Ash Community Speaker Series — A Mayor’s Role in Urban Education: Lessons from Denver, Houston, and New Orleans


Friday, September 13, 2019, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Ash Center Foyer, 124 Mount Auburn St., Floor 2, Suite 200N

Many cities in the U.S. are experiencing a renaissance, with economic and population growth accelerating at a rapid pace. At the same time, levels of segregation and inequality persist, as the benefits of growth are not shared equally among all city residents.

High-quality public schools that provide pathways into meaningful careers serve as a key lever for city leaders seeking to disrupt this trend.  And yet, in many U.S. cities, large gaps remain between different groups of students – in school quality, educational attainment and placement into careers that command good wages. What role do mayors play in addressing this inequity and advancing a more accountable, data-informed education-to-career pathway for all youth in their communities?  How can mayors convene multiple city stakeholders to ensure that schools are graduating students who can benefit from the growth their cities are experiencing and thrive in their cities in the future?

Join Harvard Kennedy School students Hannah Cheever MPP 2020, Michaela Gaziano MPP 2020, and Chris Geary MPP 2020 for the first Ash Community Speaker Series event of the Fall 2019 semester. Cheever, Gaziano, and Geary will discuss their experiences working to advance innovative mayoral initiatives in education policy in Denver, Houston and New Orleans. All three students were recipients of Ash Center Fellowships which enabled them to work on strategic projects together with mayors and their senior staff over the course of the summer. Michael Holland, Project Manager, Mayoral Leadership in Education Network, will moderate.

These fellowships are an initiative of the Ash Center’s Mayoral Leadership in Education Network, which is a community of mayors and senior education advisors seeking to leverage the office of the mayor to improve educational equity, accountability and ultimately student outcomes in their cities.  The Ash Center serves as the intellectual home for this community of practitioners, providing participants with a forum to convene together, gain exposure to innovative research, synthesize learnings and identify common elements of good practice that can be advanced on a larger scale.

Lunch will be served.

About the Ash Community Speaker Series

The Ash Community Speaker Series features discussions with students, faculty, fellows, and alumni whose research or other academic work is supported by the Ash Center. The series is a forum to discuss new ideas, innovative work, and ongoing projects that are related to the Ash Center's mission to make the world a better place by advancing excellence and innovation in governance and public policy through research, education, and public discussion.