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Michele Cahill

Vice-president, Carnegie Corporation of New York

Michele Cahill

Michele Cahill is vice-president for national programs at Carnegie Corporation of New York. She leads the philanthropy’s strategy to expand educational opportunity through systemic change across K-12 and in higher education, to increase rates of graduation and degree completion by urban and low-income students, and to support expanded pathways to citizenship, civil participation, and civic integration for immigrants and disconnected youth. Cahill served as co-chair of the Carnegie Institute for Advanced Study Commission on Mathematics and Science Education, managing the development of its 2009 report, “The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy.”

Prior to rejoining Carnegie Corporation in 2007, Cahill served as senior counselor to the chancellor for education policy in the New York City Department of Education under Chancellor Joel Klein. From its inception in 2002, she was a member of the Children First senior leadership team that oversaw and implemented the reorganization and reform of New York’s public schools, focusing specifically on district redesign and accountability; secondary education reform, including new school development, school restructuring, and the pioneering multiple-pathways-to-graduation initiative; and targeting accelerated learning and graduation by overage and disconnected youth. The secondary education reforms resulted in a greater-than-20-percent increase in the graduation rate, the city’s largest in decades.

Cahill has more than 30 years experience in education reform, including a decade as co-founder of the Public Policy Program, a college degree program for nontraditional students at Saint Peter’s College, for which Cahill received national recognition from the U.S. Education Dept. for her innovative and effective teaching in social sciences. She holds an M.A. in Urban Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and was a Revson Fellow at Columbia University in the doctoral program in Social Policy & Planning.