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Alliance for Excellent Education Adds Two Education Policy Experts to Staff

Press Release:

Alliance for Excellent Education Adds Two Education Policy Experts to Staff

Rafael Heller, Ph.D., and Michelle Klink, Ph.D., have joined the Alliance for Excellent Education as senior policy associates, it was announced today by the organization’s president, Bob Wise.

Their responsibilities will focus on research and analysis in support of the Alliance’s mission to ensure that every child graduates from high school prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. The Alliance’s continuing work on adolescent literacy, teacher/principal quality, college preparation, and smaller learning communities will be their areas of concentration.

“The work of the Alliance requires expertise and passion, and Rafael and Michelle embody both,” says Wise, who is the former governor of West Virginia. “Their appointments enhance an already strong Alliance team dedicated to making sure that every high school student in America receives the best education possible.”

Heller comes to the Alliance from Communication Works, LLC, where he was senior associate since January 2004. His previous positions include serving as research associate at MPR Associates and editor at the Association of American Colleges & Universities. He has taught at the University of Michigan, Charlestown High School in Boston, and Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in English and Education, an Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.A. in English from Oberlin College.

Klink comes to the Alliance from the office of Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), where she was the lead policy advisor on education, welfare reform, and child welfare. Additional policy experience includes conducting research at the Yale Bush Center for Child Development & Social Policy, serving as a research assistant at Florida State University, and conducting research for the Florida House of Representatives. She has taught economics, education, and public speaking at Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College. She earned her B.A. (interpersonal communication), M.S. (communication theory and research), and Ph.D. (philosophy in educational leadership and policy studies) from Florida State University.

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education, and success in life. It is funded by the Leeds Family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Daniels Fund, and the New York Community Trust, as well as by other concerned foundations and individuals.

For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, please visit:

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