Back to All Events

Leadership Breakfast: Meria Joel Carstarphen

  • Center for Civic Innovation 115 Martin Luther King Junior Drive Southwest Atlanta, GA, 30303 United States (map)

Join us for breakfast with Meria Joel Carstarphen Ed.D, the current Superintendent for the Atlanta Public Schools.

7:30am Doors open

8:00am Talk begins

9:30am End

This event is $15 to cover the cost of coffee and light breakfast.


About the Speaker

Meria Joel Carstarphen, Ed.D., is the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools (APS) where she leads the district’s nearly 52,000 students, 6,000 full-time employees and 87 schools and oversees the system’s $1 billion annual budget. Prior to serving in Atlanta, she was superintendent in diverse, major metropolitan public school districts, including Austin, Texas, and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

In 2014, Dr. Carstarphen was charged with leading the transformation of APS. She has worked to restore organizational integrity and create a student-focused culture. Through her leadership, the District has moved away from an over-reliance on high-stakes testing to emphasize whole-child development.

In 2014, Dr. Carstarphen was charged with leading the transformation of APS. She has worked to restore organizational integrity and create a student-focused culture not driven by adult agendas. Through her leadership, the District has moved away from an over-reliance on high-stakes testing to emphasize whole-child development.

As part of her community involvement, she serves on the boards of the Atlanta Ballet and the Woodruff Arts Center and on the President’s Council for Tulane University. She is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2019, a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta and an honorary member of the Junior League of Atlanta. She recently completed terms of service on the visiting committee for the Harvard Graduate School of Education and as a commissioner with the Aspen Institute’s AspenSEAD, a national commission focused on social-emotional and academic development.

She is honored and humbled to be the recipient of numerous awards including: Atlanta Magazine “Atlanta Power 500” (2019); Atlanta Business Chronicle “Power 100 – Most Influential Atlantans (2019); American Federation of State and County Municipal Employees and the Georgia Federation of Public Service Employees Superintendent of the Year (2018); Newcomb Alumnae Association at Tulane University Outstanding Alumna Award (2018); Anti-Defamation League Torch of Liberty Award (2017); Atlanta Magazine Women Making A Mark (2017); Georgia Trend Magazine Top 100 Most Influential Georgians (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016); Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO Awards (2017, 2016, 2015); Cool Girls Inc., Cool Woman of the Year (2016); YWCA Academy of Women Achievers Award (2015); Austin Chapter of the NAACP DeWitty/Overton Freedom Award (2013); Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Superintendent of the Year Award (2011).

Dr. Carstarphen earned her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, master of education degrees from Auburn University and Harvard University, and a bachelor of arts in political science and Spanish from Tulane University. She has also studied at the University of Seville, Spain, and University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Dr. Carstarphen began her education career as a middle school teacher in her hometown of Selma, Ala, which honored her in 2015 with the inaugural Phoenix Award associated with the Sullivan and Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson Foundation. She also has worked with elementary-level children in Seville, Spain, and Caracas, Venezuela.



Earlier Event: September 28
NPU Initiative: September Working Session
Later Event: October 11
2019 Action Accelerator Pitch Night