Ronald Ferguson, an expert in education and economic development, has been appointed senior lecturer on education and public policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education effective July 1, 2009. Ferguson will continue to teach at the Harvard Kennedy School and also hold an appointment as senior research associate at the Kennedy School's Wiener Center for Social Policy.
"I am thrilled to welcome Ron Ferguson to the HGSE faculty," said Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Kathleen McCartney. "As the director of the Achievement Gap Initiative (AGI) at Harvard, and as a teacher and mentor to our students, Ron has been a valued colleague and collaborator to many of us for years. Through the AGI, Ron has mobilized a national network of scholars who produce work that policymakers, educators, researchers, and parents can really use to help raise achievement for all children while narrowing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic gaps."
With more than 26 years teaching at Harvard, Ferguson's research focuses on the racial achievement gap, education policy, youth development programming, community development, economic consequences of skill disparities, and state and local economic development. He has worked closely with the Ed School in the past both as a former part-time lecturer and as faculty cochair and director of the AGI at Harvard, a university-wide initiative to help close the nation's achievement gaps by supporting new research and connecting research to policy and practice. During the late 1990s, he was the chair and director of the National Community Development Policy Analysis Network, which produced the social science synthesis volume, Urban Problems and Community Development. He is the creator and director of the Tripod Project for school improvement.
"It has been my pleasure over the past several years to work with HGSE faculty on a number of projects, including many activities of the AGI. I have also enjoyed working with HGSE students in my classes and as research assistants," Ferguson said. "As my membership on the HGSE faculty becomes official, I look forward with enthusiasm to what we can achieve together over the next several years."
Ferguson holds a Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in economics from Cornell University.