Ph.D. work
  • 1988–1989. Evaluation of the SIL/Ministry of Education bilingual education program in the Peruvian rainforest, M.A. work

Consultant work

  • Consultant on education project proposal writing: Ghana, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mali, Niger, Mozambique, 2012–
  • Consultant on national language policy development, Ghana Learning Project, 2015–2016
  • Project manager, Opportunity Schools project, Women Educational Researchers of Kenya, 2012–2013
  • Program consultant/manager, Uganda School Health and Reading project, 2012–2013
  • Led the development of an education project evaluation tool for the Hewlett Foundation, 2011–2012
  • Member of a UNESCO technical working group on effective practices in literacy, 2011
  • Member of the core group of UNESCO’s Knowledge and Innovations Network for Literacy, 2011
  • Member of a Fast Track Initiative expert panel on reading indicators, January 2011
  • Authored and edited evidence-based advocacy materials on language and education, for ADEA and UNESCO, 2007, 2008, 2010