Dr. Kendra Ferguson has spent more than 20 years fighting for educational justice as a teacher, principal, professional mentor and school system leader. She is the Chief Executive Officer of KIPP Memphis, a seven-school charter management organization with a 100 percent high school graduation rate and 87 percent college matriculation rate.
Much of Kendra’s career has been dedicated to developing and mentoring adults to educate previously underserved children achieve excellence. Previous to her role in Memphis, Kendra she served as Chief People Officer and prior to that Chief of Schools at KIPP Bay Area Schools. During her five-year tenure there, all of the KIPP Bay Area schools attained the prestigious national Blue Ribbon designation, and the majority of students achieved success on a set of measures that indicate readiness to succeed in college. During the same period, racial diversity among the teaching staff increased from one-third to two-thirds.
Prior to her work with KIPP Bay Area Schools, Kendra worked at the KIPP Foundation, served as consultant to charter and traditional schools across the country and was a charter school founder for Aspire Public Schools. Kendra serves as a mentor and coach for educational leaders throughout the country.
A proud mother of three and a native of Oakland, California, Kendra is a continual learner. Kendra earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University, where she completed a dissertation on barriers to executive success for African-American women. She also holds a MA in Education, Policy Analysis and Administration from Stanford and a BA from the University of Washington.