Rob Watson

Rob Watson headshot
Deputy Director
Deputy Director

Rob is the deputy director of EdRedesign and lecturer on education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. At EdRedesign, Rob leads the organization’s talent development programming and its By All Means Communities of Practice initiative, supporting communities across the U.S. to develop cradle-to-career systems of opportunity.

His work has focused on themes of civic engagement, community development and educational equity in the U.S., Latin America, and Africa. Prior to joining EdRedesign, Rob served as a consultant and advisor to organizations that include the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Harvard College, Tufts University, The Social Impact Studio, FUSE Corps, The Foundation for Louisiana, The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, The Obama Foundation and Harlem Children’s Zone.

A former Peace Corps volunteer and winner of the Peace Corps’ 2023 Franklin H. Williams Award, Rob has co-founded five civil society organizations in Paraguay, including, Teach for Paraguay, member of the global Teach For All Network and the Paraguayan Government's first national youth service program. Additionally, he partnered with the mayor, superintendent of schools and community stakeholders from his hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York to launch the Poughkeepsie Children's Cabinet, a collective impact organization that convenes leaders across sectors to develop a citywide cradle-to-career agenda for children, youth, and families. Rob is also a co-founder of Lead for Poughkeepsie, an AmeriCorps program affiliated with Lead for America that aims to attract and retain homegrown talent to pursue social impact careers in the Mid-Hudson Valley region of New York State. Rob is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Children's Funding Project. In January 2024, Rob was selected as a Presidential Leadership Scholar. 

Rob is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and former Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Scholar. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College, an Ed.M in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a mid-career master's in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School. 

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