Prior to joining the Alliance, Dr. Mercer worked for Communities for Teaching Excellence as the director of policy and research. In that capacity, she was in charge of overseeing the organization’s policy agenda and directing its research agenda. During the 111th U.S. Congress, Dr. Mercer worked for U.S. Congressman George Miller as the co-lead for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor’s K–12 education team focusing on reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Dr. Mercer previously served as special assistant to the assistant secretary of the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education (ED), where she supported the assistant secretary in attaining ED’s legislative and budgetary priorities. Dr. Mercer graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She went on to earn a master’s degree in American government and a doctoral degree in political science and education policy from the Claremont Graduate University (CA).