Edwin Darden is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Edwin Darden is a Senior Program with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, based in Washington, D.C. As the state lead In New York State and New York City, he is responsible for devising the policy, advocacy and communications strategy for both K-12 and higher education. The foundation’s aim is to increase opportunities for all students – especially Black, Latino and low-income students –  to graduate from high school and succeed in college and careers. As a grant maker, Edwin has invested millions of dollars to seed positive change.

Edwin specializes in issues of education policy and education law. In particular, he has emphasized the key intersection of poverty, equity, and opportunity. 

Prior to the Gates Foundation Edwin was a national consultant with the Education Advocacy Firm and founder of the Practical Education Law Team. Before that he was director of Education Law and National Network Collaboration with Appleseed, a network of public interest justice centers driving policy and systemic change on education social justice issues. He also served as Senior Staff Attorney with the National School Boards Association. 
Edwin’s analysis and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, network television, and a variety traditional and social media. A former print journalist, he has written extensively, including serving as the education law columnist for Phi Delta Kappan magazine and American School Board Journal magazine. 
He is a past president of the Education Law Association, and a previous adjunct professor of education law for George Mason University and University of Indiana-Bloomington. Edwin earned his B.A. in English, with a minor in Public Relations, from the State University of New York at Geneseo. He earned his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.