Monica Higgins


Uche Amaechi



Monica Higgins is the Kathleen McCartney Professor of Education Leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where her research and teaching focus on leadership, entrepreneurship, and organizational change. Given her background in organizational behavior and social psychology, Monica’s focus in education has always been on the adults in the school building – the teachers, staff, and school leaders – and how their work environment enables or undermines their ability to do their very best work. Prior to this role, she was a faculty member at Harvard Business School where her work focused on leadership and entrepreneurship in the healthcare sector. Monica has always been curious about what holds people, organizations, and systems back from change and the inequities that result and get reproduced over time.

Monica served as an appointee to former Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, under President Obama from 2009-2016 and enjoys working with districts and nonprofits that are focused on leading for greater equity and undaunted by the entrepreneurial leadership this calls for.



Uche is a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a staff member at the Fletcher Maynard Academy public elementary school in Cambridge, and a leadership and equity consultant. Uche's academic and professional work focus on leadership and culture and how seemingly invisible systems and structures impact individuals, teams, and institutions. Uche's latest focus is on how these factors play out along racial and socio-economic lines. 

Uche also serves on the boards of Community Charter School of Cambridge, PreScientist, Citysprouts and a Farrington Nature Linc — all nonprofits with a strong focus on equity and access — and previously served for eight years in roles directing and managing out-of-school programming in Cambridge.

What is A608 After Hours?

Leaders everywhere are in crisis. People leading organizations and institutions such as schools, districts, nonprofits and governmental bodies are facing uncertainty based on conflicting information, viewpoints and endless decisions that must be made in order to move forward. During these unprecedented times the crises stemming from the pandemic are ongoing. Systemic injustices along racial lines compounded by the economic crises are plaguing the most vulnerable. These stacked crises are intertwined and are especially apparent in the field of education where national and international attention has finally turned. Yet no clear answers exist. 

A608 After hours podcast aims to bring voices from the field into the classroom to inspire, inform and ignite leadership dedicated to wrestling with today's stacked challenges.  Each week we interview a guest that is doing this most important work in the field and discuss how course concepts surfaced in our A608 Leadership Entrepreneurship and Learning Course come to life in the field. Our guests span multiple roles across different sectors and institutions, and come from varied backgrounds. They, like us, are ready to listen, learn and engage in thoughtful dialog on leadership, entrepreneurship and learning.

Join us each week for A608 After Hours.