Generation Next, a nonprofit coalition of civic, business and education leaders focused on closing the Twin Cities’ achievement gap, has named Michelle Walker as its new executive director.
Previously, Walker served for three years as chief executive officer for the St. Paul Public Schools, where she held leadership positions for nine years.
“Michelle has a track record of success in effective cross-sector collaboration, and deep knowledge of education data and best practices,” said Eric Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota and co-chair of Generation Next. “She is the right leader to accelerate the ambitious efforts of Generation Next – closing the unacceptable achievement and opportunity gaps in Minneapolis and St. Paul.”
Walker, who assumes her new role on Oct. 18, has been a member of the Generation Next Leadership Council for the past three years.
As CEO in the St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS), Walker serves as the lead superintendent designee and primary staff liaison to the St. Paul Public Schools Board of Education.
Prior to joining the SPPS executive team, Walker served as chief of Strategic Planning and
Policy for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), overseeing policy research and analysis, planning initiatives, community partnerships and intergovernmental relations for the then 50,000 student district. At DCPS, Walker managed the development of the district’s Master Education Plan, a comprehensive strategic plan to reform the system’s academic and business operations.
“As a first-generation African-American of Caribbean descent, I was raised to believe that education has the power to transform lives,” said Walker. “This has proven true for my family and me, and I am thrilled to lead an organization whose mission is to help all children – regardless of race, gender or socioeconomic status – to achieve their highest potential.”