Nonie Lesaux is Academic Dean and the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on promoting the language and literacy skills of children from diverse linguistic, cultural and economic backgrounds. Results of her program of research appear in numerous scholarly publications, and their practical applications are featured in three books. She served on the U.S. Department of Education's Reading First Advisory Committee, and the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council's Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8. Lesaux also leads state-level policy work to improve 3rd grade reading outcomes in Massachusetts. She authored a state-level literacy report which forms the basis for a Third Grade Reading Proficiency bill passed in the state’s House of Representatives. The legislation established an Early Literacy Expert Panel, which Lesaux co-chairs, charged with developing new policies and policy-based initiatives in a number of domains that influence children’s early literacy development. Lesaux currently serves as the chair of the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care.