Connie Yowell is the Director of Education for U.S. Programs, where she oversees an $85 million program on Digital Media and Learning. This program is one of the first philanthropic efforts in the country to systematically explore the impact of digital media on young people and implications for the future of learning. Prior to joining the Foundation, Yowell was an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois. While there, her research integrated the fields of adolescent psychological development and organization change to address the problem of high school dropout among immigrant students in the United States. Yowell briefly served as Policy Analyst in the U.S. Department of Education during the Clinton Administration, and has worked closely with teachers and administrators to develop and implement literacy curricula for Latino youth, and as an evaluator and program coordinator for youth development programs in NYC. Yowell received the Distinguished Fellows Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, under which she worked with the National Writing Project to develop approaches that integrate web 2.0 technologies into the social practices of teachers.