Changemaker Profile: Lori Nathanson
Dr. Lori Nathanson's career is devoted to equity and excellence in education, and a belief that emotional intelligence, part of the social and emotional learning (SEL) field, is a powerful lever to increase equity. With a decade of experience in SEL, Dr. Nathanson synthesizes high-level information on the spot and draws practical connections to both formal and informal educational settings. For example, her work with national leaders in SEL (e.g., CASEL, Einhorn Family Charitable Trust) informs how she helps individuals and organizations find the best framework to build their SEL impact. She has applied her knowledge of SEL in schools to additional contexts, including out-of-school-time organizations (e.g., Boys & Girls Clubs of America, ExpandED Schools), positive youth development (e.g., iThrive), and individuals and organizations who support SEL with students with learning disabilities (EdTogether). Dr. Nathanson is known as a dynamic trainer, facilitator, and coach who deeply considers her audience when preparing engaging learning experiences.
Dr. Nathanson's public school education in Norwalk, CT prepared her to attend and work at world class universities. As an undergraduate, she created a personalized program of study combining psychology, education, and policy at Duke University (BA) and continued with interdisciplinary studies for her doctorate at the University of Virginia (PhD). A Yale postdoctoral fellowship expanded her school-based experience by implementing and studying RULER, an approach to teaching emotional intelligence. As research faculty at NYU and Yale University, she honed research skills and connected research to practice and policy with an emotional intelligence focus. At this stage of her career, Dr. Nathanson grounds her knowledge and values in schools and organizations serving children to increase impact. She specializes in creating an emotionally safe environment conducive for big-picture thinking, idea generation, and problem-solving.