Melissa Bender is a current MPP student at Harvard Kennedy School focusing on innovation and program evaluation in the education space. She'll be writing on what works in K-12 education, both domestically and internationally, as well as on the growing demand for policy-relevant evidence. Prior to HKS, she worked at a USAID contractor where she supported program evaluations on a range of international development issues. She also ran a literacy tutoring program at an elementary school in Washington, D.C. for Reading Partners, a national literacy non-profit. She considers herself a closet wonk, given that her favorite book is Moneyball for Government and her favorite podcast is Vox's policy show, “The Weeds." She tweets in between classes (and sometimes for live HKS/HGSE events) @mbender17. Outside of HKS, she loves hiking, traveling and volunteering with K12 students. She is a proud AmeriCorps alumna and holds a BA in both International Politics and Russian from the University of Virginia.