Desmond has worked in the education sector as a teacher, teacher trainer, and senior education adviser in the UK and globally for over 20 years and is currently a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he is conducting research on aid effectiveness and education. As part of his research he is working on a book regarding the lessons learned from his previous five years as the Head of the Education for All–Fast Track Initiative (FTI) Secretariat at the World Bank. Under his leadership, the FTI grew to over 35 countries and secured donor commitments through to 2010 of over $1.5 billion. He also helped to establish the FTI as an important global partnership to promote aid effectiveness in the education sector.
Prior to taking over as the Head of the FTI, Bermingham was Head of Profession for the education team in the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and was a key player during the U.K.'s G-8 presidency in 2005 and worked closely with the UK Treasury team in preparing Gordon Brown’s announcement in 2006 of $10 billion commitment to education over the next 10 years.
Desmond Bermingham has a degree in English language and literature from St. Johns College, Oxford, as well as masters degrees in education and development management. He has worked as a senior education adviser for DFID in Ethiopia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and Guyana and has a particular interest in increasing the effective use of aid in the education as well as special responses to support education in fragile states and conflict affected countries.