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Deborah Jewell-Sherman is the first woman professor of practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). She served as superintendent of the Richmond (VA) Public Schools from 2002 to 2008 and built a reputation as one of the most successful urban district superintendents in the country. Since returning to her alma mater in 2008, Jewell-Sherman has served as the director of the Urban Superintendents Program and currently, she serves as core faculty for the Doctorate of Education Leadership Program (Ed.L.D.). In addition to her work nationally with educational leaders and her yearly chairing of Institutes through Programs in Professional Education, Jewell-Sherman has done extensive work in South Africa as the principal investigator for an initiative between HGSE faculty and the University of Johannesburg. She also has collaborated with the Qatar Education Foundation on leadership, communication, and strategic planning. In 2009, Jewell-Sherman was named Virginia Superintendent of the Year and in 2013 she received the Dr. Effie Jones Humanitarian Award, both from AASA, the School Superintendents Association. In 2015, she received the Morningstar Family Award from HGSE in recognition of teaching excellence. Additionally, she was named the 2022 New York University Dorothy Height Alumna of the Year and was the doctoral convocation speaker at the Steinhardt School of Education graduation.
Longtime head of HGSE’s Urban Superintendents Program and first female professor of practice retired at the end of the academic year