Ali is thrilled to join the Transcend family as a Senior Fellow on the DRILL team (Data, Research, Information, Learning, and Love). In this role, she directly supports the Transcend learning agenda to better understand how community driven innovations create equitable and extraordinary learning environments. Her work focuses on building Transcend’s capacity to understand what is working where and why with an emphasis on centering student experience.
Prior to Transcend, Ali served on the senior leadership team of the New Teacher Center as the SVP of Impact and Learning for eight years where she led a portfolio of 90MM in federal research grants to better understand how field-based innovations improve outcomes for students. This work explored how piloting new educator development approaches mediated the relationship between teacher practice and student experiences and learning.
She began her career in education research learning about how community-based organizations could support the social, emotional, and academic development of students who were historically marginalized in both urban and rural settings. Through this work, she observed the impact of enabling conditions and the need for systemic change in the institutions where students spent the majority of their time: schools. She then taught secondary students in the Dallas Independent School District to gain first-hand experience as a teacher before transitioning back to research.
Ali earned a BA in Political Science from Stanford University and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction and PhD in Sociology, Research Methods from University of Texas at Austin. Ali is inspired by and shares Transcend’s core values to perpetually improve learning environments through innovations centering community and student voice.