Erin Simmons

Global Head, Operations and Strategic Projects
Location: United States
Focus Area: Littlest Learners / Growing Learners / Adult Learners
Regional Focus: Global
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Meet Erin, the global head of operations and strategic projects at Imaginable Futures. She oversees internal operations, plays a role in governance and leads a host of projects across strategy, impact and learning. In addition, Erin is an active, cross-regional investment lead. Previously, Erin spent 15 years in education at the confluence of technology, human capital and operations. She has applied her skills in the private sector, focused on K-12 education technology and adult development at Scholastic, Carnegie Learning and now Imaginable Futures. As a former Chief Operating Officer (COO), Erin is a careful steward of the big picture and sweats the small stuff that transforms vision into reality.

At Carnegie Learning, Erin led nearly every department before taking on the role of COO. She guided the organization through two corporate sales, honing her ability to navigate complex, political environments. As COO, Erin studied employee culture and worked with teams to redesign and align products to students.

Additionally, Erin has engaged across a diverse body of special projects, including designing a charter management organization's innovation strategy, advising major impact investors and as a founding team member of a $30m university grant.


What lessons did you learn early in your career that you keep with you today?

Always be willing to roll up your sleeves.

Why do you love coming to work?

I love the puzzle of messy, ambiguous, complex, and deeply rewarding problems with possible solutions that have tangible impact.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an elementary school teacher -- third grade, to be specific.

Where is your happy place?

Yosemite! On a run. Or, any place with the people I love.

What’s the closest thing to real magic in this world?

Love, obviously.

If someone narrated your life, who would you want it to be?

My mom.

Favorite season?

I love them all, really and truly.

Favorite quote:

Work hard and be nice to people.

What do you imagine or wish for the future?

Simply put, goodness.