Equity Public Policy Research
Founding Director and Professor of Practice
Children’s Equity Project at Arizona State University
Shantel Meek headshot

Dr. Shantel Meek is a Professor of Practice and Director for Policy at the Center for Child and Family Success in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University. She is the Founding Director of the Children’s Equity Project (CEP), a multi-university initiative that aims to close opportunity gaps between children from historically marginalized communities and their peers. Dr. Meek previously served as a consultant in early childhood policy and strategy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington D.C. Prior to founding the CEP, Dr. Meek served in the Obama Administration as a Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood Development at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and as a Senior Policy Advisor for Education in the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. During her time in the Obama Administration, Dr. Meek advised senior officials at HHS and at The White House on a wide array of policy issues including promoting equity and reducing disparities in early education. She also worked on drafting official guidance and regulations related to Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant and worked closely with States and communities on implementation. Dr. Meek played a key role in President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, leading the early childhood policy component of the initiative. Prior to her work with the Obama Administration, Dr. Meek served as a Clinical Interventionist for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center in Phoenix, where she worked one-on-one with children, taught in a toddler classroom, implemented educational consultation and inclusion support services at public schools, and trained families and paraprofessionals on evidence-based strategies to support the development of young children with ASD. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Family and Human Development from Arizona State University. Dr. Meek is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants and her personal experiences as a Latina and first-generation college graduate from a small town on the U.S.-Mexico border inform her work and contribute to her drive to improve the learning conditions of children from historically marginalized communities. Today, she lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and two children, both of whom are dual language learners.

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