Thomas Maffai

Director of Research and Policy

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Call Matt Hammer 650.562.6200 ext.146

Matt Hammer

With over a decade of experience in teaching and leading in large urban school districts, Thomas brings a deep commitment to improving educational equity to his role at Innovate as Director of Research and Policy. Prior to joining Innovate, Thomas led talent strategy and diversity initiatives across the 128 schools within the Boston Public Schools, partnering with principals and managing relationships with external stakeholders including Boston’s City Council, the Mayor’s office, the media, and community advocacy organizations. During his time in Boston, schools increased the district-wide “early hire” rate by 26% in order to attract more effective and diverse candidates. He also led the launch of an innovative diversity teacher pipeline program with annual cohort of 40-50 teachers to fill the district’s hardest-to-staff subject areas.

He previously worked for several years with TNTP, partnering with school districts across the country on human capital reform efforts and academic strategy.

Thomas grew up with two public school teachers as parents, and began his own education career as a bilingual high school teacher in Miami, where he was dual-certified in Social Studies and Special Education and discovered his passion for serving ELL students and families. He has earned master’s degrees in Public Administration and Social Work from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Romance Languages.

Thomas has published articles on desegregationcharter/district collaborationteacher diversitythe role of technology in the classroomand equity for ELL students. He has a passion for foreign language, travel, and outdoor adventures.