Director, Education Policy & Community Engagement
As a native of Southern California, Ashley Harding received her Bachelors of Science from the University of Southern California (USC), studying Public Policy and Development with a minor in Business Administration. In 2013, Ms. Harding earned a Masters degree in Child Development from Tufts University with a concentration in Education and Social Policy. During graduate school Ashley spent a semester in South Africa studying education reform in a post-Apartheid society.
While obtaining her Masters degree, Ms. Harding and Dr. James Jennings designed and led a study focused on the educational and socio-economic disproportions of Black and Latino males in Boston public school programs. These studies led to additional education research funding and co-authored articles examining institutional collaborative interventions between public housing and public schools to increase the academic success of children within both entities. Since completing her Masters degree, Ms. Harding has continued to work for Dr. Jennings focusing on local and national race, citizenship, housing and labor statistics from 2007-2013 ACS PUMPS data records. Ms. Harding has also worked on numerous data driven reports and conducted multiple statistical analyses utilizing census and PUMS data records.
Ms. Harding is dedicated to the ideals of social justice and a desire to create a more equitable public education landscape. Prior to relocating back to Los Angeles, she was the Managing Director of School Engagement and Partnerships for PAVE (Parents Amplifying Voices in Education), and before that was the Director of Family and Community Engagement for KIPP DC, a network of sixteen charter schools serving 6,000 students and families in the District of Columbia. Ms. Harding has served on a number of boards and organizations including the University of Southern California Alumni Association, Young Education Professionals, the Boys and Girls Club, and Junior League Los Angeles.