Rebecca E. Wolfe, PhD

Vice President, Impact and Improvement


Areas of expertise: research to practice translations, systems-level change thinking, strategic collaboration

“With formal training in sociology, policy, grassroots organizing and facilitative leadership combined with years of working with youth, educators, policy leaders and justice advocates I bring a unique ability to empathize, listen, and strategize for positive change.”

In her role as Vice President of Impact and Improvement, Rebecca Wolfe oversees the research, impact and improvement efforts that reinforce KnowledgeWorks’ program and policy initiatives and advance the field of personalized, competency-based learning. She is responsible for the organization’s research agenda, which focuses on impact and Improvement of the work we do in schools, districts and communities, as well as research projects that help to advance the field.

Prior to joining KnowledgeWorks, Rebecca served as an Associate Vice President at Jobs for the Future (JFF), where she directed the Students at the Center Initiative. Rebecca led the development of Students at the Center from the start, serving as a national, credible and influential voice for transformative learner-centered teaching and learning.

During her tenure at JFF, Rebecca provided strategic consultation and technical assistance to the Texas Education Agency’s Dropout Recovery Program; helped Boston Day and Evening Academy (a competency-based school for off-track youth) launch their REAL Institute to train other schools in their approach; and contributed to developing the Back on Track to College model for over-age, under-credited youth.

Previously, Rebecca was a program director at the Fairfield County Community Foundation, worked as a middle-school site coordinator for GEAR UP, a teacher in several college-readiness initiatives for low-income middle-school youth in Dorchester and Boston and a community liaison in the Suffolk County district attorney’s office for the first US Department of Labor Youth Opportunity Area.

Rebecca has authored or co-authored numerous publications on student-centered learning including:

  • Rethinking Readiness: Deeper Learning for College, Work and Life (Ed., Harvard Education Press 2017)
  • Educator and Leader Competencies for Personalized, Learner-centered Teaching (JFF & CCSSO 2017, 2015)
  • The Past and the Promise: Today’s Competency Education Movement (JFF 2014)
  • Anytime, Anywhere: Student-centered learning for schools and teachers (Ed., Harvard Education Press 2013).

In 2018, Rebecca was recognized as the New England Secondary School Consortium’s Regional Champion for being a “tireless leader in New England’s effort to ensure high-quality learning experiences for all students across the region.”

Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in sociology with a focus in urban education from Harvard University and a doctorate in education policy and administration from Stanford University.