Jennifer Okwudili is an Interim Deputy Director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and leads a team focused on policy, advocacy, and communications for gender equality. In this role she focuses on the development and execution of overarching goals, strategies, and budgets for the team in addition to leading a discrete portfolio of supportive investments and special projects. She is passionate about reducing inequalities and working to accelerate progress and exploring innovative approaches toward achieving policy and finance goals.
Prior to this role, Jennifer worked for six years as a senior program officer at the Gates Foundation, leading a policy and advocacy portfolio on domestic education. Before joining the Gates Foundation, Jennifer served in numerous roles within the New York City Department of Education, and in D.C. Public Schools, where she worked in their Office of Teacher Effectiveness. She has worked as a policy researcher for several think tanks including the Center for an Urban Future and the Center for Social Justice. She is a proud alum of the Georgetown University Praxis Fellowship in Education; AmeriCorps: Jumpstart; and Education Pioneers, where she worked as a consultant with the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
Jennifer holds a B.S in International Politics from Georgetown University, and an M.A. in Politics and Education from Columbia University, where she studied the ways in which politics and education affect one another through systems of governance, institutions, ideologies and race.
Education: Columbia University, MA; Georgetown University, BS