Emily Rusca HeadshotEmily Rusca brings her interest in education, workforce development, and social policy to the team as the Director of State Policy & Strategy. She spent four years managing the U.S. State Department-sponsored Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study grant program for a high school exchange nonprofit in San Francisco prior to pursuing a transition to domestic social policy.

Since joining the EdSystems team initially as an Education Pioneers fellow, Emily’s portfolio has spanned career pathways, workforce development, and data work. Her work has included projects such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Youth Employment initiative, the Progressive Pathways Initiative, the Illinois 60 by 25 Network, and the Great Lakes College and Career Pathways Partnership. She leads many of EdSystems’ state policy efforts through a variety of interagency and statewide structures, including the College & Career Readiness Committee of the Illinois P-20 Council and the Workforce Readiness through Apprenticeships & Pathways Committee of the Governor’s Cabinet on Children and Youth.

Emily holds a Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and also has a background in international development, city planning, and gender equity work.