You are here: American University School of Education Faculty Robert Simmons

Back to top

Photograph of Robert Simmons

Robert Simmons Scholar in Residence and Scholar of Antiracist Praxis SOE School of Education

Send email to Robert Simmons
SOE - School of Education
Georgetown University, Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management
EdD, Hamline University
MSE (Masters of Science Education), Lawrence Technological University
BS, Western Michigan University

Favorite Spot on Campus
Book Currently Reading
Street Scholar: Using Public Scholarship to Educate, Advocate, and Liberate
Robert Simmons III, EdD is a Scholar in Residence at American University; and the Head of Social Impact and STEM Programs for Micron Technology. As a noted scholar on STEM equity, urban education and race, Dr. Simmons teaches doctoral courses on race & racism in society and schools, as well the ways in which social media is a tool for activists and movement building. As a member of the Diversity Scholars Network at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, Robert ‘s research for the last 15 years has focused on racial equity in STEM and the lived realities of historically marginalized communities across multiple K-12 contexts. More specifically, he explores the experiences of Black students and teachers, equity in STEM, as well as the lived experiences of Black fathers.

Dr. Simmons is a partner in the nationally recognized DEI firm—Equity and Beyond, a blogger with Philly’s 7th Ward, and a co-host of the 3XDope Podcast. Robert has delivered workshops and keynotes throughout the United States and Europe, and been featured on CNN, the Kojo Nnamdi Show (DC), the Marc Steiner Show (Baltimore) and the Pulse with Karen Dumas (Detroit)—as well as other media outlets in Detroit, Los Angeles and Washington DC.

During his career, Robert has served in senior leadership roles in the nonprofit sector and a large urban school system. As the CEO of a operating foundation and network of charter schools in Washington DC that supported incarcerated youth and young people pushed out of schools and into alternative education settings, Robert also served as the first Chief of Innovation and Research in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Prior to joining DCPS, Dr. Simmons was the Director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education and Institute for Urban Catholic Education at Loyola University Maryland. As a tenured associate professor of Urban Education and Science Education, with a joint appointment in African/African American Studies, Dr. Simmons served as a Research Associate at the Baltimore Education Research Consortium at Johns Hopkins University. Robert has authored over numerous publications, focusing on race and racial justice, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion.

A former middle school science teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, Robert was nominated twice as the Walt Disney National Teacher of the Year and once for the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation Outstanding Educator Award. As a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation and the Fulbright Memorial Fund, Robert traveled to Costa Rica and Japan to study educational systems and conduct environmental research in the rainforest.

Selected for the Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University and the BE Modern Man Award from Black Enterprise, Robert has dedicated over 20 years of his professional life to supporting young folx, their families and the community.
See Also
Robert's Twitter handle
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Spring 2023

  • EDU-899 Doctoral Dissertation

Summer 2023

  • EDU-693 Education Prog & Pol Implement

Fall 2023

  • EDU-681 Managing Non-Profit Orgs

  • EDU-693 Education Prog & Pol Implement