We are excited to introduce our new Executive Director, Dr. Fabienne Doucet, who succeeds Dr. David E. Kirkland’s seven-year tenure of leadership to NYU Metro Center. Fabienne joins a strong legacy of visionary leadership driven to enhance the educational experiences of students who historically have faced marginalization within schooling. Fabienne also begins her unique legacy at NYU Metro Center as the first woman to head our center, and the only Black woman to currently head a research center at NYU Steinhardt. We look forward to Fabienne’s unique perspective and leadership as we continue our work on equity and school transformation.
Fabienne’s extensive experience–as a researcher and most recently as a program officer at W.T Grant Foundation–seeks active solutions for meeting the educational needs of linguistically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse children and families. Born in Spain, raised in Haiti, and migrating to the U.S. at the age of ten, Fabienne embodies a hybrid identity that is mirrored in her interdisciplinary approach to examining education in the United States. She holds a B.A. in Behavioral Science from Messiah College (now Messiah University) and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education through National Science Foundation and National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation postdoctoral fellowships. Her first faculty position was at the University of Connecticut, and she has been at NYU for 15 years.
Fabienne’s program of research centers Black immigrant youth and U.S.-born BIPOC youth, is grounded in critical theories, and has followed two primary lines of inquiry. The first is a critical examination of how family involvement in schools is framed in the U.S. This work forcefully argues that traditional constructions of family involvement often obscure and disempower families, particularly those coming from less privileged positions. One overarching goal of this work has been to build a new imagination for family involvement.
Her second major line of inquiry examines children’s educational experiences in the context of structural diversity and inequality. This work includes cross-cultural analyses of young children’s everyday experiences, examining the experiences of immigrant children, and articulating models of antiracist, humanizing, culturally relevant and sustaining classrooms with pre-service and in-service educators. She also partners with schools and education leaders to develop antiracist professional learning activities, address problems of practice, and envision transformative, equitable, and racially just schools. While on leave from her faculty position and working as a program officer at the William T. Grant Foundation, Fabienne has developed expertise in investigating the use of research evidence and has made pathbreaking contributions to the field by bringing critical race theory and other critical lenses to this focus area. She has more than 50 publications, including edited books, peer-reviewed journal articles, articles for professional education journals and magazines, and public scholarship. Fabienne also writes children’s picture books and has her first book under contract.
Fabienne aims to lead with joy, curiosity, and love along with a commitment to the Mission, Vision, and Values of Metro.
Mission: We advance equity and excellence in education, connecting to legacies of justice work through critical inquiry and research, professional development and technical assistance, community action and collaboration.
Vision: We commit to social justice and the amplification of youth and parent/community voice, meaningful dialogue and interaction to honor and respect all people.
Core Values: 1) Community; 2) Integrity; 3) Connection; 4) Service; 5) Liberation.