Tala Saad

Tala Saad



Louisville, KY

Senior Advisor


Tala Saad attended high school in Oldham County, Kentucky, and is currently majoring in Political Science and Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University.

Formerly serving as the Policy Co-Coordinator and Student Action Network for Educational Equity (SANE) Liaison for the Kentucky Student Voice Team and a member of the board. She joined the team during her junior year of high school and has engaged in various projects within the team including Measurement, Assessment, and Accountability (MAA), production of the “Get Schooled!” podcast, Policy Team, The New Edu Newsroom launch, and Race to Learn research team.

While serving as a Policy Co-Coordinator during her senior year, Tala worked on lobbying initiatives surrounding multiple bills. These efforts included authoring Op-Eds calling for excused absences for mental health days in schools which were published in the Lexington Herald Leader and the Louisville Courier Journal and lobbying efforts opposing legislation that would prohibit conversations regarding race and ethnicity within schools including HB18, HB14, and SB 128. She also worked with legislators to co-author bi-partisan legislation that would add student representatives to local school boards in addition to aiding in the design and launch of KSVT’s legislative bill tracker.

Today, in addition to serving as a senior advisor to the Kentucky Student Voice Team, Tala is a research assistant at Vanderbilt’s Youth and Society Lab where she studies how young people across the nation learn to reason with inequity and engage in collective action. She is also a research assistant on multiple projects within Vanderbilt’s Research on Conflict and Collective Action (ROCCA) lab where she studies topics ranging from cyber-power to the legacies of political violence. She is also a competes with and serves on the executive board of Vanderbilt’s Undergraduate AMCA Moot Court Team.

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Notable Contributions

A graphic depicting raised hands of various races

Race To Learn


This study distills the results from the 10,725 Kentucky middle and high school students from 114 counties who took our Race, Ethnicity, and School Climate Student Survey.

Kentucky student presenting to school board

Bipartisan Legislators Seek School Accountability


Three measures under consideration would enable students to hold their schools accountable.

Get Schooled Podcast, Student stories from across KY

Putting the Extra into Extracurriculars: How Outside of School Activities Impact Students