Joanna French

Joanna French

Associate Director, Research & Policy

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Call Joanna French650.562.6200 ext. 174


Joanna joined Innovate Public Schools as a Senior Manager of Research and Policy in October 2019.

Prior to beginning this position, she completed her master’s degree in International Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. During her time at Stanford, she led and participated in several studies focused on topics such as how political agency is defined and formed by Maya indigenous women in Guatemala and how venture capital is shaping the future of public education quality and equity both in the US and globally.

Before entering graduate school, Joanna worked for MAIA Impact, an NGO focused on education and empowerment for Maya indigenous young women in rural Guatemala. Prior to that, she worked as a program associate at El Pomar Foundation in Colorado and an English teacher at the Unidad Academica Campesina, a university dedicated to educating low-income Ayamara and Quechua youth in Bolivia. Joanna holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics from Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA.

Outside of her work with Innovate, Joanna proudly serves on the board of directors for MAIA Impact and works on several cross-national research studies focused on education and well-being. She also loves being outside (backpacking, rock climbing, and surfing), playing music, and being with friends!

What I love most about our work is …

…the people! I love getting to work with the amazing staff, parents, and community members who care so deeply about systemic change in education.

Inspiring Quote

“Education is about the practice of freedom.” – bell hooks