Nicole has a mix-up during graduate school to thank for helping confirm her passion for education policy. Mistaking an event featuring Charles Rose, then general counsel for the Department of Education (appointed during the Obama administration), for news journalist, Charlie Rose resulted in a riveting conversation that characterized equitable access to quality education as the civil rights issue of our time.

She has always maintained the belief that quality education is a human right and is dedicated to helping transform and improve our nation’s educational system through her work as the Senior Education Communications Manager at Third Way. In this role, Nicole elevates Third Way’s efforts to focus the national higher education conversation on improving outcomes, particularly for low-income students, and works to expand that discussion beyond the higher ed wonks in our nation’s capital to the people it impacts every day across the country.

Prior to joining Third Way, Nicole managed her parents’ restaurant in the mountains of Western North Carolina, consulted with the Asheville Chamber of Commerce on a workforce development initiative to better connect local college students to career and professional development opportunities, and served as the Communications Specialist for Smarter Balanced, one of the two testing consortia for the Common Core State Standards. She graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from North Carolina State University and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from American University.

In her spare time, you can find Nicole crafting lyrics for a modern day version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, planning her next overseas adventure, or running in Rock Creek Park. 

Follow Nicole on Twitter @NSiegel_DC

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