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Pamela Burdman

Senior Project Director
Just Equations

Pamela Burdman, Senior Project Director, is an expert on college access, readiness, and success and founder of the Just Equations project. Working at the intersection of education research, policy, and practice, Pam synthesizes knowledge from the field to define problems and advance strategies that support student success.

A recognized authority on the role of mathematics as a gateway to educational opportunity, Pam has authored several reports and numerous articles on the topic, including the three-part Degrees of Freedom series. In addition to her writing, she has been a featured speaker, convener, and advisor to education leaders and policy makers on math opportunity issues. This work helped lay the groundwork for new policies designed to improve postsecondary success and diminish equity gaps in California.

Pam has more than 20 years of experience working on issues of postsecondary readiness and success, first as a reporter covering education including the reversal of affirmative action at the University of California for the San Francisco Chronicle.

As a program officer for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, she created and implemented the foundation’s investment strategies for strengthening college readiness and community college student success in California, helping to generate several statewide initiatives that continue today. As a consultant, she assisted foundations and think tanks including the Gates, Lumina, Irvine, Haas Jr., and Spencer Foundations as well as The Institute for College Access and Success, Jobs for the Future, and the University of Chicago’s Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Salon, Lingua Franca, Change, National Crosstalk, California Journal, EdSource, and other publications. She holds Masters degrees in Philosophy and East Asian Studies from UC Berkeley and a B.A. in Philosophy and Asian Studies from Princeton University.

pamela@theopportunityinstitute.org