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Mei-Yen Ireland – Senior Program Officer at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Mei-Yen Ireland is the senior program officer responsible for strategic investments and portfolio management related to advising solutions as a part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s postsecondary success strategy.  Mei-Yen works with grantees and partners to advance the postsecondary success strategy focused on transforming colleges and universities to ensure that more students, particularly Black, Latinx, and indigenous students, and students experiencing poverty obtain quality, affordable credentials offering value and mobility. Prior to joining the foundation, Mei-Yen was the Executive Director of Holistic Student Supports at Achieving the Dream (ATD). In this role she was responsible for leading and designing ATD’s strategy, thought leadership, and services for redesigning advising and student supports. Mei-Yen managed the Holistic Student Supports team, which developed and delivered customized coaching, tools, and resources to support institutions in the design and implementation of a seamless, personalized student experience that leveraged technology and data. Mei-Yen’s background includes a focus on organizational change, student development theory, equity and inclusion, qualitative research methods, and change leadership. Mei-Yen received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the Ohio State University. Her dissertation research focused on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy and DACA community college students’ educational access and experiences. Mei-Yen earned a Masters in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland-College Park and a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages from Lewis & Clark College.