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Indira Dammu

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Indira Dammu
She/Her/Hers
headshot of Indira Dammu, senior analyst at Bellwether Education Partners
Senior Analyst
Policy and Evaluation

Background: Indira Dammu is a senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Evaluation practice area. Prior to joining Bellwether, she worked as the education policy adviser to Mayor David Briley in Nashville, Tennessee. In this role, she led education initiatives for the mayor and served as a liaison to the school board and other education partners across the city. She also helped create Nashville GRAD, a first-of-its-kind program that pays all non-tuition expenses for students enrolled at Nashville State Community College and pairs students with dedicated academic advisers.

Indira has also worked at education nonprofits dedicated to serving students of color and low-income students. She started her career as a classroom teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and New Haven, Connecticut. Indira holds a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. She is a first-generation immigrant from India.

Why I do this work: I am a first-generation immigrant from India who moved to the United States when I was 17 years old. My parents made a lot of sacrifices so that my sister and I could have the best educational opportunities, and I want all students to have access to the same opportunities I did.

Experience at Bellwether: Data Collection and Analysis; Policy Research and Analysis; Writing; Research

Client segments served: Foundations and Grantees; Nonprofit Organizations; Policy Organizations; Advocacy Groups

Recent Media

Publication

In October 2020, “Missing in the Margins: Estimating the Scale of the COVID-19 Attendance Crisis” estimated that as many as 3 million K-12 students were at high risk of experiencing minimal or no educational access from spring through fall 2020 as a result of the pandemic. That number became a shorthand for understanding the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on America’s students, particularly those furthest from opportunity.

Fast-forward one year later, and available data on 2020-21 enrollment, attendance, and engagement suggest massive missed learning opportunities, especially among the most marginalized students.