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Venessa Keesler Ph.D. is a Senior Project Director and Subject Matter Expert for AEM Corporation, a national education firm that supports the U.S. Department of Education and states on education reform priorities. Previously, she was Deputy Superintendent for the Division of Educator, Student and School Support at the Michigan Department of Education, where she supervised assessment, accountability, the educator pipeline, standards, curriculum and instruction, federal Title programs, educational technology, charter schools. Dr. Keesler also provided leadership and oversight for the creation, development and implementation of Michigan’s strategic research approach, including the current Michigan Education Research Initiative (with the Michigan Education Data Center at the University of Michigan and the Education Policy Innovation Collaborative at Michigan State University).  She began her career in education as a seventh grade social studies teacher in Brockton, Massachusetts. Dr. Keesler holds a Ph.D. in measurement and quantitative methods from Michigan State University and a BA in sociology from Harvard University. She lives in East Lansing with her two children and her dog, Chuck.