Institute for Educational Governance and Leadership Appoints Inaugural Director

Donna-Marie Cole-Malott

The Institute for Educational Governance and Leadership (IEGL) has appointed Donna-Marie Cole-Malott as its first director. She begins June 11. Cole-Malott will build the program, which is housed at Lebanon Valley College, to become a statewide resource for accurate, timely, and credible information about public education, its governance, and its importance in Pennsylvania.

“PSBA looks forward to collaborating with Director Cole-Malott to create impactful work on governance and leadership,” said Nathan Mains, PSBA chief executive officer.


IEGL is a joint effort of the College, CM Regent Insurance Company, CM CARES (Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation), Pennsylvania Public Education Foundation, and the Pennsylvania School Boards Association. Cole-Malott brings extensive experience to this unique partnership as an educator, academic author, presenter, and keynote speaker. She is completing her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

“Mrs. Cole-Malott shares LVC’s deep commitment to improving public education through informed and effective leadership, which is the foundational focus of IEGL,” said Lewis E. Thayne, president of Lebanon Valley College. “Our faculty and students look forward to collaborating with her and contributing to the innovative work that will come out of the institute.”

 After earning her New York State Public School Teacher Certification and bachelor’s (English) and master’s (English education) degrees from CUNY, Brooklyn College, in New York, Cole-Malott taught at high schools in Brooklyn and Buffalo for nearly a decade, and at colleges for seven years. At Penn State’s University Park campus, she taught as a Teaching Assistant in the Philadelphia Urban Seminar, and other methods courses in the Language, Culture, and Society program from 2013 to 2018.

 “I am excited to be appointed the director of the Institute for Educational Governance and Leadership,” said Cole-Malott. “This institute will serve as a resource for educators and families throughout Pennsylvania, and even nationally. K–12 education is vital, and it is my goal to build an institute that has a positive and lasting impact on policy and practice across the Commonwealth.”

 Cole-Malott will immediately begin planning an October 16 Equity Summit that will bring together school board members, superintendents, principals, educators, and students to discuss ways to make public education more equitable in Pennsylvania.

 A scholar and practitioner, Cole-Malott has been published in the Monthly Review and authored or co-authored six book chapters on topics including gender justice in education and culture, capitalism, and social democracy in Jamaica. She also has presented or served as an invited or keynote speaker in Taipei, Taiwan; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Antonio, Texas; and Washington, D.C. She has received grants to attend or present at conferences run by the American Educational Research Association, National Women Studies Association, and the International Conference on Urban Education. From 2013 to 2018, she was a recipient of Penn State’s Button-Waller Graduate Fellowship. She is a member of the American Educational Research Association, Literary Research Association, National Council of Teachers of English, National Women’s Studies Association, and Conference on Equity and Social Justice, among others.

 About CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation

Established by Church Mutual Insurance Company in 2016, CM CARES, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, supports charitable, educational and religious causes that improve the human condition. For more information, contact us at

About Lebanon Valley College

Lebanon Valley College is a private, coeducational college in Annville, Pa. The College offers more than 40 undergraduate majors plus self-designed majors and a range of minors, concentrations, and pre-professional options, as well as graduate degree programs in athletic training, business administration, music education, physical therapy, science in STEM education, and speech-language pathology.

About Pennsylvania School Boards Association

PSBA is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth. Founded in 1895, PSBA was the first school boards association established in the United States.

About Pennsylvania Public Education Foundation

The Pennsylvania Public Education Foundation (PPEF) is a nonprofit 501c3 established to promote excellence in public education. By providing grant and scholarship opportunities to Pennsylvania public school students and leaders, we strive to pave the way for new opportunities and innovations that lead to the ongoing success of school districts across the state.