Morgan Courtney

XQ Institute

Morgan Courtney leads engagement with community leaders and education changemakers across the country for the Bay Area-based XQ Institute, an initiative of the Emerson Collective that is dedicated to rethinking the American public high school for the 21st century. Prior to XQ, she built public-private partnerships in Indonesia for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). A trained facilitator in design thinking, she is also an evangelist for using human-centered design tools for social impact.

Prior to USAID, she was the Myanmar Lead at the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the U.S. Department of State, managing a team of conflict specialists in the field and in Washington focused on peace, conflict, and reconciliation.  She also served as the Special Assistant to the Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma at the State Department, where she handled a broad array of security, political, economic, and conflict/reconciliation issues at a critical point in Burma’s democratic transition. Prior to that, she served as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where she helped to provide guidance on a range of issues, including Syria, the Asia-Pacific rebalance, and women in combat.

Ms. Courtney has also worked on Darfur policy for the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, at a Congolese refugee camp for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and was the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, during which time she helped to re-establish Peace Corps’ operations in Rwanda.  Ms. Courtney has also worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for the United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, and the Clinton Foundation in Burundi.   She speaks French fluently and is conversant in Bahasa Indonesia, Kinyarwanda, and Kirundi.  Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Ms. Courtney received her B.A. with honors in International Relations and French from Wellesley College and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.