AERDF Program Director Application Now Open | Learn More

Cassandra Herring

Cassandra Herring, Ph.D., is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED). BranchED is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to maximizing programming and driving innovation in preparing highly effective diverse educators for all learners. Dr. Herring’s passion for equity-driven education reform is firmly rooted in the belief that diversity and excellence are inextricably linked. Dr. Herring has more than 20 years of experience in education, and her career spans all levels of education. She has worked in early childhood settings through higher education and has led several state education policy initiatives.

Prior to founding BranchED, Dr. Herring served as Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at Hampton University for nearly 10 years. Under her leadership, struggling education programs were transformed, earning state approval and highest commendations by accrediting bodies. She doubled her school’s enrollment through strategic recruitment efforts and secured external resources for student support. In addition to her work within the school of education, Dr. Herring conceptualized and spearheaded Hampton U Online, the university’s virtual campus for the delivery of online degree programs, and opened the Hampton University International Office, a central hub for supporting international students and faculty, promoting study abroad, and building global connections.

Dr. Herring has served on numerous national and international boards, including on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Equity and Diversity Committee, the Board of Directors of Data Quality Campaign, and advisory boards for the Cato College of Education at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and Teachers College at Western Governors University. Previously, Dr. Herring served on the Board of Directors of the international Online Learning Consortium, the External Advisory Committee for the North Carolina Educator Quality Data Dashboard, the advisory board for the Jandris Center for Innovative Higher Education, and as Chair of the NAFEO Academic of Deans of Education Council. She has been recognized as a Salzburg Global Institute Fellow at Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria. Currently, Dr. Herring is a distinguished Emerson Collective Dial Fellow.

Dr. Herring earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Policy from Georgia State University, and Master of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Texas at Austin.