Dr. Ann Nkiruka Ifekwunigwe is the Director of Counseling, College and Career Readiness, & Gifted Programs for Petersburg City Public Schools in Petersburg, VA. As a Harvard Presidential Fellow, she earned an Ed.D. in the Urban Superintendents Program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. Her research and dissertation focused on the development and implementation of a strategic plan for increased middle school mathematics achievement.
Before attending Harvard, Dr. Ifekwunigwe taught elementary school for 14 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is a National Board Certified Teacher (twice renewed) and was the co-director of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Project at UCLA for five years. Dr. Ifekwunigwe is an ASCD Faculty Member, has been a scholar at the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and has worked in the United States Senate as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow.
Dr. Ifekwunigwe has been an adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, a member of the Board of Directors of EdSource, and a founding board member of the California Alliance of African American Educators. She was a founding board member and Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Youth Volunteer Corps of Hampton Roads, an organization dedicated to providing service and leadership opportunities for youth ages 11 to 18. Over the past eight years, Dr. Ifekwunigwe has authored or co-authored more than $7.5 million in successful grants.
In 2019, Dr. Ifekwunigwe became the Vice-Chair of the Virginia NBCT Network and an NBCT LEAP Grant Instructional Designer. As a member of the Instructional Design Team, she collaborated to create professional learning modules built on the National Board’s Five Core Propositions. She is also the Petersburg Team Leader for the Virginia is for Learners Innovation Network (VaLIN).
In addition to her doctoral degree, Dr. Ifekwunigwe holds a bachelor’s in human development from the University of California, Riverside; a master’s in education from UCLA; a master’s in administration from Pepperdine University; a master’s in education policy and management from Harvard University; an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT; and an endorsement in Gifted Education from the University of Virginia.
Dr. Ifekwunigwe shares a multi-generational home with her mother and 3-year-old daughter (both named Muriel), her nephew and his family, two Great Danes, and a Min Pin who thinks he is a Great Dane. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, learning, and spending time with family, friends, and her church community. She is honored to have been selected as a National Board Fellow, and hopes her work will result in positive outcomes for the students and teachers whose needs are the greatest.