Before joining The Century Foundation, Denise Forte served as the senior staff member overseeing staff and policy direction for education and labor issues for the Democratic Members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Prior to returning to Capitol Hill in 2014, she was the Vice President for Policy Leadership at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), a leadership development organization supporting current and former teachers in public leadership. Denise also served in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Education from 2011-2013, where she held the positions of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, providing direction and management of the office that oversees policy and budget development across the agency. Denise started her career in policy in 1995 as a congressional fellow and rose to the position of Education Policy Director on the Committee on Education and the Workforce prior to joining the Administration.
Denise has been recognized by national advocacy groups for her leadership on education and family policy to include elementary and secondary education reform, higher education, juvenile justice reform, and improvements to child nutrition programs. She has also been selected to participate on several commissions focused on improving public schools in Washington, D.C. Throughout her career, Denise has also served as a mentor to young professionals who wish to enter into public service. Denise received her B.S. in computer science from Duke University in 1986, and an M.A. in women’s studies from the George Washington University in 1996. She resides in Washington, D.C., with her family.