January 15, 2015
In this Pioneer Profile, Julie Horowitz, EP's Senior Vice President of Strategic Talent Solutions, talks about why she’ll always be a New Yorker at heart, what she learned from Rapunzel, and why she most admires Nelson Mandela.
- Where did you grow up and what was it like? New York City – specifically, the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Even though I don’t still live in New York, I still think of myself as a New Yorker. I’m one of those real born-and-bred New Yorkers. I’m a city person – just loved growing up in such a vibrant, diverse, and ever-changing place. Plus, I’m a proud product of the NYC public schools, all the way from kindergarten through high school.
- What do you like most about where you live now? I live in the Washington, DC area now. It’s certainly not New York, but in a different way, it’s a vibrant community. One of the best aspects for me (and my British husband) is the international nature of the place. Plus, we always get a lot of visitors!
- What is your favorite school memory? In 2nd grade, I was cast as Rapunzel in the school play. When the witch tried to cut off my attached long braid, it wouldn’t come off (too many hairpins). I tugged and tugged for what seemed like eternity, and for my 8-year-old self, this was very embarrassing. Although when I ultimately prevailed, I received thunderous applause. My 2nd grade teacher used the moment to teach me the value of perseverance. To this day, when things are tough or when I am feeling impatient, I always remember this moment and I persist.
- Which leader (alive or not, in any field) do you most admire? Nelson Mandela. I wrote my college thesis about apartheid education, and I taught in Cape Town after graduation. His life and his leadership will always be an inspiration to me.
- When was the first time you thought about working in education? I truly can’t remember a time when I didn’t think about working in education! After writing my college thesis about apartheid education, and then teaching in South Africa, I knew I wanted to return home and work in education in America. I’ve never looked back.
- What has been your most memorable moment working in education? 2003-2006 – The years I worked at the New York City Department of Education, working under Chancellor Joel Klein. I have many memories from that time, especially some of the early leadership retreats that we had off-site. It was such an extraordinary group of people, all drawn to such a bold agenda. The talent that Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein attracted was incredible, and yet the challenges were so big. It was a real privilege to be a part of it, but also a very humbling experience.
- What do love about your job? I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining EP in this new role. I know that I will love working with the awesome EP team, as well as with a terrific network of partners and organizations. Mostly, I’m excited to be doing work that I deeply believe has potential to have truly incredible impact.
- If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would fix or change? It’s tough to pick just one thing, but I think I’d probably want the power to eradicate some of the most awful diseases to save the lives, and improve the quality of lives, of so many.
- What are you still learning to do? Juggle and balance it all! I feel so lucky to have such a full life, but the work-family balance always feels like a work-in-progress.
- What or who inspires you? So many people, but I’d have to say, most importantly, the people closest to me – my family, especially my parents, my kids, and my husband.