Russlynn Ali

Co-Founder and CEO at XQ Institute, Managing Director of the Education Fund at Emerson Collective

XQ Institute, Emerson Collective

Russlynn Ali has dedicated more than two decades of her career to advocating for educational equity.Russlynn is CEO of the XQ Institute, an organization she co-founded with Laurene Powell Jobs. XQ partners with communities throughout the country—from individual schools to entire school systems—to help them dream big about what high school could be, turn ideas into action, and create a more rigorous and equitable education system. Russlynn started her career in corporate law at one of the top firms in the country, where she gravitated toward pro bono civil rights work. A background in law would later serve her well in leadership positions at organizations focused on educational justice, including the Advancement Project, the Broad Foundation, and the Children’s Defense Fund. She also served as founding executive director of Education Trust–West and Vice President of the Education Trust–National, where she championed academic achievement for students of all backgrounds. A strong believer that education is one of the great civil rights issues of our time, Russlynn took her fight for fairness to the public sector in 2009, when she became the then-youngest Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education.