Michael Sack is a visiting senior fellow at JFF, where he works on several initiatives aimed at improving pathways to college and career success for opportunity youth, including two social innovation fund projects (Opportunity Works and Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential), the National Equity Partners project designed to increase registered apprenticeship opportunities for underserved populations, and a Juvenile Justice Reentry Program through the DOE’s Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE).

Mr. Sack is a former classroom teacher with an extensive background in the fields of urban education and workforce and youth development. His career has encompassed a distinctive blend of policy, practice, program design, and evaluation and his perspective has been shaped by years of personal connection to frontline staff and the populations they serve. This balanced expertise has made him uniquely suited to support a broad array of national educational reform and workforce preparation initiatives.

At Public/Private Ventures in Philadelphia, he led several national demonstration projects aimed at improving the life chances of at-risk youth and young adults and spearheaded the development of several exemplary work/learning curricula for practitioners and organizations throughout the country. As a visiting Senior Fellow at MDRC in New York, he helped implement a welfare-to-work demonstration for residents of public housing and, later, helped design and test out additional innovative work/learning curricula and pathway-to-college models for Career Academy high schools across the country. He was a senior member of MDRC’s implementation team on a US DOE demonstration designed to enhance reading and math achievement in after school programs and, more recently, on the evaluation of a Gates-supported innovative Professional Development initiative (iPD) for high school teachers.  

Mr. Sack was the founding education director for Youth Empowerment Services (YESPhilly) in Philadelphia, where he guided an innovative “GED-to-College” program and distinctive media arts–based accelerated high school. Prior to helping establish YESPhilly, he was the founding education director of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School and coach to numerous YouthBuild programs seeking to enhance their work-based education models and college access and retention programs.

Mr. Sack is a frequent presenter at the national, state, and local levels and has trained numerous groups of teachers and other professional staff on best practices in youth development, college access, workforce readiness, and education design, curriculum and assessment. He currently serves on the boards of YESPhilly High School and Soccer Without Borders (SWB).