Amy Gerstein, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Amy Gerstein joined the Graduate School of Education as Executive Director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities in 2009. In this capacity, she provides leadership and strategic direction for the Center’s community-based research and policy work. Gerstein brings the rich experience of a career in educational policy and research, curriculum and instruction, district reform, professional development and project management to her leadership role at the Gardner Center. With extensive ties to Stanford’s near-neighbor community as well as a national profile in the fields of education and youth development, Gerstein is actively involved in fostering relationships between the university and youth-serving organizations to catalyze community change – close to home and in cities across the country. A skilled coalition-builder, she oversees a staff of researchers and policy analysts engaged in a program of rigorous research and capacity building that brings together and informs practitioners, policy makers, educators and youth advocates.

Prior to arriving at the Gardner Center, Gerstein was Executive Director of the Noyce Foundation, and Executive Director of the Coalition of Essential Schools. She has been a consultant to foundations, educational organizations and nonprofits and has taught high school science, outdoor education and teacher education. Gerstein is a founding member of the California Collaborative for District Reform, and serves as Vice-Chair of the East Palo Alto YMCA. She holds a PhD in Education from Stanford University and a BA in Geology-Biology from Brown University.