A native of Mt. Vernon, N.Y., Chancellor Kaya Henderson attended Mt. Vernon public schools. Chancellor Henderson received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and her Master of Arts in leadership, also from Georgetown University where she serves as an adjunct professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy. She is the honored recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees from Georgetown University and Trinity Washington University.
Her education career began as a middle school Spanish teacher in the South Bronx. After serving as a teacher, Chancellor Henderson went on to work as a recruiter, national admissions director, and DC Executive Director for Teach for America. In 2000, Chancellor Henderson began her work with The New Teacher Project, where she became the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships.
Henderson came to DCPS as Deputy Chancellor in 2007. During her time as Deputy Chancellor, she oversaw the district’s human resources and human capital work. In this position, she served as chief negotiator for the groundbreaking 2010 contract between DCPS and the Washington Teachers’ Union, and led the development of IMPACT, a new and innovative professional development and assessment system designed to ensure that an effective teacher is leading every classroom in DCPS. Her work in developing human capital at DCPS has served as a model for other school districts throughout the country. Since 2010, Kaya Henderson has served as Chancellor of DC Public Schools. As Chancellor, Kaya is committed to holding all students to high expectations, providing them with access to high quality teachers and leaders, creating the most rigorous and innovative instructional environments to ensure their success, and motivating students and engaging families.
Henderson is actively involved in a number of community and professional organizations including: Executive Committee of the Council of Great City Schools, International Women’s Foundation, Board of Trustees for Student Achievement Partners, Georgetown University Board of Regents, Pahara Aspen Fellowship, Nevada Leadership Institute, Raise DC, and the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees.