It’s been almost seven years since I sat with Sara Mead and Kevin Carey in Kevin’s living room, struggling to hear Andy Rotherham and Tom Toch on a static-filled Blackberry speakerphone as we made plans for a new organization called Education Sector. Five months later we launched the organization and since then, it’s been a wonderful ride.
Now’s my time to say goodbye, as next week I join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as Deputy Director, Policy Development. There, as part of the U.S. Program Advocacy team, I’ll help develop public policy and investment strategies at the federal and state level to support the foundation’s programmatic goals of increasing college ready high school graduation rates and doubling the number of young people who receive a post-secondary credential with value in the labor market.
I’m extraordinarily proud of Education Sector’s work and most of all, extremely fortunate to have worked with and learned from such an incredible team of thinkers, analysts, and writers. All of this work is stronger when thoughtful persons, from multiple perspectives and backgrounds, engage openly and forthrightly to work through our nation’s most challenging educational issues. And I’m especially thankful for all of the researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and advocates who have shared their ideas, challenges, and concerns with me over the last seven years. I’ve learned much from all of you and look forward to continuing to learn and engage in my new role.