Saskia Levy Thompson Named Program Director, New Designs for Schools and Systems at Carnegie Corporation of New York

New York, NY, October 2, 2015  Carnegie Corporation of New York has named Saskia Levy Thompson as Program Director, New Designs for Schools and Systems. A leader in urban education, Levy Thompson will begin her position with the Corporation’s Education Program on October 13th.

Levy Thompson brings a strong record of work as a practitioner and system-level leader to her new role helping to design high school and system models that enable students to develop the knowledge, skills, and disposition needed to achieve a broader definition of student success. Most recently, she was Deputy Director of the Research Alliance for New York City Schools, where she positioned the organization to contribute to the national education reform dialogue with rigorous, policy-relevant evidence. Her work was notable for deepening partnerships with educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders, and developing new areas of research with funding sources to match. She also spearheaded the dissemination of the Research Alliance's work to new audiences.

Levy Thompson’s diverse experience also includes having served four years at the New York City Department of Education. As Deputy Chancellor for Portfolio Planning, she oversaw efforts to improve the school options available to students. She also served as Special Advisor to the Chancellor, leading projects that included a system-wide review of elementary schools, which culminated in recommendations for boosting the quality of instruction for students from the City’s most impoverished neighborhoods.

“We are delighted that Saskia, who has played an important role in reforming America’s largest school system, is now joining the outstanding leader of Carnegie Corporation’s Education Program, LaVerne Evans Srinivasan, in overseeing our many investments in U.S. urban education,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “Under LaVerne’s leadership, the Education Program’s foremost concern is to provide creative solutions to reforming America’s K-12 school system, and particularly its high schools, in order to prepare our youth for higher education and to meet our society’s economic, cultural, and scientific challenges.”                                                                                                         

Prior to her time at the DOE, Levy Thompson was a Senior Associate at MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization, where she helped lead a study on the effectiveness of NYC’s small high schools. She also worked with other districts around the country to develop evaluations of programs aimed at improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged and disconnected youth.

"Saskia’s appointment to the Corporation’s education team is extremely exciting for us and for all the educators, policymakers, and practitioners who share the belief that an American public education system should prepare all students to be active participants in a robust democracy and to be successful in the global economy, “said LaVerne Evans Srinivasan, Vice President, National Program and Director, Education. “Her expertise and depth of knowledge in school and system design will be invaluable as we seek to develop rich and effective learning environments that will ensure the success of all students.”

“My career in education started in a New York City classroom, and ever since, I’ve worked to improve the student experience at the classroom, school, and system level. Through the leadership positions I’ve held, I’ve had the opportunity to drive change efforts at the practitioner and district level, and to build and disseminate knowledge about what works,” said Levy Thompson. “I’m thrilled to bring those perspectives to bear as the Corporation invests in effective school and system models and engages with other organizations and practitioners in education reform.” 

Levy Thompson, who was also the former Executive Director of The Urban Assembly, a nonprofit network of schools serving high-poverty communities, began her career as a kindergarten teacher on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.