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Wells, Lauren

Lauren M. Wells Creed Strategies

Lauren Wells, Ph.D. is an educator, researcher, and community organizer whose work centers on comprehensive, systemic, culturally responsive, and collaborative approaches to educational and social change. She began her work in education over twenty years ago while an undergraduate student at Temple University. Her experiences as high school teacher led her on a quest to create schools that are designed to work for and elevate Black and Brown students and their communities. Lauren is trained in qualitative research and uses an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the social problems confronting communities and schools. She applies this approach not only to the work of school transformation, but also to transforming how communities, educators, and policymakers think about, approach, and engage in educational and social transformation. Wells has been at the forefront of education policy and transformation in New Jersey for over 15 years.

In 2009, Lauren became the Director of the Broader Bolder Approach to Education at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education at New York University (NYU) where she the led the design and implementation of a major school reform initiative in Newark called the “Newark Global Village School Zone.” This reform has had a lasting impact on the Central High School, one of Newark’s comprehensive high schools. She has served as Chief Education Officer for Mayor Ras Baraka in the City of Newark, where she led education policy and developed initiatives on behalf of the City, and a professor of education at the University of Southern California, Montclair State University, and American University. She is currently an Equity in Action Presidential Fellow at Kean University. In 2016, Lauren founded Creed Strategies, LLC to create a community of consultants whose core mission is to use their knowledge, experience, and resources to work alongside educators and communities to ignite conditions for equity and justice. Lauren has worked in school districts across the nation on educational equity and school transformation as well as with philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, and public advocacy. A committed community advocate, Lauren serves on several boards and participates in community coalitions. From 2014 to 2019, Lauren was chair of the Newark Youth Policy Board. Lauren is currently entering her fourth term as President of the Newark Public Library Board.

Lauren received a BA in English from Temple University, an MA in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Policy from the University of California Los Angeles.