Senior Research Fellow | Christensen Institute
Mahnaz Charania is a Senior Research Fellow at the Christensen Institute, where she educates policymakers, education and civic leaders on the power of disruptive innovation in the K-12 and higher education spheres through its research. Her current research focuses on identifying K-12 and post-secondary practices that close the opportunity gap by expanding students’ social capital – their access and ability to leverage peer, mentor, and professional networks. She has deep expertise in measuring and evaluating the impact of innovative practices and is highly regarded for her ability to authentically leverage community authority in designing new school models. Mahnaz is a champion and advocate for equity and social justice driven practices and a NextGen fellow with the Pahara Institute.
Prior to joining the Institute, she worked at Fulton County Schools, a charter school network of 100 schools, where she led the district’s evaluation of personalized learning and strategic planning efforts, as well as the Westminster Schools, where she led the design of a social impact curriculum enabling K-12 students to address real-world needs while developing 21st-century competencies. Mahnaz is a trained Research Psychologist. She holds a Ph.D. in Experimental Social Psychology from the University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.