Malika Graham-Bailey


Director of Program Operations

Malika joined Duke TIP late in 2019 as Director of Program Operations and brings with her a 20+ year skillset informed by collaboration with organizations that partner with urban school districts to support positive student outcomes.   
As an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she majored in Sociology and Black Studies with a minor in Social and Economic Justice, graduating cum laude and with Highest Honors. She received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for Humanitarian Service and the Black Student Movement’s Umoja Award. Her graduate work began with an MA in Educational Policy and Leadership, and concluded with a JD/MBA from Indiana University, with a concentration in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Nonprofit Management & Social Entrepreneurship and a certification in Nonprofit Fundraising from The Center on Philanthropy. At Indiana, she was a member of the Federal Communications Law Journal, was a Public Interest Law Fellow focused on McKinney-Vento Regulations for homeless students in Chicago, and served in the Nonprofit Legal Clinic. Malika also spent a year at the University of the Western Cape Law Faculty in South Africa researching the right to education and the implementation of a restorative justice provision including in the South African Constitution (1996).

After her experiences with classroom teaching and a district faced with challenges in quality assurance, compliance, and sustainability, Malika went from Detroit Public Schools to law and management school, focusing on strategic planning and systems-driven organizational development of social enterprises in the education reform/equity arena. She’s worked as an Education Pioneers Fellow in the Bay Area, a Detroit Public Schools administrator, and a KIPP Board member in Chicago. Early on, this work shaped her focus on supplemental education initiatives addressing the non-cognitive supports so critical to core-academic success, positive post-secondary outcomes, and twenty-first-century readiness.

Armed with a unique operational and compliance perspective and barred as an attorney in the state of Illinois, Malika applied her practical knowledge as a management consultant in Chicago for a public sector development firm supporting city-wide Public Schools and Park District initiatives, before shifting into organizational leadership at Youth Guidance. Her tenure at Youth Guidance afforded her the opportunity to drive public-private projects and implementation plans with school management organizations, grassroots entities, local colleges/universities, policy-focused nonprofits, and governing agencies. Successes included significant fund diversification and an overhaul of the contractor management and customer-service processes. The perspective she gained on the ground in Chicago reinforced her later compliance-centered work with the Council on Foundations developing organizational insight into Community Foundations across the nation. Her work with The Council resulted in a balanced view of frontline direct-service work and operational sustainability. Both sides of that lens demanded consensus building, detailed project management, data-informed decision-making, and the empowerment of high-functioning, senior-level leadership. She carries that same balanced perspective with her in her most important role as an active community servant and cherishes her work advocating for marginalized youth and communities as a volunteer, mentor, and advocate in the justice system and service agencies, and board member of youth-serving organizations.