Melinda Mechur Karp, Founder and Principal
Melinda Karp founded Phase Two Advisory after nearly 20 years conducting research on education reform and working with colleges. A nationally-recognized expert on smoothing students' transitions to college and supporting them once there, she found herself increasingly being asked to help colleges and foundations figure out what to do with the research findings she produced. It became clear that reformers don't merely need research; they need help understanding what to do with it. Melinda's ability to distill complex ideas into simple lessons, foster honest conversation, and think strategically across partners and viewpoints makes her a perfect partner for organizations seeking to translate research into action and shepherd challenging reform processes.
Prior to founding Phase Two, Melinda was the assistant director at the Community College Research Center (CCRC), Teachers College, Columbia University. At CCRC, Melinda led a large portfolio of studies focused on community college and high school reform. She was also responsible for building CCRC's internal functions, including managing professional development, strategic planning, and external relations.
Melinda is regularly asked to write, speak, and comment on education reform at professional meetings, in the media, and in academic forums. She has partnered with foundations to develop grant-making strategies, and state leaders on policy recommendations. She has worked with individual colleges and reform-oriented learning communities across the country to apply research findings to transformational reform processes.
Melinda holds a BS in human development and family studies from Cornell University; an MA in sociology and education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a PhD in sociology and education from Columbia University. Melinda served on the board of the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society from 2009 through 2018, and is a current member of the Breakthrough Kent Denver advisory board.