Julia Mahfouz is an assistant professor in the Leadership for Educational Organizations program, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado-Denver. She has a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Educational Leadership with minors in Comparative International education and Curriculum & Instruction. Her research agenda has been shaped by her educational work as an international educator in the capacity of high school teacher, department chair, principal (K-12), and curriculum director. Her research explores the social, emotional, and cultural dynamics of urban and rural educational settings and their effects on school climate and school improvement utilizing qualitative and mixed methodologies. Her work seeks to deepen our understanding of social emotional learning (SEL) through lenses of intervention implementation, school improvement efforts, and preparation of school leaders to create spaces equitable for all where all could flourish utilizing policy as a lever for change and as a powerful context that shapes education at multiple levels of the system.