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Sonya Douglass Horsford, Ed.D.

Senior Resident Scholar of Education
The Lincy Institute
Office: GUA 2110
Phone: 702-895-0092


Sonya Douglass Horsford is a senior resident scholar of education with The Lincy Institute where she focuses on the history of education in the U.S., politics of education, and role of schools in society. She also currently serves as principal investigator of a Spencer Foundation funded research study entitled, “Losing in Las Vegas: Educational Inequality, Ideology, and Reform in the West,” which examines the social and community forces and school-district led reforms that have sought to provide greater educational equality and opportunity in Southern Nevada.

Prior to joining The Lincy Institute, Horsford was an assistant professor of educational leadership in the College of Education at UNLV. Her academic and research focus includes the history and politics of education and the role of schools in society. Horsford’s research has been featured in journals such as Educational Administration Quarterly, Urban Education, The Urban Review, and Journal of Negro Education. She is editor of the book, New Perspectives in Educational Leadership: Exploring Social, Political, and Community Contexts and Meaning (Peter Lang, 2010) and author of Learning in a Burning House: Educational Inequality, Ideology, and (Dis)Integration (Teachers College Press, 2011). Most recently, Horsford was awarded the 2011 Emerging Scholar Award by Division A of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the premier international organization for advancing education research and appointed to serve as Division A Program Chair for the 2012 AERA Annual Meeting to be held in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A native Las Vegan, Horsford serves on several non-profit education boards including the State of Nevada Blue Ribbon Task Force for Education, Acelero Learning-Clark County Head Start, and is founder and director of Las Vegas Freedom Schools – a summer literacy program for children in historically underserved communities. She earned her MPA and Ed.D from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and BA from Colorado State University.

Fields of Expertise

  • Educational Leadership and Policy
  • School Desegregation and Resegregation
  • Community-Based School Reform