Background: Indira Dammu is a senior analyst with Bellwether Education Partners in the Policy and Evaluation area. Prior to joining Bellwether, she worked as the Education Policy Advisor to Mayor David Briley in Nashville. 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. The program also pairs students with dedicated academic advisers. Indira has also worked at education nonprofits dedicated to serving students of color and low-income students. She was 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.
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. Many students across the country do not get the same shot at success that I did, and I work everyday for those students.