Melissa Moritz

Melissa Moritz, Director of Policy for the STEM Next Opportunity Fund

Melissa Moritz serves as the Director of Policy for the STEM Next Opportunity Fund.  In this capacity, she oversees the STEM Next Fellows Program and supports STEM Next’s policy and partnership efforts.

Moritz served as the inaugural Afterschool and Summer Learning Fellow serving in the US Department of Education’s (ED) Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) where she supported the Department’s Out-of-School Time work with a particular focus on supporting successful implementation of the American Rescue Plan set asides that opened up more than $2.4B for afterschool and summer learning.  Moritz supported the launch of the Engage Every Student Initiative and authored “Building and Using Evidence in Summer, Afterschool and Out-of-School Time Settings.”  

Previously, Moritz served as the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI).  In this capacity, she led a team dedicated to launching new initiatives and partnerships to support the organization’s five-year strategic plan, NMSI Next.  These initiatives and partnerships focused on increasing the number of STEM teachers prepared and retained in K-12 settings, supporting early childhood and elementary STEM, direct student support in STEM, family and community engagement and building the STEM Opportunity Index.

Prior to joining NMSI, she served in the Obama-Biden Administration as the Deputy Director of STEM at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and supported STEM policy and programs that focused on STEM teaching and learning, from preschool to workforce.  She served on numerous interagency working groups and co-chaired the P-12 STEM working group as part of the White House Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM).

She also previously served as the Vice President of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and Education Initiatives at Teach For America (TFA). In that capacity, she oversaw TFA’s national STEM Initiative and managed the team that led TFA’s Early Childhood Education Initiative, Diverse Learners Initiative, Military Veterans Initiative and Native Alliance Initiative. 

After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Biology in 2006, she joined TFA, where she taught middle school science at M.S. 321, a Children’s Aid Society school, in New York City.

Melissa was named one of the “100 Women Leaders in STEM” in 2012 and previously sat on STEMConnector’s Innovation Task Force and the US News STEM Advisory Council. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two daughters.