News Release

Southern Education Foundation Hires New Director of Research and Policy

MEDIA CONTACT: Gretchen Wright, 202-421-5830,

October 20, 2021 (Atlanta, Georgia) — The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing education equity and opportunity in the South, is pleased to announce the hiring of Max Altman as its new Director of Research and Policy. Altman brings to SEF broad experience in research, teaching, and curriculum design, including work focused on social justice and education equity.

As Director of Research and Policy for SEF, Altman will be responsible for developing, identifying, and collecting research related to educational opportunities for African American students, other students of color, and students from low-income families in the southern states. That research will help to inform SEF’s policy positions and advocacy initiatives.

“We are very excited to have Max join us here at the Southern Education Foundation,” said Raymond Pierce, President and CEO of SEF. “This is a very eventful and crucial time our nation’s history, where there is extreme potential for change that cannot be ignored or understated. At this time SEF needs to work hard to achieve our historic and long-sought goal of establishing equitable education for all. I am confident that Max will bring unique and essential skills and experience to our organization. Those qualities, along with his demonstrated commitment to education equity, will ensure that we are able to stay informed and effectively engage in this critical time with the skills and insight that we need for success.”

Prior to joining SEF, Altman was a Managing Researcher at McREL International in Honolulu Hawai’i. He has also worked as a Research Associate at the University of Michigan, an MQI Rater at Harvard University, and a Curriculum Designer at the University of Michigan. His research interests lie in the creation of K-12 educational policy that reflects and supports social justice initiatives, and in how the contexts in which teachers and students operate shape their conceptions of equity and social justice. Altman has worked as a professional developer and curriculum writer and is a former high school math teacher. He also taught teacher education and mathematics courses at the University of Michigan.

Altman earned his PhD in Educational Administration and Policy from the University of Michigan, and his B.S. in Secondary Education/Mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

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Originally founded in 1867 to educate Black children and children from low-income families in the South, the Southern Education Foundation also has a long history of developing leaders in education and was a pivotal source of research and data to support legislation and litigation aimed at fighting inequity in education during the civil rights era. The organization today conducts leadership development, research, and advocacy to improve educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color and achieve educational equity in the Southern U.S. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more at