Khalilah M. Harris is the managing director for K-12 Education Policy at American Progress. She was most recently a host and executive producer with a Baltimore-based news network focused on their Baltimore bureau, education reporting, and social justice commentary. Harris brings a unique perspective to American Progress from an extensive career of working to expand access to opportunity through an equity lens in community organizing, education, education policy, youth advocacy, and building an inclusive workforce.
In addition to her background as an attorney and researcher, Harris brings grassroots experiences from founding a Baltimore City school focused on social justice and co-founding a local community collaborative called the Coalition of Black Leaders in Education. She organizes nationally with the EduColor movement and served as the first deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. In that capacity, she conceptualized and launched the first African American Women Lead convening by and for more than 150 black women and girls to discuss educational equity at the U.S. Department of Education. While working under the Obama administration, Harris also managed the Diversity and Inclusion in Government Council and implemented the first White House Summit on Diversity and Inclusion in Government in partnership with numerous federal agencies, national and global philanthropies, and tech companies.
A proud alumna of Morgan State University, Harris obtained her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law and her doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has focused on using critical race theory to examine the presence and influence of black leadership on education reform.