Education policy center taps new leader

Maria Voles Ferguson will take over as the executive director for the Center for Education Policy, the University announced Thursday. Photo courtesy of the Office of Media Relations

An education reform advocate will lead a policy research center housed at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, the University announced Thursday.

The Center for Education Policy, a national research institute that specializes in issues related to public schools, named Maria Voles Ferguson its executive director five months after it formed a partnership with GSEHD.

“The Center on Education Policy and GSEHD are coming together at a watershed moment in public education,” Ferguson said in a release. “I look forward to working together so we can all engage more deeply in the important conversations that are driving education research and policy.

Ferguson worked as the vice president for policy at the nonprofit advocacy and research organization Alliance for Excellent Education and will join GW June 4.

She was also a political appointee in the Clinton administration, serving as the director of communication and outreach services for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Center for Education Policy was founded in 1995 as an independent D.C.-based nonprofit, conducting reports on national and state-level education statistics. The center joined the school and moved into its Foggy Bottom office on Pennsylvania Avenue in January, GSEHD Dean Michael Feuer said.

Feuer said last month that the center would focus on drafting grant proposal for research on civics education and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education.

“We’re going to be continuing, in the tradition of the center, looking at state-level implementation of education reforms,” Feuer said. “And we’re going to be using the center as a new launch pad for public conversations in and around Washington, with our students, with faculty to generate some new energy around these issues.”

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