Vice President, Policy and Advocacy
Ashley Eden leads policy and advocacy for New Meridian. Her work includes engaging federal, state, and local stakeholders, leading a policy agenda, and managing funding goals.
Ashley, a former triathlete, trained for her role at New Meridian in one the most rigorous proving grounds in the country: the U.S. Senate, where she spent years working on—often writing—some of the most important education bills passed in the last decade.
After earning a B.S. in public administration from the University of Arizona, Ashley spent time in the healthcare industry. But it wasn’t long before she found herself in the nation’s capital, working on education issues in the Senate.
“Education feels so much more straightforward than healthcare,” she said. “In education you can usually just ask, ‘what is the right thing for our children?’”
For the better part of a decade, Ashley worked for Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (known in Washington as the HELP committee), as well as Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Ashley drafted some of the provisions in the Senate bill that was passed into law as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Later, she moved to New Mexico to take on the task of writing the state’s education plan, one of the first in the nation to be approved by the U.S. Department of Education and generally recognized as one of the best plans in the country.
Ashley served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Secretary of School Transformation at the New Mexico Public Education Agency before joining New Meridian in 2019. Throughout all of her roles, the mission to improve the quality of our country’s education system for all students has been Ashley’s primary motivation.
“Education is really the great equalizer,” she said. “By ensuring that every child has access to a quality education, we can change the trajectory of lives.”
Ashley’s policy experience helps New Meridian understand state needs at a foundational level. Of course, she still finds time to train for triathlons, too. “I’m very competitive, she said. “And I really like training with a team.”