The Carnegie Foundation Welcomes Three New Trustees to Its Board: Russlynn Ali, Janelle T. Scott, and Nicole Taylor

July 13, 2022

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is pleased to announce the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees:

  • Russlynn Ali, Managing Director of the Education Fund at Emerson Collective and CEO and co-founder of the XQ Institute
  • Janelle T. Scott, Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Distinguished Chair in Educational Disparities and Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in the Berkeley School of Education and African American Studies Department
  • Nicole Taylor, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF)

“We are thrilled to welcome Russlynn, Janelle, and Nicole to our board,” says Diane Tavenner, Carnegie Board President and CEO of Summit Public Schools. “In addition to being innovative thinkers, compelling ambassadors for the work, and fierce advocates for students and teachers, these extraordinary women bring complementary strengths to the Carnegie Foundation. I very much look forward to working with them.”

“Each is a force-multiplier in her own right,” said Carnegie Foundation President, Timothy F.C. Knowles. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such remarkable leaders join the board as the Foundation pursues an agenda designed to make education excellent and equitable for everyone.”

Ali, Scott, and Taylor each served as teachers early in their careers, and each has maintained a deep commitment to education in their respective fields.

Russlynn Ali photoRusslynn Ali has been a leading advocate for educational equity for more than two decades. As Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education during President Obama’s first term, she spearheaded the federal government’s renewed engagement with equity issues in schools across the nation. Additionally, Ali served as founding Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, led Policy and Research at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, and served as Chief of Staff to the President of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education. In her current role as Managing Director of the Education Fund at Emerson Collective and the CEO of XQ, she supports communities across the nation reimagine and transform education.

“The Carnegie Foundation has been a driving force—if not the driving force—in building the modern education system,” said Ali. “It’s an incredible honor to serve on the Board of this leading organization. I’m excited to work alongside dedicated and talented advocates to imagine a whole new architecture for America’s education system—one that is equitable, modern, and prepares young people to take on all that the future has to offer.”

Janelle Scott photoJanelle T. Scott is an internationally regarded scholar and award winning teacher. Her research investigates the racial politics of public education; the politics of school choice, market-based reforms, and privatization; and the role of both elite and community-based advocacy in shaping public education. Scott has been a leader in the American Educational Research Association, the Politics of Education Association, and has served a broad range of national organizations, including the Ford Foundation’s Building Knowledge for Social Justice Initiative, the National Education Policy Center, and the World Education Research Association’s International Research Network on Marketization and Privatization. She currently serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Education, and she is an elected Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and Member of the National Academy of Education.

“The role of public education in a polarized, multiracial, and unequal society is paramount,” said Scott. “I am thrilled to join the board of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and look forward to supporting the important work of advancing racial and educational equity through transformative approaches to schooling.”

Nicole Taylor photoNicole Taylor is both a higher education leader and a philanthropist, dedicating much of her career to making universities and philanthropic organizations more effective and equitable. At Stanford, she served as the Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Community, Engagement, and Diversity. She previously served as CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation, Deputy Vice President and Dean of Students at Arizona State University, and Vice President of the ASU Foundation. As SVCF President & CEO, Taylor spearheaded a broad effort to raise more than $60 million in crucial resources for community organizations across 10 Bay Area counties during the height of the pandemic. In addition, she co-chaired the Silicon Valley Recovery Roundtable—a group of business and community leaders pursuing recovery from the pandemic. With SVCF’s influence, the group focused on equitable outcomes for all Silicon Valley residents, with emphasis on the communities of color and immigrant communities being hardest hit by the coronavirus and its economic effects.

“It’s an honor to be joining the distinguished and dynamic members of the board of the  Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, whose goals around equity in education reflect my own long-held values,” Taylor said.

The addition of Ali, Scott, and Taylor to the board comes at a crucial time for the Carnegie Foundation. Under the guidance of President Knowles, the Foundation is undertaking new strategic priorities to advance educational attainment, catalyze innovation in the higher education sector, re-envision what learning should look like in the future, and democratize improvement science.

“We are at a pivotal moment—for the Foundation, for the field of education, and for the nation,” said Knowles. “I am enormously grateful to have Russlynn Ali, Janelle Scott, and Nicole Taylor on the board. They will each be instrumental in pushing us to be more transformative, innovative, and inclusive.”

The mission of the Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life.