Jefferson Pestronk


I am a second-year doctoral student in the Doctor of Education Leadership program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to coming back to school, I served for three years as an Obama Administration appointee at the US Department of Education (USED), working on innovation and research-and-development policy. In particular, I led the design and implementation of the Investing in Innovation Fund, USED’s largest evidence-based grant-making program, and worked with other USED and other agency programs to increase the role that rigorous evidence of effectiveness plays in making funding decisions. I previously worked at the Parthenon Group, a management consulting firm based in Boston, for three years, largely in its education practice. During that time, I consulted with large urban school districts, including New York, Chicago, and Washington DC, often on issues related to high school portfolio strategy. I grew up in Grand Blanc, MI, just south of Flint. Both of my parents worked in health care-related fields and are now in Washington, DC, which is home away from Cambridge. My younger sister works in finance in New York City.