Our Team

Our Team

Michael A. Rebell
Michael A. Rebell
Executive Director

Michael A. Rebell is executive director of the Center for Educational Equity (formerly Campaign for Educational Equity) and professor of law and educational practice at Teachers College. Previously, Mr. Rebell co-founded and served as Executive Director of The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), which won a major constitutional ruling on behalf of New York City public schools.

Jessica R. Wolff
Director of Policy and Research

Jessica R. Wolff is the policy and research director of the Center for Educational Equity. She leads its research initiatives and oversees its public engagement work. She is author or coauthor of two books and numerous articles and reports on educational rights and education policy. From 2000-2005, she served as director of policy development of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), where her work with the Sound Basic Education Task Force helped guide school-funding legislation in New York State. Wolff was a longtime board member of the Children’s Museum of the Arts and is the parent of two NYC public school graduates. She has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from New York University.

Nan Eileen Mead
Director of Outreach and Communications

Nan Eileen Mead is an education advocate, policymaker, and researcher. She is currently the Director of Outreach and Communications at the Center for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University. From 2016 to 2022, Ms. Mead represented the 1st Judicial District, which includes Manhattan, on the New York State Board of Regents. During her tenure, she co-chaired the Regents Subcommittee on State Aid, where she was deeply involved in developing the annual education budget proposal. Ms. Mead elevated parent and student voices, particularly during the pandemic, and contributed to the development of the Regents’ framework and policy statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Ms. Mead is also a Co-Editor of and contributor to the Journal of Engaged Research. Before her election to the Regents, Nan was a financial sector professional and parent leader serving on several local policy and advocacy boards, including Community Education Council 3 and the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council of New York City. She holds degrees in politics, public policy, and education.

Associate Director

Jonathan E. Collins, Ph.D. (he/him/his) is the associate director of the Center for Educational Equity. Collins is an assistant professor of political science and education at Teachers College, Columbia University and an assistant professor of political science (by courtesy) at Columbia University. His research focuses on race and ethnic politics, urban politics, state and local politics, education politics and policy, and democratic innovations. As a researcher, Collins has been at the forefront of the study of public participation at school board meetings. His book in progress, Democracy Speaks: School Board Governance through Deliberative Culture, demonstrates how democratic school board governance facilitates urban education policy reform. He has also written on civics education, African American voting behavior, local election reform, and school finance policy. His scholarship has been published in the American Political Science Review, Political Behavior, the Peabody Journal of Education, American Politics Research, the Urban Affairs Review, the Journal of Urban Affairs, and Local Government Studies. His public writings have appeared in the Washington Post, Education Week, the 74, and the Brookings Institute. Collins is also a regular columnist for Phi Delta Kappan

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, the American Political Science Association's Susan Clarke Young Scholar Award, and the Brown University Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. His research has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). 

He holds a Ph.D. in political science and an M.A. in African American Studies from the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) as well as a B.A. in English from Morehouse College.


Communications and Outreach Associate

Katie Loos (she/her) is the communications and outreach associate at the Center for Educational Equity. She works closely with the DemocracyReady NY Coalition's youth engagement program, supporting youth participation in policymaking processes affecting their schools and communities. Katie has worked at education news publications and as a Fellow at the Global Campaign for Education - US, where she conducted research for the RESULTS Right to Education Index, a global accountability initiative evaluating the U.S. public school system. Katie is especially interested in arts education, community organizing and student voice. In 2020, she co-founded the Washington, D.C. based nonprofit, Girlz by Design, where she teaches design thinking and digital arts workshops with high schoolers. Katie received her bachelor’s degree in Human Services & Social Justice from The George Washington University and a master's in education policy from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Headshot of Kiki Leis
Senior Research Assistant
Kiki Leis, Ph.D (she/her) is a Senior Research Assistant at the Center for Educational Equity. Driven by a passion for equity in education and its impact on families and social structures, Kiki brings a wealth of research experience to the Center for Educational Equity. She has previously worked as a research coordinator and project manager at Brown University and as a  diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) researcher at the Center for Creative Leadership. She has also been part of research projects at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG), the University of Virginia and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Kiki holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from UNCG and a B.A. from Hampshire College. 
Satoshi Takahashi photo
Visiting Scholar

Satoshi Takahashi, Ph.D. (he/him/his) is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Educational Equity (CEE) and an Associate Professor of Education Policy and Law at the University of Osaka, Japan. His research theme is the right to meaningful educational opportunities for all kids and adequate working conditions for school teachers. Facing the gross shortage of teachers due to their detrimental working conditions and inadequate school funding, he embarked on litigation in Japan, based on the issues of teacher overtime working without pay. Approaching the issues, he modeled the school finance litigation in the U.S., initiated by Professor Michael A. Rebell and his colleagues of CEE, to improve the school finance systems and education policy in each state.

He is also a 2016-17 Grantee of the Fulbright Scholarship Program and a 2023-24 JSPS Scientist for Joint International Research.

Research Assistant

Kianna Pete (she/her) is a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Education Equity. Previously working with her tribal government, state congress, and non-profit organizations, Kianna is interested in environmental and education policy solutions for Indigenous communities. She conducted psychological research on Indigenous political engagement at the University of Michigan and is currently assisting research on Indigenous student identification at the American Institutes for Research. Kianna received her bachelor's degree in Political Science and Ethnicity & Race Studies from Columbia University. Presently, Kianna is pursuing an MA in politics and education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Research Assistant

Carrie Mannino (she/her) is a Master’s student in the Education Policy program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She holds a BA in English from Yale University with a certificate in Education Studies. Carrie has worked as a paralegal at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, as a tutor in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA, and as an Editorial Assistant in the Education Solutions Department of Scholastic. She is passionate about educational equity, and focuses on the intersection of law, education, and racial justice.

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