Robert Simmons leads social impact philanthropy in North America and STEM programming in North America for Micron Technology and the Micron Foundation. As a noted scholar on issues of racial equity, STEM and nonprofit leadership, Simmons also serves as a Scholar in Residence at the School of Education at American University where he continues his research in the education policy and leadership department.
As a member of the Diversity Scholars Network at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan, his research for the last 15 years has focused on racial equity, STEM education and the lived realities of historically marginalized communities across multiple K-12 contexts. The founding director of the Center for Innovation in Urban Education at Loyola University, Simmons was one of the first African American men to become a tenured associate professor of science education and urban education, with a joint appointment in African/African American Studies, and served as a Research Associate at the Baltimore Education Research Consortium at Johns Hopkins University.
Over his career Dr. Simmons has authored over 50 publications, focusing on race, urban education and STEM education. His next book will focus on the experience of Black STEM teachers and Black fathers’ love for their sons identified on the autism spectrum. A former middle school science and math teacher in the Detroit Public Schools, Simmons was nominated twice as the Walt Disney National Teacher of the Year and once for the Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Foundation Outstanding Educator Award. As a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation and the Fulbright Memorial Fund, he traveled to Costa Rica and Japan to study educational systems and conduct environmental research in the rainforest.
Selected for the Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University and the BE Modern Man Award from Black Enterprise, Robert is a self-proclaimed book nerd, hip hop head and sneaker head.