About Our Network of Scholars

The work of The Holdsworth Center is informed by the research and expertise of scholars and practitioners in many relevant fields, such as business, education, and public policy. We recognize the importance of research-based practice on our culture of continuous learning and improvement. Scholars are invited to participate based on the alignment of their research and practice with The Holdsworth Center theory of action. This honorary affiliation allows us to recognize the scholarship and innovation of these experts and the importance of their work and insights on our practice.  They serve in an advisory and advocacy capacity and contribute to the development of a research agenda for The Holdsworth Center.

Chris Alley

Dr. Chris Alley

Columbia University and Hunter College

Lecturer; Medical Anthropologist: Professor & Ethnographer, with interdisciplinary specializations in the Sociomedical Sciences

Chris Alley is a medical anthropologist (Ph.D., 2015, Columbia) who holds faculty appointments at Columbia University in the Department of Anthropology (College of Arts and Sciences) and Department of Sociomedical Sciences (Mailman School of Public Health), as well as at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY). In addition to his deep commitment to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, he conducts ethnographic research on diseases of poverty in Brazil and countries of Southeast Asia, with a focus on social determinants of health; comparative medical systems; race and ethnicity; sexuality and gender; political-economy of health; and eco-bio-social frameworks for the study of vector-borne diseases (VBDs). He also received training at and has since served as a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR).

Chris Gabrieli

Chris Gabrieli

Harvard University, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Adjunct Lecturer on Education; Co-Founder and CEO of Empower Schools

Chris Gabrieli is the Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, the CEO of Empower Schools, and co-founder of Transforming Education. Empower Schools partners with communities and states to re-engineer districts or zones of schools into open systems of empowered schools. Transforming Education works with educators and education systems to incorporate the full range of competencies, including intrapersonal and interpersonal non-cognitive skills, into educational policy and practice.  He is also co-founder and former Chairman of the National Center on Time and Learning — a leader of the movement to expand learning time at schools serving disadvantaged students, which allows more time for academics and a well-rounded education. Chris is the author of the book, Time to Learn: How a New School Schedule is Making Smarter Kids, Happier Parents and Safer Neighborhoods, and a co-author of several articles on education policy and cognitive and non-cognitive competencies. Chris’s first career was in entrepreneurship where he was the founder of a healthcare software company and a long-term partner at Bessemer Venture Partners where he is now Partner Emeritus.

Dr. Kenneth Leithwood

Dr. Kenneth Leithwood

University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for the Study of Education (OISE)

Professor Emeritus, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Kenneth Leithwood is Emeritus Professor at OISE/University of Toronto. His research and writing are about school leadership, educational policy, and organizational change. He has published extensively on these topics.  He is the senior editor of both the first and second International Handbooks on Educational Leadership and Administration (1996, 2003). His most recent books include How School Leaders Contribute to Student Success (2017).  Among his awards, Professor Leithwood is the inaugural recipient of the University of Toronto’s Impact on Public Policy award, American Educational Research Association (Division A) 2011 Outstanding Leadership Researcher Award, the 2012 Roald F. Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the University Council for Educational Administration and the Ontario Principal Councils’ Outstanding Contributions to Education Award for 2016.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of CanadaWith colleagues, he has completed one of the largest studies of its kind about how state, district, and school-level leadership influences student learning.

Dr. Pedro Noguera

Dr. Pedro Noguera

University of California Los Angeles, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Director of the Center for the Transformation of Schools at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Pedro A. Noguera is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.  Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. He also served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor and he was elected to the National Academy of Education. Dr. Noguera received his bachelors’ degree in Sociology and History from Brown University in 1981 and a masters’ degree in Sociology from Brown in 1982. He earned his doctorate in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989. Dr. Noguera has taught in public schools in Providence, RI and Oakland, CA and continues to work with schools nationally and internationally as a researcher and advisor.

Dr. Cynthia Osborne

Dr. Cynthia Osborne

University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School of Public Affairs

Associate Professor; Director of the Center for Health and Social Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs; Director of the Child and Family Research Partnership.

Cynthia Osborne’s teaching and research interests include social policy issues, poverty and inequality, family and child well-being, and family demography.  Dr. Osborne has extensive experience leading long-term evaluations of state and national programs, with the aim of helping organizations understand what works, and how to ensure sustainable implementation of effective policies. Her work includes evaluations for the Texas Home Visiting Program, the largest home visiting program in the country; for critical child welfare programs of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services; and for key child support programs of the Texas Office of the Attorney General. She previously was director of the Project on Education Effectiveness and Quality, an initiative that measured state educator preparation programs’ influence on student achievement. Dr. Osborne holds a Ph.D. in demography and public affairs from Princeton University, a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Master of Arts in education from Claremont Graduate University.

