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Rob Watson

Lead For Poughkeepsie
Deputy Director

Hometowns: Poughkeepsie, NY

Rob is a co-founder of Lead for Poughkeepsie (LFPK), a new city affiliate at Lead for America. In addition to his role at LFPK, Rob serves as the Director for Partnerships and Community Impact at the Education Redesign Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His work has focused on themes of civic engagement, community development and educational equity in the US, Latin America and Africa.


Prior to launching LFPK, Rob served as a consultant and advisor to organizations that include the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Harvard College, Tufts University, The Social Impact Studio, FUSE Corps, The Foundation for Louisiana, The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, Harlem Children’s Zone and The Obama Foundation. 


A former Peace Corps Volunteer, Rob has co-founded five civil society organizations in Paraguay, including, Teach for Paraguay, member of the global Teach For All Network and the Paraguayan Government's first national youth service program. Additionally, he's partnered with the Mayor, Superintendent of Schools and community stakeholders from his hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York to co-found the Poughkeepsie Children's Cabinet, a collective impact organization that convenes leaders across sectors to develop a citywide cradle-to-career agenda for children, youth and families.


Rob is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, New Politics Leadership Academy alumnus and former Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Scholar. He holds a B.A. from Harvard College, an Ed.M in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Mid-Career Master's in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

Cultivating a generation of justice-oriented citizens