The Education Insights Center (EdInsights) is pleased to announce Dr. LeAnn Fong-Batkin as our new Executive Director. Dr. Fong-Batkin brings over two decades of K-12 and higher education policy experience from WestEd, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Sacramento State, the California Department of Education, the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and the California State Auditor. She has committed her career to social justice and equity for under-represented students.
Dr. Fong-Batkin’s work with EdInsights will begin on Monday, December 6, 2021. Her research areas of interest include the transition of students from K-12 to postsecondary education, diversity, equity, and inclusion, analyzing legislation and policy efforts to create change, and the need for California’s statewide longitudinal data system.
Her ties to EdInsights are strong, as she has followed our work since our inception as the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy. Dr. Fong-Batkin was a fellow in the organization’s Education Policy Fellowship Program and her cohort studied the need for a statewide longitudinal data system.
Recently, Dr. Fong-Batkin worked with WestEd and the Foundation for California Community Colleges as an instrumental co-lead in the development and design of the plans for the California Cradle-to-Career Data System (data system). This groundbreaking effort for the development of California’s statewide longitudinal data system was created through facilitating over 100 public meetings, researching statewide longitudinal data systems and a variety of complex policy topics, and working closely with stakeholders, partner entities, advocates, the Department of Finance, and the Governor’s Office. The Governor and Legislature funded the data system in fiscal year 2021-22, and provided a $15 million budget.
At the California Department of Education (CDE), she served as a branch administrator and senior higher education advisor to former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson who served as an ex officio member of the Trustees of the California State University and the University of California Regents. She served as the liaison between the CDE, the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, and the Intersegmental Coordinating Committee. Her other work at the CDE focused on designing a racial equity action plan for the department and she was the administrator for the College Readiness Block Grant and Advancement Via Individual Determination grant program.
Dr. Fong-Batkin has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California, Davis, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Sacramento State, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
She is active in her community where she volunteers for the Feria de Educación, the Alzheimer’s Association, and coordinates a career day at a local school. She has mentored many high school and undergraduate students through Upward Bound, Cal-in-Sacramento, and the University of California Center Sacramento’s internship programs.
EdInsights looks forward to continuing to work on our mission to inform and improve policymaking and practice, within and across higher education, with Dr. Fong-Batkin as our