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Noel Anderson

Noel Anderson

Executive Director, Leadership and Innovation and Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Administration, Leadership, and Technology

Noel S. Anderson currently holds the positions of Steinhardt Executive Director of Leadership and Innovation and Clinical Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is responsible for leading and growing the Steinhardt EdD in Leadership and Innovation, a degree he co-founded in 2019; Executive Education Leadership programs; and other innovation initiatives within NYU’s global network.

For over 25 years, Noel S. Anderson has served in a variety of leadership positions in the public and private sectors. He has led in large public school districts, higher education institutions, and national non-profit organizations. Prior to NYU, Noel was National Senior Program Director (Chief Program Officer) for Year Up, Inc., a national workforce and education organization that develops young people for internships and job placement in Fortune 500 companies, and was responsible for overseeing program development, innovation and quality for a growing network of cities across the United States, serving over 3000 young adults yearly. He also served as interim Executive Director for Year Up, New York, Year Up’s largest market, directing corporate partnerships, fundraising, leading a large staff, and managing a multimillion-dollar budget.

Before leading at Year Up, Noel was a tenured Associate Professor of Political Science and interim Chairperson in the Department of Political Science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. His academic research during this stage of his academic career focused on urban school segregation; urban education politics and mayoral control of urban school systems, culminating in two celebrated books, Our Schools Suck: Students Talk Back to a Segregated Nation on the Failure of Urban Education (NYU Press, 2009) and Education as Freedom: African American Educational Thought and Activism (Lexington Press, 2009).

Noel has authored and edited numerous scholarly articles and books on urban education, workforce development and youth labor markets, emphasizing youth voice. His most recent co-authored books are Working to Learn: Disrupting the Divide between College and Career Pathways for Young People (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2020) and Working for a Future: Equity and Access to Work-based Learning for Young People (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2024), which blends research, policy analysis and assessments from professional practice to examine how young people navigate and integrate the worlds of work and school in Germany; Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom; and the United States. Much of Noel's research integrates the capabilities approach (a theory developed by Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize winner in welfare economics) to education and equity, one of only a handful of U.S. scholars applying this complex methodology to education.

Noel has earned over a dozen awards and fellowships. He received the prestigious Whitney M. Young, Jr. Education Leadership Award from the National Urban League (NUL) for creating “Project Ready”, NUL’s signature college access program. He served on United States President Joseph Biden’s Education Policy Committee, lending his expertise to inform the campaign’s national platform on career readiness.

Selected Publications

  • Nieves, L, Anderson, N & Huntting, B (2024) Working for a Future: Equity and access in work-based learning for young people
  • Anderson, N, Nieves, L (2020). Working to learn: Disrupting the divide between college and career pathways for young people 
  • Pabon, A, Anderson, N & Kharem, H. (2011). Minding the gap: Cultivating black male teachers in a time of crisis in urban schools. The Journal of Negro Education, 80, 3, 358-367
  • Anderson, N. (2011). Activism. In N. Lesko & S. Talburt (Eds.) Youth studies: Keywords and movements. New York, NY: Routledge Press
  • Anderson, N. (2011). Hood politics: Charter schools, race and gentrification in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. In T. Shortell & J. DeSena (Eds.) The world in brooklyn: gentrification, immigration and ethnic politics in a global city. Latham, MD: Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield
  • Ginwright, S. & Anderson, N (2010). Reigniting the flame: Community. In S. Taylor (Ed.) A new way forward: Healing what’s hurting black america. Chicago, Il: Third World Press
  • Anderson, N (2010). School, family, and community partnerships: Key to boys’ success in school. In B. Sprung, M. Froschl & N. Gropper (Eds.) Supporting boys’ learning: Strategies for teacher practice. New York, NY: Teachers College Press


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