Past Press Releases

For Immediate Release: December 14, 2017

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), a leader in research, training, system-building, and advocacy for the out-of-school-time field (OST) located at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College, this week announced leadership changes, effective at the end of the year. Ellen Gannett, M.Ed., director since 2006, will transition to a new role as senior strategist; Georgia Hall, Ph.D., NIOST senior research scientist and an associate director of WCW, will step into the director role.

“NIOST has broken ground in the field of out-of-school time, helping define quality through its deep research, informing standards and best practices, and professionalizing the far-reaching field,” said Layli Maparyan, Ph.D., the Katherine Stone Kaufmann ‘67 Executive Director of WCW. “I’m confident that with Georgia’s expanded leadership and Ellen’s continued work strategizing with city and state systems, NIOST will continue to bring innovative solutions and meaningful research to inform OST policy and practices.”


Gannett began her work in the OST field four decades ago as a teacher-director of a school-based afterschool program where she worked for seven years. Celebrating more than three decades with NIOST, she advanced in the organization from training director to associate director to co-director before becoming the director.

“I’m very excited to continue working with partners across the country to further enhance the field,” Gannett said, noting her portfolio will include work with the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment, the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance and the Wyoming Department of Education, and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, among others. “The entire community benefits when out-of-school time programs invest carefully in the developmental needs of youth as well as in the caring adults who listen and provide opportunities for young people to thrive.”

Recognized for her contributions to OST, Gannett was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Afterschool by the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) in 2014, and is also the recipient of the American Camp Association’s 2015 Hedley S. Dimock Award in recognition of her dedication and contributions to camp and ACA. Gannett has co-authored several publications including: Links to Learning: A Curriculum Planning Guide for Afterschool Programs; ASQ: Assessing School-Age Child Care Quality; as well as the Project’s publication, School-Age Child Care: A Policy Report; and chapters in Growing Out-of-School Time Field: Past, Present, and Future; Employer-Supported Child Care: Investing in Human Resources; and The Changing Landscape of Youth Work: Theory and Practice for an Evolving Field.

As a senior research scientist, Hall specializes in research and evaluation on youth development programs, settings, and learning experiences.  Hall’s work has focused extensively on quality program improvement initiatives and has included management of many types of large research and technical assistance projects including supervising logistics; development and execution of fieldwork and data collection systems; data processing, analysis, and reporting; and overall communication and collaboration with project partners and funders.

Hall is facilitator for the National Afterschool Matters Fellowship which is an online inquiry-based learning and professional development experience for OST and youth development professionals, and is the managing editor of the Afterschool Matters journal. A Board Member of the American Camping Association, New England Hall, is an enthusiastic youth soccer, basketball, baseball, and softball coach in her local community.

“Out-of-school-time is an essential part of young people’s development and we can do more to help programs and communities better serve the growing number of youth and families who need it,” said Hall. “I’m so proud to be entrusted with leading NIOST and building on the more than 35 years we’ve been bridging the worlds of research and practice to enhance and improve the quality of programs for all children and youth. I look forward to continuing to work with Ellen in her new role and I know that I’ll benefit from her expertise and long-term experience in the field.”

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time supports the healthy development of children, families, and communities, and advances the OST field through our research, training, advocacy, and tools. We help before-school, afterschool, expanded learning, and summer programs get better at what they do. Learn more at

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