COURTESY BEVERLIE LORD Kaya Henderson (SFS ’92, GRD ’07) will begin her three-year term on Georgetown’s board of directors next month.
Kaya Henderson (SFS ’92, GRD ’07) will begin her three-year term on Georgetown’s board of directors next month.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (SFS ’92, GRD ’07) has been appointed to Georgetown University’s board of directors. She will serve a three-year term beginning in October.

“We are proud to have Kaya Henderson serve on Georgetown’s Board of Directors. We admire and appreciate her contributions to our community, to the District of Columbia and to the education of young people here in our city, and across the country, and around the globe,” University President John J. DeGioia said in a statement to The Hoya. “By focusing on purpose, passion, empowerment, excellence — and most importantly — the success of the young people she serves, Kaya inspires those around her to promote one, fundamental idea: that nothing but the very best will do.”

After graduating from the School of Foreign Service, Henderson joined Teach for America, where she taught middle school Spanish in the Bronx. She went on to serve as national director of admissions for TFA, and eventually as executive director of TFA’s Washington, D.C. branch.

While pursuing her executive master’s degree in leadership at Georgetown, Henderson also worked as vice president for strategic partnerships with The New Teachers Project, a national nonprofit aiming to improve equality of education.

She became the interim chancellor of DCPS in November 2010, and was officially appointed chancellor in June 2011. Named one of the “World’s 7 Most Powerful Educators” by Forbes magazine in 2011, Henderson also received an honorable doctorate from Georgetown in April 2012. In fall 2012, she taught “Education Policy: Teachers” at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

“My many experiences as part of the Georgetown family have afforded me some truly incredible opportunities, including the surreal and touching moment when I was presented with an honorary doctorate,” Henderson said in a statement to The Hoya. “I firmly believe Georgetown is the best university in the world and has helped to shape who I am as a person and as a professional.”

In response to an inquiry by Henderson, D.C. Director of Government Ethics Darrin P. Sobin affirmed her ability to serve both on Georgetown’s board while continuing her position as DCPS Chancellor.

“Here, your service on the board would be part time, and I otherwise find nothing to suggest that that service would conflict significantly with the performance of your duties or impair the efficient operation of DCPS,” Sobin wrote in a letter posted on the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability’s website.

In his letter, he stressed that she will be barred from receiving any kind of gift or payment for her service to Georgetown while she is serving as DCPS chancellor. Additionally, she will be ethically obligated to recuse herself from any issues that could create a conflict of interest. Georgetown has two contracts with DCPS: one that permits DCPS principles to earn master’s degrees and another that gives law students the opportunity to teach pre-law classes to high school students. Henderson will recuse herself from participating in any matters related to these contracts or to any issues that involve both Georgetown and DCPS.

Henderson said she was honored to be chosen for this position at her alma mater.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lend my knowledge and expertise to help the university continue to meet the Jesuit ideal of developing men and women for others,” she said.

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