Susan Sciafani

Dr. Sclafani is Director of State Services for the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE).  In 2006, Dr. Sclafani served as a member of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, and she has continued to advocate for the adoption of the recommendations of its Tough Choices or Tough Times report.  In her new role at NCEE, Dr. Sclafani is working with the coalition of states that have committed themselves to systemic education reform based on the Commission’s recommendations.

From 2005 through 2008, Dr. Sclafani served as Managing Director of Chartwell where she worked with governmental and non-profit organizations and developed projects in the US as well as India and China focused on improving the quality of education for students of all ages. Through Chartwell, Dr. Sclafani worked part time with NCEE as co-director of the State Alliance for High Performance of the NCEE.  In this role, she worked with states and arranged seminars to focus on international benchmarking of state standards, assessments, practices and results.  Dr. Sclafani also led international benchmarking visits for states and school districts that wished to learn from the best practices of high-performing nations.

In her former positions as Assistant Secretary of Education for Vocational and Adult Education and Counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Education, she had many opportunities to serve on various committees.  She was the United States representative to the Education Committee of the OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and APEC, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Among the highlights of her term at the Department was her leadership in the creation of the Mathematics and Science Initiative, the joint E-Language On-line Learning Project with the Chinese Ministry of Education, and the Department’s High School Initiative to better prepare students for 21st Century education, training and the workplace. Prior to serving at the Department, Dr. Sclafani was Chief of Staff for Education Services of Houston Independent School District, the nation’s seventh largest urban school district, and in that capacity focused on planning, technology, curriculum and instruction, and instructional management. Under her instructional leadership, student achievement dramatically improved, and the district won the first Broad Prize for Outstanding Urban Districts.  She also has extensive state education and business experience.