Kathleen Mathers


In her role as a Principal at ESG, Kathleen leads the firm’s career readiness portfolio focused on college and career pathways as drivers of economic and social mobility. Within this role, she helps key ecosystem stakeholders—within state education agencies, school districts, higher education institutions, employer-facing and community-based organizations—assess and strengthen career preparation systems to lead more learners to in-demand, high-wage employment paths. She brings deep experience in designing, managing, and executing projects and programs to strengthen and scale pathways—which include career advising, work-based learning, high-value credentialing, early postsecondary opportunities, and social capital development—to put more learners on an accelerated path to economic and career success.

Prior to joining ESG, Kathleen served as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement in Georgia, a P-16 research, policy, and accountability agency. In that role, she collaborated on new legislation and policy initiatives to improve student achievement and school completion, and she directed related research efforts to determine the effectiveness of K-12 practices to drive overall systems change from early childhood education through postsecondary education and training.

Kathleen has held a range of other positions as well. She served as director of a statewide program to strengthen math and science teacher quality through the Georgia Department of Education. She led program development and evaluation efforts at a non-profit science center, and she served as a classroom teacher for eight years in Atlanta.

Kathleen earned a Master’s Degree from Georgia State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Math from St Mary’s College.

Why are you in this work?

The combination of my experiences as a classroom teacher, non-profit education leader, and state policy professional has given me a unique perspective on teaching and learning that only confirms for me that achievement gaps do not have to exist. By designing and executing systems change – through thoughtful state and local policy, strategic implementation, and a watchful eye on progress to inform course corrections – we can do so much more to help all kids achieve at high levels in ways that set them up for long-term economic and career success and satisfaction.

Why ESG?

ESG has uniquely allowed me to leverage my collective set of professional experiences to help states, districts, and philanthropic organizations put meaningful college and career readiness reforms in place. As a small firm, ESG is nimble and focused, giving every team member a voice and role in meeting the diverse needs of educators and policymakers. It consistently gives me opportunity to lead a range of meaningful, impactful projects from design to build to evaluation.

Connect with Kathleen

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