Model & Strategy

Recognizing the broad disparity in American public schools and with a commitment to providing all students, regardless of skin color, family income or zip code with a world-class education, Education Pioneers seeks to transform the American education system. They pursue this vision by attracting top talent at critical career junctures, preparing them for education leadership careers and connecting them to career opportunities that will drive the most impact for students.

Through education leadership Fellowship programs, Education Pioneers Fellows advance or complete mission-critical initiatives and projects for school districts, charter schools and other leading education organizations to accelerate excellence in education. The Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellowship connects talented graduate students in business, education, law, policy and other disciplines with innovative education organizations and pedagogical visionaries. The Education Pioneers Analyst Fellowship identifies early career professionals who have work experience with top-tier private sector firms and the technical skills to analyze academic, financial and operational data and drive data-informed decisions for education organizations. These training programs and Education Pioneers’ robust network of more than 1,200 Alumni form a dynamic, dedicated corps of emerging education leaders who are actively engaged in transforming American public schools through strategic initiatives, policy making, resource management and practical district collaborations.

At a Glance
Founded: 2003
Founder: Scott Morgan
Current CEO: Melissa Wu
Location of work: Domestic
Education Pioneers
New York City, NY
Talent to transform
Meet Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan, Founder and CEO of Education Pioneers, began his career teaching social studies and leadership at St. Jude High School in Montgomery, Alabama, through the University of Notre Dame’s ACE Program. Scott later served as the legal counsel for Aspire Public Schools, where he worked with the management team and school leaders to start and operate a network of high quality public charter schools to prepare urban students for college.  Scott is a founding board member of Beyond 12, Inc., and a Fellow of the Aspen Institute-NewSchools Venture Fund Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education, Class of 2010.

Melissa Wu succeeded Scott Morgan as CEO in June 2018 after serving as EP’s Chief Program Officer since 2017. Prior to EP, Melissa worked at TNTP (The New Teacher Project), The Boston Consulting Group, and The TEAK Fellowship. Melissa was also a 2006 Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. Melissa graduated from Princeton University with high honors and received her MBA from Harvard Business School.


EP has served 750+ leading education organizations nationwide. EP’s growing leadership network includes more than 4,300 Alumni positioned to drive change: 70%+ continue to work in education, including 50%+ who identify as people of color. A 2017 American Institutes for Research report confirmed robust career persistence among EP Alumni (94% working in education in 2012 were still there in 2016), and that EP leaders of color are steadily advancing into C-Suite/senior leadership positions.

From 2017 to 2019, EP made important shifts to its product strategy, including launching a new long-term Impact Fellowship and scaling back other programs, to better align their programs to sector need and for long-term sustainability. Through this period of learning and reflection, EP continued to operate at more than twice the scale of its closest competitor, supporting 180 high potential leaders in 2019.



After fifteen years, including periods of rapid growth and periods of learning, EP is transitioning to a new phase, focused on long-term, enduring impact. EP’s strategic and operational turnaround is showing positive early results, but also has required revisiting and refocusing on the core operating strategy and slowed recent growth. These changes, however, are building the foundation on which EP can drive long-term growth, sustainability, and impact through Fellowship placements and mobilizing and catalyzing its network of 4,300+ alumni in service of closing the opportunity gap.