Sonia Chessen

  • Pew Charitable Trusts
Sonia Chessen
Sonia Chessen is senior director for government performance and chief of staff to the Executive Vice President. In this role, she ensures effective functioning of the government performance department and strategic integration of all key activities.

Chessen advises on policy and procedural and operational issues and represents the Executive Vice President to senior officials both within and outside the organization. She also has direct oversight of the department’s operations team.

Before coming to Pew, Chessen was the executive director of the National Board for Education Sciences which oversaw the Institute of Education Science in the U.S. Department of Education. Chessen came to the department from the position of chief of staff for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, where she was a senior advisor on both policy and administrative matters. Chessen started her tenure in the assistant secretary’s office as a senior policy analyst in the Children and Youth Policy Division where she specialized in youth issues such as teen pregnancy and violence prevention, as well as positive youth development. During her years at HHS, Chessen served in two White House offices dedicated to coordinating federal youth policy.

Chessen has an master of arts degree in social service administration from the University of Chicago and a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Wellesley College.