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Vanessa Coleman

Director, Center for Education Research & Innovation, SRI Education

Vanessa Coleman, EdD, co-director of SRI’s Center for Education Research & Innovation, is a seasoned qualitative researcher, technical assistance designer and provider, and change management leader.

Coleman’s work spans a range of education improvement topics. She employs an equity-informed approach and improvement science practices to guide her work. For example, she systematically applies inclusive and equity-focused frameworks to organizational structures, systems, processes, and projects. Her SRI projects include a study to validate a new version of a widely used teacher-child interaction assessment on several dimensions, including inclusive and equitable opportunities for high-quality interactions. She is also leading an equity review of government agency databases

Before joining SRI, Coleman was director of The Equity Project at AIR. She engaged stakeholders to design collaborations and projects to increase educational and social opportunities for all communities, emphasizing disenfranchised populations. She also co-managed the Center for Education Equity, a federally funded Equity Assistance Center serving the Northeastern United States. In this role, she provided technical assistance focused on building the capacity of state education agencies, districts, schools, and partnering organizations to increase equitable access to educational opportunities. Coleman is a founding principal investigator for the American Voices Project (AVP) operated by Stanford University’s Center on Poverty and Inequality. The AVP is a national, qualitative longitudinal household survey exploring diverse experiences throughout the United States.

Coleman holds an EdD in educational leadership from Mills College, an MA in educational leadership from Tufts University, and a BA in African American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She has authored and coauthored several articles and books related to creating equitable educational systems and education improvement.

Key projects

  1. Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Appalachia


*Publication written prior to SRI employment.