Securing educational equity for all our students will require strong leaders at every level of government and policy who believe we can and must achieve this goal. The Public Leadership Initiative works to promote civic engagement and to inspire corps members and alumni to see public leadership as impactful, accessible, and necessary. Through fellowships, trainings, partnership programming, and multimedia resources, we give aspiring public leaders tools to help them succeed in the fields of politics, policy, advocacy, and community organizing. As more alumni assume positions that enable them to set priorities and influence policy decisions, their efforts will play a powerful role in changing the prevailing ideology that continues to tolerate inequity across communities, issues, and institutions.
The Public Leadership Initiative works to help alumni pursue leadership roles as policy advisors, experts in public agencies or executive offices, leaders in advocacy or policy-focused organizations, elected officials, campaign staffers, and community organizers.
- Leadership For Educational Equity (LEE) Website: Our partner organization, LEE, offers opportunities for alumni to connect with other corps members and alums, learn about alumni in policy and politics, and access resources, toolkits, and job listings to navigate the world of government and politics.
- One-On-One Support: Regional Directors of Alumni Affairs meet with alumni considering careers in politics, policy and advocacy to provide assistance with local and national resources and network building.
- Trainings, Fellowships, and Mentoring Programs: In addition to Teach For America-run trainings and fellowships, we have partnered with groups, such as LEE, Wellstone Action, The White House Project, New Leaders Council, Emerge America, and Teach Plus, that offer unique short-term and long-term leadership development programming to our alumni.
- Partnerships: Our graduate school and organizational partnerships help alumni build skills, access information, and connect with opportunities in policy and advocacy. Many award scholarships or special consideration to alumni.
- Multimedia Programming: Our team creates skill-building e-modules and regularly hosts virtual webinars where alumni can learn about pathways to and preparation for professional opportunities in politics, policy, advocacy, and community organizing. Recent sessions have included “Working on Capitol Hill,” “Pathways and Policy at the Department of Education,” and a “Political and Community Organizing 101” series.
- Public Leadership and Civic Engagement Newsletter: News of alumni leaders, key political and policy developments, and jobs and resources is delivered to alumni inboxes each month.
Alumni in Public Leadership
- As a school board member in Fairfax County, Virgina, Tina Hone (Bay Area ’92) helped focus the board’s goals and priorities on closing the achievement gap.
- After completing their corps experience in the Delta, Mississippi natives Rachel Hicks (Mississippi Delta ’04) and Sanford Johnson (Mississippi Delta ’03) co-founded Mississippi First, a nonprofit focused on education policy that aims to move the state from last to first place in national measures of education.
- As special advisor to Paul Pastorek, Louisiana’s superintendent of education, Chris Meyer (Greater New Orleans ’04) led the state’s development of its Race to the Top application.
- As executive director of Community Voices Heard, Sondra Youdelman (Los Angeles ’94) works with local communities to influence policy change on the issues that impact their lives.
If you would like to learn more about the PublicLeadership Initiative and how we might be able to partner with your organization, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Teach For America is preparing a whole array of people who can flow into our public institutions in major positions of leadership. It will change the nature of our politics."
Director of Center for Public Leadership
Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government