Generation Next and CohenTaylor are excited to announce that Michelle Walker, CEO of Saint Paul Public Schools, will be the new Executive Director. CohenTaylor search partners, Chris Cohen, Don Taylor and Katie Erickson, worked diligently with the Generation Next Executive Director search committee, Executive Committee and Leadership Council, and confirmed Ms. Walker’s appointment at a special meeting on August 31.
Walker is a national leader who has extensive cross-sector experience in education strategy and policy including positions in Washington, DC, New York and Saint Paul. She has held leadership positions in Saint Paul Public Schools for the last 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 the Generation Next Leadership Council. “She is the right leader to accelerate the ambitious efforts of Generation Next: closing the unacceptable achievement and opportunity gaps in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.”
When Walker assumes her new role on October 18, she will bring hands-on experience with Generation Next to the job. For the past three years, Walker has been an active member of the Generation Next Leadership Council, paving the way for many collaborative projects between Saint Paul Public Schools and Generation Next.
“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.”