Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel (she/her) is the president and CEO of CASEL and senior fellow, Harvard University, Center on the Developing Child.
Dr. Samuel is a bilingual executive leader with expertise from early childhood through higher education. Dr. Samuel previously served as deputy assistant secretary, local, state and national engagement, at the U.S. Department of Education and former executive vice president of government affairs and partnerships at NWEA. 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), supporting high-ranking state officials on the development of policies that impacted health, education, and workforce. In every role, she works with diverse constituents, philanthropies, and national and international partners.
As a leading voice in education, she has testified before Congress and has been quoted in Bloomberg, Education Week, U.S. News & World Report, and The Washington Post on various education topics, and featured on network segments such as Univision, NBC, and CNN. Dr. Samuel presents at numerous education conferences and convenings nationally and internationally and is seen as a global leader. She holds an undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University, a master’s from University of South Florida, and a specialist and doctorate degree from NOVA Southeastern.