Gail Donovan

Gail Donovan, Ph.D. is founding Director of the Urban Principal's Development Institute and its forerunner, Massachusetts' Turnaround Leadership Academy. Gail leads the academic program and coaching, integrating research and best practices from the New York City Leadership Academy and other acclaimed urban leadership programs.

In recent years, Dr. Donovan, has been affiliated with New Visions for Public Schools, Chancellor Joe Klein’s nonprofit organizational partner for school reform in New York City.  At New Visions, Dr. Donovan managed a portfolio of secondary and elementary schools, developing with each school’s principal and leadership team a strategic plan for improving student achievement, organizing the collaborative work for the year around key objectives and progress indicators, and refining the plan each term on the basis of student performance outcomes.

Prior to her work in New York City, Gail Donovan was Director of Accountability and Evaluation Systems for the San Francisco Unified School District and an Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for several Bay Area elementary and high school districts that were affiliated with the Annenberg-funded Bay Area School Reform Consortium (BASRC).  Over the course of her career, she has served as Special Assistant to the Superintendents of the Philadelphia and San Francisco school systems as well as the Chancellor of the New York City Schools. In addition, she has directed the formative evaluation of several major foundation initiatives for urban youth and urban school systems. Gail Donovan has a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a M.A. from Harvard University. 

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May 2017
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