Malika brings with her a 20+ year functional leadership skillset informed by collaboration with organizations that partner with urban school districts to support positive student outcomes. She joins us from Duke University, where she led operations for the Talent Identification Program, which supported 100,000 students across nine states and 3 countries. Reinforced with a unique systems-level change perspective, Malika’s leadership and lived experience have shaped her focus on the efficacy and sustainability of supplemental education initiatives so critical to thriving post-secondary life outcomes for our under-resourced youth.
Malika obtained dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Carolina in Sociology and Black Studies and spent four years as a classroom teacher while pursuing an M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Michigan. After her experiences as a Teach for America corps member in the Bay Area and with classroom teaching in a district faced with challenges in quality assurance, compliance, and sustainability, Malika went from Detroit Public Schools to law and management school, focusing on strategic planning and systems-driven organizational development of social enterprises in the education reform/equity arena. In grad school, Malika was a Public Interest Law Fellow focused on McKinney-Vento Regulations for houseless students, and spent a year at the University of the Western Cape Law Faculty in South Africa researching the right to education and its implementation provisions included in the South African Constitution (1996).
Armed with a unique operational and compliance perspective and barred as an Attorney in the state of Illinois, post-grad school Malika applied her practical knowledge as a management consultant in Chicago for a public sector development firm supporting city-wide Public Schools and Park District initiatives, before shifting into organizational leadership. Regional leadership roles afforded her the opportunity to drive public-private projects and implementation plans with school management organizations, local colleges/universities, and governing state and local agencies.
In administrative and regulatory leadership, she served as a Detroit School Administrator and a compliance specialist with the Council on Foundations. And in Chicago, she helped lead scale efforts as a KIPP Board member and a Director of Programs at Youth Guidance, an organization that — like Summer Search — helps young people to overcome obstacles, focus on education and, ultimately, succeed in school and in life. Malika holds a JD/MBA from Indiana University, and as a member of the Illinois Bar, volunteers as a Guardian Ad Litem for foster youth dually-involved with justice; builds capacity and impact as an executive trainer for the woman-founded, women-led firm Raise for Good; and protects Black and Brown Genius as a member of the Village of Wisdom Board of Directors.