Consultant to states on needs assessment, strategic planning, and policy development in early childhood education and ESSA implementation. Member of a team working with the US Department of Education to support collaborations of school districts and community providers to create out-of-school learning opportunities. Working as consultant to MIchigan State agency on pathways project for two years.
Abel McDaniels is a special assistant in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior, he worked as a community school director in New York City, in which capacity he designed and implemented the community school strategy in a public elementary school. Abel has also worked as research associate at the Center for American Progress, and a middle school social studies teacher. He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Melissa Moritz is the inaugural Afterschool and Summer Learning Fellow serving in the US Department of Education’s (ED) Institute of Educational Sciences (IES). Previously, Moritz served as the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). In this capacity, she led a team dedicated to launching new initiatives and partnerships to support the organization’s five-year strategic plan, NMSI Next. These initiatives and partnerships focused on increasing the number of STEM teachers prepared and retained in K-12 settings, supporting early childhood and elementary STEM, direct student support in STEM, family and community engagement and building the STEM Opportunity Index. Prior to joining NMSI, she served in the Obama-Biden Administration as the Deputy Director of STEM at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and supported STEM policy and programs that focused on STEM teaching and learning, from preschool to workforce. She served on numerous interagency working groups and co-chaired the P-12 STEM working group as part of the White House Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM). She also previously served as the Vice President of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Education Initiatives at Teach For America (TFA). In that capacity, she oversaw TFA’s national STEM Initiative and managed the team that led TFA’s Early Childhood Education Initiative, Diverse Learners Initiative, Military Veterans Initiative and Native Alliance Initiative. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biology in 2006, she joined TFA, where she taught middle school science at M.S. 321, a Children’s Aid Society school, in New York City. Melissa was named one of the “100 Women Leaders in STEM” in 2012 and previously sat on STEMConnector’s Innovation Task Force and the US News STEM Advisory Council. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two daughters.