Hanseul Kang, currently the District of Columbia state superintendent of education, has been appointed assistant dean of Yale SOM and the inaugural Anita and Joshua Bekenstein ’80 B.A. Executive Director of The Broad Center at the Yale School of Management. Established in 2019 with a $100 million gift from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, The Broad Center at Yale SOM will provide the school’s distinctive management training to leaders of major urban public school systems in the United States with the aim of catalyzing excellence and equity in K-12 public education. Kang brings to the newly created leadership role wide experience in public education, including her successful tenure as the head of D.C.’s state education agency, a leadership position in the Tennessee Department of Education, and time as a high school social studies teacher.
Kerwin K. Charles, the Indra K. Nooyi Dean and Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Economics, Policy, and Management, said that Kang’s deep expertise will help The Broad Center quickly reach its goal of supporting widespread improvements for public school students in urban districts. “From our first meeting, I was impressed by Hanseul’s stellar leadership skills displayed in a distinguished career in public education, including her work in precisely the type of role we hope graduates of our program eventually assume. As I have come to know her, I have been even more struck by her sharp and creative mind, her biography, and her warm personality, which inform her evident compassion for and commitment to students. She is the ideal inaugural executive director of The Broad Center at Yale SOM,” said Charles. “Education is widely understood to be the preeminent driver of socioeconomic mobility and the main lever for addressing many of the inequalities that mar our society. Training leaders who will drive improvement in public education for the benefit of all children, as we hope to do at TBC at SOM, could not fit more closely with the distinctive mission of our school. I have every confidence that, under Hanseul’s leadership, The Broad Center at Yale SOM will deliver upon this ambition. I am simply ecstatic that she is joining us.”
Hanseul Kang has served as the District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education since 2015. She provides strategic vision, direction, and leadership to D.C.’s state education agency, which serves more than 90,000 students across more than 60 local education agencies. Under Kang’s leadership, the District of Columbia continued to make major strides in student achievement outcomes. Specifically, D.C. students demonstrated significant growth each year in the percentage of students scoring at college- and career-ready levels on its rigorous state assessments for English language arts and math, with growth for all major student groups, and D.C. remains the fastest-improving state and urban school system in the country, according to the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card. Kang previously served as chief of staff for the Tennessee Department of Education and as a managing director of program in Teach For America’s D.C. regional office. She started her career in public education teaching U.S. history and government/economics in a high school in rural New Mexico on the Navajo Nation. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and completed the Broad Residency in 2014.
Kang said her choice to leave her current role was difficult, but that she knows The Broad Center has the potential to have positive impact on students around the country. “I have seen in my roles in D.C. and Tennessee that change and progress are possible when diverse stakeholders work together around a common vision for change,” said Kang. “I am proud of the work our communities in these two very different places have accomplished in improving educational outcomes, and the way in which this collective work has changed life opportunities for students and families. I hope to carry many of these lessons into my work with The Broad Center at Yale SOM, and I am excited to work with Dean Charles to advance our shared aspiration of empowering leaders who can bring positive change to our public schools.”
The Broad Center’s activities will include leadership development, impactful research, and policy engagement centered around transforming school systems into engines of excellence and equity for all students and families. The center will run two tuition-free programs: the Master’s in Public Education Management, a 14-month program designed for early- to mid-career school system leaders, and the Fellowship for Public Education Leadership, an executive leadership program for senior-level public education leaders. In addition, The Broad Center will convene scholars engaged in research on public education along with domestic policymakers and practitioners committed to moving the needle on improved outcomes for students. The center will build a data repository to serve as the leading resource for national research on large urban K-12 public school systems.
The Broad Center at Yale SOM will draw on the resources of a great university while building upon the work and mission of the previously independent Broad Center, which has run education leadership programs for more than 15 years. Yale SOM, with its founding mission to educate leaders for business and society, already has a strong core of students, alumni, and faculty engaged in education; bringing together that community with the more than 850 leaders and managers from 150 urban school districts, public charter school networks, and state education agencies nationwide who have completed Broad Center programs will create a powerful constituency working for progress. Launching The Broad Center at Yale SOM also provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between New Haven and Yale University. The center will work closely with and learn from the city’s public schools, fusing faculty expertise with best practices from district leaders and educators.
Becca Bracy Knight, executive director of the independent Broad Center, said that Kang has been a valued member of The Broad Center network. “I am thrilled that Hanseul Kang will serve as the first executive director of The Broad Center at Yale SOM. She is an incredible educator and leader whose compelling personal and professional background, lifelong dedication to serving children and communities, and commitment to social justice will enable her to build the center into an institution that catalyzes necessary improvements in our public school systems.” Chaka Booker, managing director of the independent Broad Center, added, “As a former teacher, superintendent, Broad Resident, and valued member of the current Broad Center network, Hanseul brings a powerful combination of skills and experiences that will enable The Broad Center at Yale SOM to fulfill its tremendous potential to improve public education in America.”
Maya Martin Cadogan, the executive director of Parents Amplifying Voices in Education, commended Kang’s ability to work with the whole school community in D.C. “During her tenure as state superintendent of education, Hanseul Kang worked hard to listen to, engage with, and incorporate the voices of D.C. families into the agency’s work. During D.C.’s Every Student Succeeds Act process, families of diverse backgrounds from across the city provided input into the data, design, look, and feel of the state report card through surveys, focus groups, and feedback sessions with OSSE—setting D.C. apart from other jurisdictions in the number and means of community touch points. While her leadership will be missed in D.C., her focus on the power of community voice in education policy will help to strengthen the next generation of education leaders.”
Kang emphasized that real progress in education will require contributions from a range of stakeholders. “I am driven by the optimism of knowing just how much our students are capable of, but I also recognize the stark reality of how our systems have not yet equitably provided all of our students, particularly students of color and students from low-income backgrounds, with the supports and structures they need to meet that full potential. My experience as a Broad Resident and network member have been a deeply important part of my own leadership journey. I am honored to be joining with the Broad Center community, the Yale community, and stakeholders throughout the education system to advance a collective focus on meaningful improvement in student outcomes and on innovative approaches to address the dire inequities in public education.”