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Faculty & Research

Jennifer Perry Cheatham

Senior Lecturer on Education

Faculty Co-Chair, Education Leadership, Organizations, and Entrepreneurship (ELOE)

Jennifer Perry Cheatham

Degree:  Ed.D., Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, (2010)
Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Phone:  617.384.0147
Personal Site:   Link to Site
Office:  Gutman 415
Faculty Coordinator:  Ela Sikorska


Jennifer Cheatham is a Senior Lecturer on Education and Co-Chair of the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP). Since earning her Ed.D. from HGSE in the Urban Superintendent’s program, Jennifer's continued focus has been on leading for equity and transformational change in urban school districts. Her expertise lies in creating instructional coherence, cultivating strong teams, designing systems for professional learning, and strengthening routines for organizational learning.

For over six years, she served as the superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District. During her tenure, she and her team established strong routines for continuous improvement at every level of the school system, strengthened the district’s core instructional program K-12, improved the district’s approach to family partnership which included design of their local approach to community schools, expanded options for post-secondary success with a focus on student-centered design, strengthened hiring and induction systems with a focus on diversity, and established powerful one-of-a-kind partnerships with a focus on research and innovation. Jennifer, in partnership with the community she served, also introduced a new, bolder agenda for the future grounded in a commitment to anti-racism, inclusion and alliance to children and families of color.

Jennifer previously served as the Chief of Instruction for Chicago Public Schools, a Chief Area Officer for Chicago Public Schools, the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction for San Diego City Schools, and a coach and professional developer for the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC) in San Francisco. Before joining BASRC, she led a multi-year initiative aimed at improving academic literacy for middle school students in Newark, CA where she began her career as an 8th grade English teacher.

Education: Ed.D., Harvard University; Ed.M., Harvard University; M.A. in Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; B.A. in English, DePaul University, Chicago.


Cheatham, J., Thomas, R. and Parrot-Sheffer, A. (2022). Entry Planning for Equity-Focused Leaders: Empowering Schools and Communities. Harvard Education Publishing Group.

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