Dr. Fernando M. Reimers

Dr. Fernando M. Reimers

Harvard University, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education; Faculty Director, International Education Policy

Fernando M. Reimers is interested in advancing the understanding of ways schools can empower students to participate civically and economically, and to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. He is also interested in supporting the creation of coalitions that support collective leadership to enhance the relevancy of educational institutions and to strengthen the teaching profession. He chairs several education leadership development institutes focused on advancing adaptive leadership on behalf of supporting global citizenship education. He is the founding director of the International Education Policy Masters Program, a program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that supports the development of leaders of systemic efforts to enhance the quality and relevancy of education around the world. Reimers is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, a fellow of the International Academy of Education, as well as a member of the United States National Commission for UNESCO – a United Nations agency. He serves on the board of several educational organizations and foundations. Dr. Reimers received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Universidad Central de Venezuela and Masters and Doctoral degrees in education from Harvard University.

Dr. Todd Rose

Dr. Todd Rose

Harvard University, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Lecturer on Education; Faculty Director of Mind, Brain, and Education

Todd Rose is the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he leads the Laboratory for the Science of the Individual, and an associate faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He is also the co-founder of The Center for Individual Opportunity, a non-profit organization that promotes the principles of individuality in work, school, and society. He is the author of The End of Average. He is also the co-founder of The Center for Individual Opportunity, a non-profit organization that promotes the principles of individuality in work, school, and sock Todd was born and raised in northern Utah. After dropping out of high school, he obtained his GED and started attending night classes at a local college. He eventually received his Doctorate in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His talks have been featured at SXSW, TedX, Google, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and Apple.

Andreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General

Andreas Schleicher is the creator of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam and a key member of the OECD’s Senior Management team. He supports the Secretary-General’s strategy to produce analysis and policy advice that advances economic growth and social progress. In addition to policy and country reviews, he oversees PISA, the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), the OECD Skills Strategy, the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems (INES). Before joining the OECD, Mr. Schleicher was Director for Analysis at the International Association for Educational Achievement (IEA). He studied Physics in Germany and received a degree in Mathematics and Statistics in Australia. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the “Theodor Heuss” prize, awarded in the name of the first president of the Federal Republic of Germany for “exemplary democratic engagement.”  He holds an honorary Professorship at the University of Heidelberg.

Dr. Jim Spillane

Dr. Jim Spillane

Northwestern University, School of Human Development and Social Policy

James P. Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change; Professor, Human Development and Social Policy; Professor, Learning Sciences; and a Faculty Associate, Institute for Policy Research.  Dr. Spillane has published extensively on issues of education policy, policy implementation, school reform and school leadership. His work explores the policy implementation process at the state, district, school, and classroom levels, focusing on intergovernmental and policy-practice relations. He also studies organizational leadership and change, conceptualizing organizational leadership as a distributed practice. Recent projects include studies of relations between organizational infrastructure and instructional advice-seeking in schools and the socialization of new school principals. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, Spencer Foundation, Sherwood Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York. He has authored several books including Standards Deviation: How Local Schools Misunderstand Policy, Distributed LeadershipDistributed Leadership in Practice, Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Spillane holds a BA in education and geography from St. Patrick’s College, National University of Ireland and Ph.D. in Curriculum, Teaching, and Education Policy from Michigan State University.

Dr. Lori Taylor

Dr. Lori Taylor

Texas A & M University, Bush School of Government and Public Service

Professor and Director of the Robert A. Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service

Lori Taylor is the director of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics and Public Policy at Texas A&M University. She holds the Verlin and Howard Kruse ’52 Founders Professorship in the Bush School of Government and Public Service and is an adjunct professor in Texas A&M’s Department of Economics. She is a member of the Children At Risk Institute and currently serves as the Principal Investigator for the Texas Smart Schools Initiative. She was recently re-elected to the Board of Directors for the Association for Education Finance and Policy. She is also a member of the Editorial Board for American Educational Research Association (AERA) Open, a peer-reviewed journal, and serves on the Policy Board for Texas Aspires.  Dr. Taylor holds a BA in economics and a BS in business administration from the University of Kansas, and a master’s and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Rochester. Prior to joining the Bush School, Dr. Taylor spent fourteen years as an economist and policy advisor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Dr. David Yeager

Dr. David Yeager

The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Psychology

Associate Professor of Psychology; Faculty Research Associate at the Population Research Center

David Yeager is an Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin and researcher at the Population Research Center and the Charles A. Dana Center, also at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a former middle school teacher. His research focuses on adolescent development and behavior change, including topics such as motivation, aggression, coping, mental and physical health, trust, inequality and healthy eating. His research has developed interventions, such as a “growth mindset” intervention for high school students and an “incremental theory of personality” intervention that helps entering 9th grade students cope with the social stresses of beginning high school. Dr. Yeager completed his Ph.D. and MA at Stanford University and his BA and M.Ed. at the University of Notre Dame. His research has received several awards, such as the William T. Grant Foundation Scholars Award; Joseph E. Zins Early Career Award for Action Research in Social and Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL); and a Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science (APS). He also serves as the Co-Chair of the Mindset Scholars Network, which is hosted at the Population Research Center.

Points of view expressed by our Network of Scholars affiliates are not necessarily the views of The Holdsworth Center.