Skip to main content

Phelton Moss

Sr. Professorial Lecturer

Phelton Moss


Dr. Phelton Cortez Moss is a Senior Professorial Lecturer of Education Policy & Leadership at American University and is a Senior Policy Adviser to Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (FL-24) who serves as Chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee. Prior he served as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Tougaloo College and Senior Leader at the Mississippi Department of Education.

He has served as a Policy Fellow for Education Leaders of Color and provided strategic and policy advice across a range of national education issues for members, including early childhood, K-12, postsecondary, higher education, career, and technical education, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), teacher diversity, and workforce development. Notbaly, he led the filing of the historic American Teacher Act to establish a federal grant program to incentivize states to raise teacher salaries. In addition, His research focus is focused on building school and district leaders capacity to diversify the educator workforce and improve efforts to increase teacher recruitment and retention.

He has ten years of experience working in education and education policy from English teacher, policy maker, and principal. As the youngest serving principal in MS, his work in moving an underperforming middle school from an F to C in two years led him to become the Bureau Director of Educator Effectiveness and Talent Acquisition at the Mississippi Department of Education working on K-12 education policy issues including teacher diversity, teacher/leader evaluations, teacher recruitment and retention, educator licensure, and issues of inequity in the distribution of effective teachers.

Most notably, he led the design and launch of the nation’s first state-run teacher residency program with a $4.5M Kellogg Foundation Grant to address the state’s teacher shortage and increase the diversity of the educator workforce in Mississippi. While serving at the Mississippi Department of Education, he completed the year-long national School Systems Leaders Fellowship along with twenty senior education leaders from across the country and received training to become a school systems leader.

Phelton began his career in education as a high school English teacher in Greenwood, Mississippi, where he was Teacher of the Year for two consecutive years, and corps member of Teach for America. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Mississippi and a BA in Public Policy Leadership and English from the University of Mississippi. He holds a certificate in Education Finance from Georgetown University. Phelton is a member of The Reading League National Board of Directors. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.