Jennifer Bell-Ellwanger is the President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), a nonprofit policy and advocacy organization leading the effort to ensure that educators, families, and policymakers are empowered with quality information to make decisions that ensure students excel. A lifelong educator, Jennifer believes passionately that people deserve data to make sure that every student is not only counted, but counts.
Jennifer comes to DQC with years of experience at all levels of the education system, from the classroom to the US Department of Education. She began her career as a kindergarten and first-grade teacher in Bronx, New York, working directly with underserved students. She then brought her classroom experience to the central office of the New York City Department of Education, where she served as senior advisor to the chancellor and executive director of research and policy support. In this role she led a team responsible for research, data reporting, and analytics to inform system-wide policy decisionmaking, as well as developed and oversaw academic policy initiatives for the department.
In 2012, Jennifer joined Baltimore City Public Schools as chief achievement and accountability officer. In that position, she was responsible for improving the district’s use of data and for developing accountability systems to strengthen student achievement. During the 2013–14 school year, she served as the interim chief of staff for the Baltimore City Public Schools, leading the district through a change of administration while continuing to help it stay focused on student achievement.
In 2015, Jennifer joined the US Department of Education as director of the Policy and Program Studies Services. In this role she led a team of researchers and policy analysts to provide analytic support and research expertise to enable department staff to make evidence-based decisions, inform policy development by analyzing data, and conduct objective reviews of department products, all with an eye to making informed decisions that benefit America’s students. Jennifer also served as Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy in 2017.
In 2016, Jennifer was awarded the US Secretary of Education’s Executive Leadership Award, which recognizes senior executives who have demonstrated effective leadership and a commitment to excellence in public service. She has been cited as an expert on the use of data and research to improve school outcomes by publications such as The New York Times, Baltimore Sun, and Education Week.
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in education and psychology from the Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in counseling and personnel services from Fordham University. She completed her doctoral coursework in educational psychology at Fordham University. Jennifer lives in Baltimore with her husband and their three children.