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.