Michele Cahill

Vice-President of National Programs and Program Director, Urban Education, Carnegie Corporation

United States of America

Michele Cahill is Vice-President for National Programs and Director of Urban Education at Carnegie Corporation of New York where she leads the Corporation’s strategy to meet the twin goals of contributing to societal efforts to create pathways to educational and economic opportunity by generating systemic change across a K-16 continuum, and to create pathways to citizenship, civil participation and civic integration in a pluralistic society.  Ms. Cahill has also served as the Co-Chair of the Carnegie-Institute for Advanced Study Commission on Mathematics and Science Education, managing the development of its report, The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for the Global Economy and Citizenship. 

Prior to rejoining Carnegie Corporation in 2007, she held the position of Senior Counselor to the Chancellor for Education Policy in the New York City Department of Education under Chancellor Joel Klein. Cahill was a member of the Children First Senior Leadership Team that oversaw and implemented the full-scale reorganization and reform of the New York City public schools. She played a pivotal role in the development of Children First reforms in secondary education, district redesign and accountability, new school development, and student support services. Cahill led a number of research and development projects and co-managed the cross-functional school restructuring processes for four years.   

Cahill spent three years with Carnegie Corporation as a Senior Program Officer in the Education Division. She was responsible for the vision and the establishment of Schools for a New Society, the Corporation’s seven-city urban school reform experiment, and the New Century High Schools, a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Open Society Institute and New Visions for Public Schools.

Cahill has more than thirty years’ experience in education reform, youth development and urban affairs work. She served as Vice-President of the Fund for the City of New York where she developed the Beacons Schools initiative with New York City and as Vice-President for Schools and Community Services at the Academy for Educational Development where she led several national demonstration projects with more than 20 urban districts. Cahill spent a decade as the co-founder of the Public Policy Program, a nationally recognized innovative college program for non-traditional students and Assistant Professor and Director of the Urban Studies Program at Saint Peter’s College in Jersey City. 

Cahill has a B.A. in Urban Affairs from Saint Peter’s College, a Masters of Arts in Urban Affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and she pursued doctoral studies in social policy and planning at Columbia University where she was a Revson Fellow.