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Echelson to Lead Ed.L.D. Program

By Jill Anderson on November 8, 2018 8:50 AM
Drew Echelson, Ed.M.’05, Ed.D.’13, has been named the next director of the Doctor of Education Leadership Program.

Drew EchelsonDean Bridget Terry Long announced today the appointment of Lecturer Drew Echelson, Ed.M.’05, Ed.D.’13 — a longtime educator and school leader — as the next director of the Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) Program to begin in May 2019. Echelson will also become a senior lecturer.

“I am delighted to welcome Drew Echelson as the new director of the Ed.L.D. Program,” Long said. “As a graduate of our Urban Superintendents Program, with both his Ed.D. and Ed.M. from HGSE, Drew knows our community and mission well. He has long worked to improve education for all children as a teacher, principal, and system-level leader.”

Echelson comes to HGSE following four years as the superintendent for Waltham Public Schools in Waltham, Mass. During his tenure, Echelson led many improvements in the district, especially in academic outcomes, including doubling the number of students enrolled in advanced placement courses, increasing the percentage of Waltham High School graduates who attend college, and, in 2017, outperforming the Massachusetts average on five MCAS tests. Among other initiatives, Echelson focused on literacy instruction for all students and created the district’s first Spanish dual-language program. 


Prior to his experience in Waltham, Echelson spent more than 10 years working in school leadership throughout the country as a network superintendent for Boston Public Schools and chief of staff for Seattle Public Schools. He began his career at City Year as a corps member, then taught in Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut before stepping into the role of principal. He earned an Ed.D. from the Urban Superintendents Program, a master’s in education from HGSE, and a bachelor’s in sociology with a focus on African-American Studies from the University of Connecticut.

I am excited and honored that I have been selected to serve as the next director of the Doctor of Education Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I want to thank Dean Bridget Terry Long and other HGSE administrators, faculty, and students for their warm introduction and support,” Echelson said. “I am eager to get to work, roll-up my sleeves, and partner with and support Ed.L.D. students, graduates, faculty, and staff to ensure positive impact for our students, families, educators, and partners across our country. We have a responsibility to deliver on a promise of an excellent and equitable education for all students, and I am thrilled to join the Ed.L.D. because I know this spirit and belief is shared by all.”

The Ed.L.D. Program is a three-year, full-time doctoral program that prepares experienced educators for system-level leadership roles in school districts, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and beyond. Echelson will succeed Senior Lecturer Elizabeth City as director of the program. City will focus efforts on the Reach Every Reader Initiative, for which she serves as executive director.

“I am excited to have Drew join us in building upon the excellent foundation that Liz City has established in the Ed.L.D. Program. I have every confidence that he will work collaboratively with others to carry this groundbreaking program into its next great chapter,” Long added.