Jennifer O'Donaghue

Jennifer L. O’Donoghue

Deputy Director – Center for Universal Education, Senior Fellow – Global Economy and Development

Jennifer O’Donoghue has dedicated the past 28 years to understanding and promoting inclusive education as a basis for democracy and social justice. As a senior fellow and deputy director at the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, O’Donoghue coordinates the Echidna Global Scholars Program. Her current research focuses on the development of holistic policies to build agency and improve educational, social, and economic opportunities and outcomes for marginalized girls and young women in low- and middle-income countries.

Prior to joining Brookings, O’Donoghue served as research director and general director of Mexicanos Primero, a leading education policy research and advocacy organization in Mexico, where she coordinated studies on inclusive education, teacher professional learning, English language learning, and educational spending, as well as two comparative indexes to evaluate the efforts of the Mexican states to promote inclusive education. She worked closely with teachers, civil society organizations, and legislators to develop policy proposals during the Mexican constitutional education reform process and collaborated in the construction of the Latin American Learning Community for School Leadership (CALLER), part of the Latin American Education Network (REDUCA).

O’Donoghue worked as an English teacher with refugees and immigrants in Thailand and the United States and has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Minnesota, Stanford University, and the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM). She holds a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, an M.A. in public affairs from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in education policy and administration from Stanford University.

  • Past Positions

    • Founding Partner and General Director, Xaber Educación (2020-2021)
    • General Director, Mexicanos Primero (2018-2020)
    • Research Director, Mexicanos Primero (2012-2018)
    • Evaluation Consultant, Education for Sharing (2011-2012)
    • Research Associate, Fundación IDEA (2009-2012)
    • Subject Professor, ITAM (2008-2012)
  • Education

    • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis, Stanford University School of Education (2006)
    • Master of Public Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota (1999)
    • Bachelor of Arts, Wesleyan University (1993)
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