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Julia Rafal-Baer, PhD

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, ILO Group


Julia Rafal-Baer, Ph.D., is Managing Partner and Co-Founder of ILO Group, a women-owned education-focused leadership consultancy. ILO Group works with the nation's leading governors, state education commissioners, and superintendents of education to help them turn their bold intentions into reality. True to its “in-the-life-of” approach, ILO Group pairs deep systems expertise with immersive leadership coaching, project and crisis management, and executive brand building. Centered on a leader’s unique experiences, needs and challenges, ILO Group creates sustainable solutions anchored in everyday realities and adaptable to inevitable change.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Rafal-Baer played an instrumental role advising school district and state education agency leaders across the U.S. and led a nationwide effort to safely reopen schools, accelerate learning and strengthen critical supports for students. She serves as an expert advisor to the COVID Collaborative

Prior to founding ILO Group, Dr. Rafal-Baer served as the Chief Operating Officer at Chiefs for Change where she helped transform the organization from a small start-up to an $11M high impact national non-profit. She coached and mentored more than 50 leaders through the Future Chiefs program at Chiefs for Change, half of whom went on to become superintendents and commissioners. 

Prior to joining Chiefs for Change, Dr. Rafal-Baer was Assistant Commissioner of the New York State Education Department under Dr. John B. King, Jr. She sits on the national board of Blue Engine, the selection committee for the Association of Marshall Scholars, and the advisory committee for the Center for Education Policy and Research at Harvard University. In 2020, Dr. Rafal-Baer was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education to a four-year term to the National Assessment Governing Board.

Dr. Rafal-Baer graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University with a B.A. in Psychology and holds a dual M.S. from CUNY: Lehman College in Special Education and Childhood Education. She also holds a Master of Philosophy in Education Research and a Ph.D. focused in comparative education policy from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Marshall Scholar.

Speaker at Moonshot Conference

Starting on July 22 at 10:30AM CET

Event details


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