Dr. Mellie Torres


“Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say ‘We have done this ourselves.’” – Lao Tzu


Dr. Mellie Torres joined the Foundation in August 2022. 

Mellie brings almost 20 years of experience across the education sector as a K-12 and university educator, an applied researcher, and a program evaluator. Raised in Newark, NJ, and with family ties to Borinken, racial justice, equity, and community guide her life and work.  

Working at the nexus of research, practice, and policy with and for BIPOC communities, Mellie uses an equity-centered and intersectional lens with an authentic and compassionate approach to address the root-causes of systemic inequity. Most recently, as an independent consultant, she conducted program evaluation and applied research projects for philanthropic, community-based, national non-profit, for-profit, and educational organizations. In addition to leading learning projects, she served as a STEM high school teacher in her hometown of Newark for five years and worked in economic development on the South Side of Chicago.   

Mellie earned a PhD in Education from New York University, has graduate degrees from Montclair State University in Mathematics Education and the University of Michigan in Public Policy, and an undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University in Mathematics. Her scholarly work has been published in Boyhood Studies, Race, Ethnicity and Education, and The Harvard Educational Review. 

Mellie is also a yogi, and a runner.