Terris Ross

Program Director, AIR Equity Initiative

Terris Ross is 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.

Currently, Dr. Ross serves as a member of the United Way Gwinnett Advisory Board, which is focused on racial equity and healing initiatives across metropolitan Atlanta.

Terris Ross

Ph.D., Research, Measurement, and Statistics, Georgia State University, Educational Policy Studies Department

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