Susan Sclafani, Ph.D.
Dr. Susan Sclafani joined the Pearson Foundation in January 2011 as vice president of programs. Just prior to that, she served as director of state services at the National Center on Education and the Economy. Before that, she was with Chartwell Education Group, an international consulting group. She also served as assistant secretary of education for vocational and adult education from 2003 to 2005 in the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Earlier, Dr. Sclafani served as counselor to U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, where she was the U.S. representative to both the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.
Dr. Sclafani’s passion for the task of promoting and ensuring the highest standards in education was well demonstrated during her tenure at ED; among the highlights there was the leadership role she played in the creation of the Mathematics and Science Initiative (MSI) to focus attention on the importance of mathematics and science in the education of all students. MSI emphasized the need for teachers knowledgeable in math and science at every level of schooling and the importance of further research in both areas.
Her international work led to her leadership of the joint E-Language Learning Project with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Dr. Sclafani also led EDs High School Initiative to better prepare students for twenty-first century education, training, and the workplace.
Prior to serving at ED, Dr. Sclafani was chief academic officer of the Houston Independent School District in Texas, one of the nation’s largest urban school districts. In that capacity, she focused on a number of areas, including technology, curriculum development, mathematics and science initiatives, and construction management. She also has extensive state education and business experience.
Dr. Sclafani earned a bachelor's degree at Vassar College, a master's degree in Germanic languages and literature at the University of Chicago, and a master's of education degree and PhD in educational administration at the University of Texas, Austin.