Our Team | The AIR Equity Initiative
Vice President, AIR Equity Initiative
Kimberly DuMont joined AIR in 2020 as the vice president and managing director of the AIR Equity Initiative. In this role, she oversees the Equity Initiative projects that advance AIR’s mission. Dr. DuMont works with AIR’s senior leadership, board of directors, and other stakeholders within and outside of AIR to define the long-term, substantive agenda guiding use of our own resources, investing in important topical areas where AIR, in partnership with other organizations, can work to connect research, policy, and practice to create a more equitable world. She ensures that this agenda serves as an inspiration within and beyond AIR and guides the implementation of the AIR Equity Initiative to develop programming, grantmaking, and grant management strategies.
Dr. DuMont has more than 20 years of research experience, with a focus on bridging research with the needs of practitioners and policymakers working to improve the health and well-being of youth. Prior to joining AIR, she was the senior program officer at the William T. Grant Foundation. In this role she championed efforts to study and advance the use of research in policy and practice to benefit youth, launched a program to support research-practice partnerships to reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and co-constructed a collaborative of funders and capacity building providers to better support policymakers and practitioners in child welfare. She also co-launched a learning community of funders committed to reducing racial and ethnic disparities in funding and career advancement.
Dr. DuMont is also a research scientist who has directed, designed, and secured funding to better support families and communities. She previously worked as a research scientist at New York State Office of Children and Family Services and on the research faculty at New Jersey Medical School. Currently, she is on the board of directors for the Society for Prevention Research.
Managing Director, AIR Equity Initiative
Tracy Gray is a managing director and a nationally recognized expert in the implementation of innovative educational and assistive technology programs that enhance teaching and learning. Dr. Gray leads the Pipeline Partnership Program which engages with graduate-level students and faculty at Georgia State University in Atlanta; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; and The University of Texas at San Antonio. This effort seeks to diversify and strengthen the cultural competence of the behavioral and social science research fields to address inequities more effectively. She has led five national centers focused on the development of online tools, curricular materials, and resources to support K-12 students and teachers. In addition, Dr. Gray has also led the development of the 2017 National Educational Technology Plan, a blueprint to strengthen digital learning in schools throughout the U.S. She has served as the principal investigator for two U.S. Department of Education projects related to STEM education, with a focus on increasing the engagement of at-risk students. In addition, Dr. Gray led the AIR Fund, an AIR Board of Directors’ initiative that supported innovative research on issues related to the reduction of inequality for children and families.
Before joining AIR, Dr. Gray was vice president for youth services at the Morino Institute, responsible for the design and implementation of innovative technology-enriched after school programs to strengthen STEM-related career opportunities for inner city youth. She served as the first deputy executive director and chief operating officer for the Corporation for National Service that enabled more than 50,000 AmeriCorps members to work in 1,500 programs throughout the U.S. She serves on the board of the Friendship Charter Public Schools and the University of California, Riverside, School of Public Policy.
Program Director, AIR Equity Initiative
Terris Ross joins AIR as program director of the AIR Equity Initiative. In this role, Dr. Ross will refine the long-term, substantive agenda of the Equity Initiative’s work in education. She will provide intellectual and technical leadership to improve educational and economic opportunity, with deep appreciation for the challenges faced by communities segregated by race or place. This includes oversight of the Educational Equity through Policy implementation and Scholars and Leaders grant competitions and building partnerships to connect AIR’s work with policy, practice, and other researchers and funders.
Dr. Ross has more than 15 years of experience leveraging research, evidence, and data for school improvement and policy reform. Prior to joining AIR, she was the vice president of policy and advocacy at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), a national nonprofit dedicated to developing equity-minded civic leaders in policy, advocacy, elected, and community organizing roles. Dr. Ross is also a leader in research and evaluation who has directed and designed numerous studies in her roles at the U.S. Department of Education, first at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and then as a division leader in the Policy and Program Studies Service (PPSS) of the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD). Her work at NCES included serving as lead author and project director for the congressionally mandated Higher Education: Gaps in Access and Persistence Study, or GAPS report. This research examined gaps in access to and completion of higher education by minority males, including descriptive multivariate analyses of variables that may influence male and female postsecondary attendance and attainment in different ways. The report outlined specific K-12 policies to address these gaps in college persistence and attainment.
Dr. Ross earned her Ph.D. in research, measurement, and statistics from the Educational Policy Studies department at Georgia State University. Currently, she serves as a member of the United Way Gwinnett Advisory Board, which is focused on racial equity and healing initiatives across metropolitan Atlanta.
Program Manager, AIR Equity Initiative
Arayle Freels is a program manager at AIR. She works on the AIR Equity Initiative to fund projects that advance AIR’s mission. Freels works with AIR leadership to implement strategic efforts that connect research, policy, and practice to create a more equitable world. She co-leads the Equity in Education Policy Implementation program which will support the equitable implementation of policy for historically marginalized groups. Previously, she was responsible for grant monitoring and development activities for the AIR Fund, an AIR Board of Directors’ initiative that supported innovative projects focused on reducing inequality of opportunities for families and children in education and health, both in the United States and abroad. In addition, Freels contributed to the development of the 2017 National Education Technology Plan and worked on several research and technical assistance projects focused on adult education, workforce development, educational technology, teacher professional development, and STEM education. She also served as interim president of the AIR BLACC Diaspora Network Employee Resource Group. Freels is a licensed social worker in the state of Maryland where she provides therapeutic services to families, children, and adolescents. Freels received a B.S. in Psychology from Howard University and an M.S.W. in clinical and macro Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore.
Program Manager, AIR Equity Initiative
Jillian Reynolds is a program manager at AIR. Reynolds works with AIR leadership on the AIR Equity Initiative to implement strategic efforts that connect research, policy, and practice to advance AIR’s mission. She co-leads the Scholars and Leaders Awards which aims to expand the diversity of project leads informing research, technical assistance, and systems change at AIR. Previously, she worked on the AIR Fund, a Board initiative to support research and technical assistance on issues related to the reduction of inequality for children and families, where she was responsible for grant monitoring and development activities. Reynolds served on several U.S. Department of Education-funded centers where she developed content and delivered technical assistance to school, district, and state leaders on issues around the integration and implementation of educational and assistive technology and supporting students with disabilities. She also contributed to the development of the 2017 National Educational Technology Plan and worked on the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders team that developed a suite of research-based implementation planning and continuous improvement resources (Equitable Access Toolkit and Implementation Playbook) in response to the U.S. Department of Education’s Excellent Educators for All initiative. Prior to AIR, she served with AmeriCorps and worked in youth development for Chicago Public Schools. Reynolds received a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University and an M.P.A from Cornell University.