Danesha Ward, Ed.D.

Senior Associate

Danesha joined ESG in 2023 as a Senior Associate to support the Postsecondary Transitions portfolio. Prior to joining ESG, Danesha served as the Program Manager for College and Career Advising for the Tennessee Department of Education, where she worked with district and school leaders, school counselors, and college access professionals to create robust advising practices, promote early postsecondary opportunities, and build greater alignment between middle and high school career exploration and advising. During her tenure with TDOE, Danesha worked in partnership with the University of Tennessee to create a free online statewide ACT Prep program for all Tennessee juniors and seniors, conducted research on equity and access to advanced coursework statewide, and reinstated the department’s school counselor advisory board to engage counselors in providing feedback and knowledge to the department on current issues in the field and best practices.

Danesha also worked as an Associate Director of College Counseling at a private school in the greater Atlanta area. Prior to that role, Danesha was employed with Memphis-Shelby County Schools as a high school counselor and a Memphis area charter school as a College and Career Counselor.

Danesha earned a doctorate in education with a concentration in Urban Educational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University, a master’s degree in School Counseling from the University of Memphis, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Memphis.

Why are you in this work?

I am a strong believer that all students, no matter their background, should be able to access high-quality educational opportunities. Coming from a city that is high in poverty rates and low in postsecondary attainment levels, I want to be a part of positive change that will lead to more students being able to gain opportunities in high-wage and high-demand career fields.

Why ESG?

I want to be a part of an organization that places a great emphasis on impacting the educational opportunities and outcomes of traditionally underserved students and approaches the work through an equity lens.

Connect with Danesha

Make contact by email.