Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel takes the helm at CASEL during a time of unprecedented growth for the field of social-emotional learning (SEL), spearheading initiatives alongside other educators, researchers, and policy leaders to expand SEL nationwide and serving as a leading voice for children’s education.
Dr. Samuel previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary, Local, State, and National Engagement at the U.S. Department of Education, as a Senior Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, and as former Executive Vice President of Government Affairs & Partnerships at NWEA. Dr. Samuel is a bilingual executive leader with expertise from early childhood through higher education. Her experience includes program evaluation and evidence-based programs, data collection and disaggregation, family and community engagement support strategies, and policy development and implementation at the local, state, and national levels. She has informed state policy agendas, assisted with developing cross-systems approaches to develop policy solutions to support children and families, and leading systems-level change. In her role at NWEA, she led a team working on driving a state and federal education agenda. Prior to NWEA, Dr. Samuel was the Director of Education at the National Governors Association (NGA). While at NGA, her work included business development, strategic planning, and supporting high-ranking state officials on the development of policies that impacted health, education, and the workforce. She has worked with diverse constituents, philanthropies, and national partners.
Dr. Samuel holds an undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University, a Masters's from the University of South Florida, and a Specialist and Doctorate Degree from NOVA Southeastern.