Jonathan Payne, PhD, is a program manager in JFF’s Pathways to Prosperity group. He currently works on the Possible Futures project, creating a career awareness and exploration program for middle-grade (6–10) students to ensure that more young people complete high school and attain postsecondary credentials with value in the labor market.
Prior to joining JFF, Dr. Payne served as a public educator for over a decade. Most recently, he was a technology integrator at one of the largest high schools in Maine. In that role, he worked closely with classroom teachers—implementing technology into daily classroom instruction and assessments to increase student outcomes—and fellow technology staff—supporting the district’s grades 4–12 one-to-one Chromebook deployment. He also facilitated the creation of the district’s K–6 technology scope and sequence and coordinated teacher technology professional development.
Dr. Payne also served students as a science teacher for seven years, focusing mainly on chemistry and engineering, where he helped initiate a STEM Diploma endorsement. Additionally, he has been an enthusiastic educational activist, participating in local, state, and national educational policy discussions as a union president and elected union leader at the state and national levels.
Before entering education, he was also an apprentice preservation and restoration carpenter and a field biologist.
Dr. Payne has a PhD in public policy with a concentration in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine. He also holds a master’s degree in teaching and learning—also from USM—and a bachelor's degree in marine and freshwater biology from the University of New Hampshire.