Leila Sammander

December 4th, 2020 | by SRC

“In my perfect job, I would want to work on a team that welcomes innovative thinking, prioritizes equity and social justice, and challenges systems to work better for the children and families they serve. I would want to work in an environment where I can take risks and push myself outside of my comfort zone to grow and maximize my potential. I have found this perfect job within SRC. As a first generation college graduate and daughter of Afghan refugees, education and equity are at the forefront of my values—which is why a mission-driven organization like SRC is perfect for me.”

Leila’s “can-do” energy and positivity leads her work ethic across projects. Her ability to extrapolate themes and ideas when conducting her work with partners allows project teams to work more efficiently. Her thoughtfulness when building relationships with clients is clearly noticeable.

Leila has expertise in strategic planning and implementation, stakeholder engagement, meeting design and facilitation, continuous quality improvement, family and community engagement, and qualitative research methods. Leila provides strategic planning and systems-building technical assistance to states, districts, nonprofits, and other organizations working to advance equitable early childhood policies.

Leila has previously held positions at the Council of Chief State School Officers and Ascend at the Aspen Institute, working with policymakers and stakeholders around the advancement of early childhood and family engagement policies. Leila holds an M.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where she also served as a research assistant at the Consortium of Policy Research in Education. In addition, Leila holds a dual B.A. in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Delaware.