Anand Vaishnav
Principal and Senior Director of the Analysts and Associates Team

Anand’s interest in education began on the outside as an education reporter for two major daily newspapers, deepened when he went “inside” as chief of staff for the Boston Public Schools and expanded since joining Education First in 2009. His focus has remained the same: helping policymakers, educators and stakeholders think bigger and more creatively on behalf of students.

Anand currently manages Education First’s team of Associates and Associate Consultants, providing them the coaching, professional learning and professional growth supports to execute project research agendas and thrive as professionals. In his career at Education First, he has led projects on strategic planning, organizational growth and development, grantee and nonprofit networks, cradle-to-career alignment, and technical assistance to state and district agencies. A former Chief of Staff for the Boston Public Schools, Anand has overseen strategic planning or program design across the country for school districts (Baltimore City Public Schools, Denver Public Schools); nonprofits seeking expansion (, Teaching Matters, Eskolta School Research and Design, Hope Street Group); associations seeking to grow membership (National Association of State Boards of Education); philanthropic organizations aiming to increase impact (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation); and state and federal education agencies (District of Columbia, Delaware, National Assessment Governing Board). His work in state policy includes co-authoring the Tennessee and Maryland Race to the Top applications, supporting Delaware’s Talent Cooperative, and working on Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) planning and implementation with four states. Previously, Anand was an education reporter at the Boston Globe and Times-Picayune of New Orleans. 

Anand earned a bachelor’s in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He lives in the Washington, DC area with his family.

Anand's expertise

  • Research and act
  • Build coherent strategy
  • Convene learning communities
  • Design for equity
  • Invest with impact

Recent clients

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Greater Texas Foundation
  • National Assessment Governing Board
  • Data Quality Campaign
  • Council of Chief State School Officers

Anand likes

  • vaishnav-star-wars
    All things Star Wars
  • vaishnav-italian-food
    All things Italian food