Nan Eileen Mead
Nan Eileen Mead has been an education advocate for two decades. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she began her work as an assistant coach and mentor on the speech and debate team there, where many of her students hailed from immigrant families. Ms. Mead also served for eight years on the Bronx Science Alumni Board of Trustees, where she advocated for low-income students to have access to continuous funding for nationally competitive speech and debate activity. More recently, Ms. Mead has advocated for students from underrepresented groups to have greater access to the DREAM-SHSI program that prepares students for New York City’s Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT).
Prior to joining the Board of Regents in 2016, Ms. Mead was elected to serve two terms as First Vice Chair of the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council, a citywide parents’ group representing over one million New York City public school students and their families advising Chancellor Carmen Fariña on education policy. There she advocated for the expansion and strengthening of federal Title I parent involvement structures across the city. Ms. Mead also served as First Vice President of Community Education Council 3 (CEC3), representing Harlem, Morningside Heights, and the Upper West Side. During her tenure she chaired the Diversity Committee, where she advocated for changes to NYC Department of Education admissions policies and sought to address inequities of access to resources and funding across the district. Prior to that she served two terms as Co-President of Community School District 3 Presidents’ Council. During her tenure she collaborated with Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell on the roll out of the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) and led efforts to increase greater community awareness of the DOE’s Respect for All curriculum.
Prior to focusing her energies on education advocacy and policymaking, Ms. Mead was a financial services industry professional and advised numerous state, municipal and corporate pension plans, endowments and foundations on their investment portfolios. Through a partnership with High Water Women, a professional organization, Ms. Mead also taught financial literacy to middle- and high-school students in a community-based setting.
Ms. Mead earned a B.A. in Politics from New York University and an M.A. in Social and Public Policy at SUNY Empire State College. Currently, she is enrolled in SUNY Empire’s M. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction program and is a PRODiG scholar. During her studies at Empire, Ms. Mead was the Lead Graduate Research Associate on The Buffalo Project, a collaborative ethnographic study of diversity in Western New York between SUNY Empire and the Rockefeller Institute of Government's Center for Law and Policy Solutions (CLPS) (2019-20 AY). Ms. Mead currently is the Interim Executive Director at Sustainable Progress and Equality Collective (SPEC), an open learning organization that combines the principles of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) to empower individuals to become globally-minded change agents by helping them learn essential skills to build sustainable careers and make a positive impact in their communities.