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Audience in Lecture






Managing partner


ILO Group


Julia Rafal-Baer, Ph.D., is managing partner of ILO Group. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Rafal-Baer played an instrumental role advising school district and state education agency leaders across the U.S. and led a nationwide effort to safely reopen schools, accelerate learning, and strengthen critical supports for students. She serves as an expert advisor to the COVID Collaborative.

Prior to founding ILO Group, Julia served as the chief operating officer at Chiefs for Change, a nationwide network of district and state education leaders, where she helped transform the organization from a small start-up to an $11M high-impact national nonprofit. She coached and mentored more than 50 leaders through the Future Chiefs program at Chiefs for Change, half of whom went on to become superintendents and commissioners. She previously served as assistant commissioner of the New York State Education Department where she was responsible for the strategy, management, and implementation of teacher and leader initiatives under the state’s Race to the Top and Teacher Incentive Fund grants, as well as other statewide initiatives, managing more than $150 million in federal funds. In 2020, she was appointed by the U.S. secretary of education to a four-year term to the National Assessment Governing Board.

Julia holds a BA in Psychology from George Washington University where she graduated summa cum laude and a dual MS from CUNY: Lehman College in Special Education and Childhood Education. She is also an alum of the University of Cambridge, where she was a Marshall Scholar and completed a master of philosophy in Education Research and a Ph.D. focused in comparative education policy.

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