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Rob Watson

Board Member

Rob Watson is the deputy director of the EdRedesign Lab and lecturer on education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. At EdRedesign, Watson leads the organization’s talent development programming, Summer Institute for Neighborhood Leaders, By All Means Senior Fellows Program and the By All Means Communities of Practice initiative, supporting communities across the U.S. to develop cradle-to-career systems of opportunity.

His work has focused on themes of civic engagement, community development, and educational equity in the U.S., Latin America, and Africa. Prior to joining EdRedesign, Watson served as a consultant and advisor to organizations that include the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Harvard College, Tufts University, The Social Impact Studio, FUSE Corps, The Foundation for Louisiana, The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, The Obama Foundation, and Harlem Children’s Zone.

A former Peace Corps volunteer and winner of the Peace Corps’ 2023 Franklin H. Williams Award, Watson has co-founded five civil society organizations in Paraguay, including Teach for Paraguay, member of the global Teach For All Network and the Paraguayan Government’s first national youth service program. Additionally, he is a co-founder and board chair of the Poughkeepsie Children’s Cabinet, a collective impact organization based in his hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York, that convenes leaders and institutions across sectors to develop a citywide cradle-to-career agenda for children, youth, and families. He is also a co-founder of the Poughkeepsie Service Accelerator (PSA) a place-based service year collaborative that aims to attract and retain local talent to pursue social impact careers in the Mid-Hudson Valley region of New York State.

Watson is a 2024 Presidential Leadership Scholar, former World Economic Forum Global Shaper and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Scholar. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College, an Ed.M in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a mid-career Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.