Hadass Sheffer brings 20+ years of expertise and experience to postsecondary networks and organizations seeking to understand and solve sticky, complex educational and social problems requiring collaboration among diverse partners. She is an advocate of lifelong learning and a two-time start-up leader and growth driver of social innovations and collective impact initiatives in postsecondary education. Her tech, higher education, non-profit, foundation, corporate and research background, her commitment to collaboration and equity for populations that have experienced institutional and social barriers, all inform her approach to developing inclusive, adaptive, transformational solutions.
Most recently she has been co-leading an NSF project on working learners with Ed2Work and the Stanford University School of Education and consults to EdTech startups serving non-traditional college students. Prior, she was co-founder and president for 16 years at The Graduate! Network, where she built a first-of-its-kind national network in 41 cities of higher education, community, and government entities to help adults’ complete postsecondary degrees, with a focus on equity and inclusion. She co-developed TN Reconnect, and worked on similar initiatives in MI, MN and OH. In 2018 she developed a DEI framework for the Graduate! Network. She has consulted to the National Governors Association, The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, The PA Department of Education, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and IUPUI’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions on adult learners, among others. She has written about adult learners for the Federal Reserve Bank and New America and has given presentations across the country about higher education access, retention, and success for non-traditional learners.
Hadass is a trained practitioner in Adaptive Leadership, Appreciative Inquiry, Collective Impact, and various qualitative analysis methodologies. Earlier in her career, she was a program director for innovation and higher education programs at the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, manager of database development and digital content teams at Franklin Electronic Publishers, and taught Linguistics at Swarthmore College, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania.