Education policy expert to lead Annenberg Institute for School Reform

News from Brown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Susanna Loeb, an expert in education policy and a professor of education at Stanford University, has been appointed the next director of Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform.

Loeb will join the institute in the wake of “The Annenberg Institute: A Road Map,” a January 2017 plan that refocused its mission and added strength to its capacity to serve the community, the region and the nation as a leading hub for social science scholarship related to education.

“Susanna joins the Brown community and Annenberg Institute at a moment of extraordinary opportunity,” University Provost Richard Locke wrote in an Aug. 28 email announcing Loeb’s appointment. “She is a distinguished scholar and collaborative academic and administrative leader who brings to this role a depth of understanding about the application of research to affect policy development and change.”

The new plan for the Annenberg Institute emerged from a set of recommendations developed by a committee of University leaders, Annenberg Institute staff and Brown faculty who reviewed the institute’s mission, strengths and opportunities for the future. As it enters a new phase of growth and development focused on the causes, consequences and mitigation of educational inequality, chief among the actions outlined was the appointment of a new director who would shape and execute the new vision.

As director, Loeb will work to position the Annenberg Institute to serve as a hub for interdisciplinary education scholarship and its translation into policy and practice, partnering closely with Brown academic departments, schools, centers and institutes. She will be responsible for organizing research and teaching activities around a small number of themes in support of the renewed mission; establishing a set of Annenberg Institute faculty positions and programs for affiliating faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students; enhancing the institute’s role in undergraduate and graduate education; and expanding Brown’s impact locally and beyond by engaging key stakeholders in its work.        

“The Annenberg Institute intrigues me because of the strength of Brown’s faculty and students, because of Brown’s commitment to social goals, and because of the resources, flexibility and community connections available to undertake this shared mission,” Loeb said. “I couldn’t be more excited to join Brown and begin the work.”

Loeb specializes in education policy and the relationship between educational opportunities for students and federal, state and local policies. Her research is widely published in scholarly journals, and her forthcoming book is titled “Educational Goods: Values Evidence and Decision Making.” She is the founding director of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford and is a director of Policy Analysis for California Education.

Loeb has earned numerous honors and awards for her work and is actively engaged in a number of organizations, including serving as a member on the National Board for Education Sciences. She is also a member of the National Academy of Education, a faculty fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and is past president of the Association for Education Finance and Policy.

She earned a bachelor of arts in political science and a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Stanford University, and a master’s in public policy and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan.  

Loeb's leadership will build on the institute's previous work in addressing the causes and consequences of educational inequality in America. Established in 1993, the institute’s original mission was to “support sustained, focused efforts to enhance the quality of learning by children and youth across the country.” Led by education professor Ted Sizer, the institute guided the work of the Coalition of Essential Schools, which promoted teacher and school development that provided students with personalized, equitable and intellectually challenging education opportunities.

In 1998, Warren Simmons became the institute’s second leader. Simmons, along with current interim director Mike Grady (then deputy director), shifted the institute’s focus to build the capacity of school systems and communities to achieve equity and effectiveness to scale. Upon Simmons’ departure in 2015 — and as the institute neared its 25th anniversary — Locke convened the broad-based committee of faculty, senior University administrators and Annenberg Institute staff to identify ways to build on the institute’s record of success and more fully integrate it as a robust, active participant in Brown’s core research and teaching mission.