Dr. Andrew K. Mandel is the co-founder and leader of Strong East Ramapo, a volunteer advocacy effort to bring justice to his childhood school district of East Ramapo, New York. Featured on NPR's "This American Life," the East Ramapo public school board is dominated by private school parents who have increased funding for private schools while dramatically slashing 400 staff positions and vital services for public school students, the vast majority of whom are children of color. Strong East Ramapo has organized social media campaigns, rallies, lobbying and petitions involving over 3,500 people and has secured the endorsements of dozens of community and state-wide organizations for legislation to address this inequity. Andrew's work has been recognized by the NAACP, Padres Unidos, the Rockland County Executive and members of the New York State Legislature.
Andrew graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in American history and literature. He then became a corps member, teaching seventh grade in Raymondville, Texas. He has served on Teach For America’s national staff for over 13 years, developing initiatives for teacher support, leadership development, and alumni mobilization.
In May of 2015, Andrew received his doctorate in adult learning and leadership from Teachers College at Columbia University, where he completed his dissertation on transformative learning and the career decision-making of recent Teach For America alumni.