Dr. Heather Harding's professional career has spanned classroom teaching, professional development, non-profit management, and empirical research; her life’s mission is to improve educational opportunities for all children. At the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, she oversees investments in advocacy, policy, research and communications that support the implementation of culturally relevant standards-aligned instruction, advances excellent teaching, & builds educational equity.
Previously, Dr. Harding served as a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Senior Vice President of Community Partnerships at Teach For America, and Executive Director of EdCORE at George Washington University; EdCORE was a research-practice partnership where collaboration and translation were the central strategies for building solutions in education. Having earned her master's and doctoral degrees in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Heather retains her love of rigorous research and artful writing. Her dissertation focused on the practices of successful White teachers in predominantly Black middle schools. A trained journalist, she attended the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University as an undergraduate.
Currently a resident in the District of Columbia, Dr. Harding serves on several national and local non-profit boards including Education Leaders of Color, Promise 54 and the Center for Black Educator Development. She is the Board chair for the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Freedom Community Charter School in Washington, DC and is the proud mother of two Stokes graduates.
Heather is a Senior Director for Education Grantmaking at Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Heather leads a portfolio of investments that build a winning narrative about educational equity and advance policies that enable an education system that delivers excellence to all.
Heather’s professional career has spanned classroom teaching, professional development, nonprofit management and empirical research. She served as the founding Executive Director of a research-practice partnership at George Washington University and held several senior management roles at Teach For America. Heather was most recently a Senior Program Officer in Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Heather holds a master's and doctoral degrees in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and completed her undergraduate studies in Journalism at Northwestern. She retains her love of rigorous research and artful writing. She serves on several nonprofit and charter school boards including the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Freedom Community Charter School.