September 9, 2022

Melissa Harris Joins Transcend

Transcend is delighted to welcome Melissa Harris to our team! Melissa joins Transcend as a Fellow serving in the role of Partner, Rural Ecosystems and will lead by building conditions, partnerships, experiences, and resources toward deep and sustained impact in service of extraordinary, equitable learning in rural communities. 

Melissa shared the following about her decision to join Transcend: “We are at a pivotal time in education where we have the opportunity to reimagine how we serve our children. I am excited to join Transcend and learner-centered leaders across the country in working alongside students, parents, educators, and community partners to create learning environments which support our brilliant students to thrive in and transform the world.” 

Melissa has served as a leader in public education for over two decades. Prior to joining Transcend, Melissa held the role of Deputy Superintendent for Community Empowerment, Innovation, and Partnerships for DeKalb County School District, the third largest school district in Georgia. In this role, she was charged with developing strategy and leading the execution of mission-critical initiatives to support the district. Previously, Melissa served for 15 years as a senior leader within the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). During the pandemic, she led the largest district in the country in their efforts to virtually support nearly one million students. While at the NYCDOE, Melissa also led school redesign strategy, oversaw charter school authorization, operations and finance, and led the creation of high-level policy implementation. 

Melissa is a graduate of the University at Albany (SUNY),  where she received both a bachelor of arts degree in history and a master of science in education administration and policy. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of Georgia, pursuing her Ed.D. in adult learning, leadership, and organizational development. She has taken part in fellowships through The Broad Academy, Pahara, and the Institute for Educational Leadership. Melissa currently lives in the Metro-Atlanta area where her time is spent enjoying her family and exploring the rich history of Georgia.

Melissa’s deep experience leading school systems to ensure students receive high-quality education will fuel Transcend’s priorities around supporting learners in rural communities. Please join us in warmly welcoming her to our leadership.

Transcend is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates nationally.