Application for Congressional Commission for Abigail Schaller

Contact Information

Full Name

Abigail Schaller

Other Names
Abby Schaller

Eligible for commission

eligible

Party Affiliation

Democrat

Occupation

Senior Program Officer at Gates Family Foundation

Educational Background

Bachelor degree in Sociology, University of Puget Sound; Master degree in Public Administration; UC Denver; Certificate in Education Finance, Georgetown University

Zip Code

80211-4613

Congressional District
1

Background

Past Political Activity

I have not donated to any political campaigns since November 2015.

List of Political and Civic Organizations belonged to

Education Pioneers, member; RootED Denver, treasurer

Organization and Advocacy Experience

I often support both grassroots and grasstops policy and advocacy groups in K-12 education with a focus on improving educational opportunities for low-income and BIPOC students and families.

Statement

I am extremely interested in developing fair and impartial systems and structures that allow our government to best represent and serve all Coloradans. I am encouraged by Colorado voters' pioneering decision to adopt independent redistricting committees. It would be an honor to support this work.

Statement on Working with Consensus

I believe in utilizing data to inform decision-making, and also in the importance of mutual respect, establishing good rapport, and asking tough questions. I truly believe that a committee structure for decision-making often produces the best outcomes, and have developed initiatives that rely on decision-making by consensus among diverse groups to determine grant awards. The Education Innovation Fund, an initiative I designed and led at Gates to support COVID-19 relief in K-12, involved a review process by a 11-member selection committee where I served as both the facilitator of the group and a selection committee member. The EIF granted $320,000 in awards to 34 efforts across the state. A total of 326 applicants applied to the fund, requesting more than $5 million in grants. Decisions were made by consensus among members from six philanthropic institutions and two nonprofits. I also serve as a strategic advisor to the Governor's Office to support the RISE Education Fund selection committee to award $32.7 million in funding for innovative responses to COVID-19. For these efforts, I have utilized data dashboards and mapping tools to ensure all decision-makers share the same baseline information. This shared understanding is often the basis for creating agreement among groups.

Relevant Analytic Skills for Commission

I have experience utilizing GIS mapping systems to analyze demographic data and changes over time. I have conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses in the public health and education fields. I often visualize data in my work, and have experience presenting data to diverse audiences in formats that are dynamic and clear.

Demographics

Racial categories the applicant identifies with:
Caucasian
Applicant identifies with the following gender

Female