Tara Colton is the Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, an office that serves as a bridge between government, industry, education providers and community groups in building valuable and lifelong skills for New Yorkers. The office plays a vital coordinating and priority-setting role for a local adult education system unique in both its diversity and its sheer size, with tens of thousands of adult learners served in the City each year.
Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, Ms. Colton served as Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education (OACE). In that role, Ms. Colton led efforts to expand and strengthen collaborations with a diverse range of partners and worked closely with OACE’s principals, teachers and administrators, City agencies, community-based organizations, adult education providers, and workforce providers to improve program quality, link students with a range of services, and identify areas for growth.
Before joining the Department of Education, Ms. Colton was the Deputy Director of the Center for an Urban Future, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank. She was the Center’s lead researcher on improving and expanding adult education and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programming in New York, and authored “Lost in Translation,” a report that highlighted the gap between supply and demand of publicly-funded ESOL programs, and offered recommendations for system reform.
Ms. Colton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs. She lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, with her husband.