Leila Sammander is the Program Coordinator of Ascend, the hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. Leila comes to the Aspen Institute from the University of Pennsylvania, where she recently completed her master’s degree in Education Policy. While completing her graduate degree, she worked at the Consortium for Policy Research in Education in Philadelphia, PA, where she assisted a professional development intervention that trained teachers to use math items of high cognitive demand to gather information on student thinking. Before pursuing her graduate degree, Leila worked for the Congressional Fire Services Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit serving fire and emergency services personnel. She also worked on the reelection campaign of U.S. Senator Thomas Carper from Delaware. A Delaware native, Leila earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from the University of Delaware.