Welcome to Surge Oakland

The Oakland Surge Fellowship identifies and cultivates promising African-American, Latinx and Asian/Pacific Islander talent to enhance their expertise and aptitude while empowering them to transform the education ecosystem. Fellows hone:

  • Executive Skills

  • Problem Solving

  • Team-Building Techniques

  • Navigating Education History & Politics

  • Proclaiming Your Authentic Story/Background

  • Strategic Relationship Management

The Surge Fellowship encompasses a combination of case discussions, executive coaching, school/site visits, 360° feedback, reflection, team-building, and “fireside chats” with education leaders such as urban superintendents and policy leaders – all to broaden exposure and accelerate skill and leadership development. High-profile leaders of color in education and other industries are faculty members and informal advisers to the network of Surge Fellows. The acquisition of hard skills, entree to often inaccessible networks, and the deeply rooted connections to their communities position fellows to grow, push, and persist for excellence and equity in public education.

The fellowship kicks off with a 2 ½ day retreat and completes with a graduation celebration. In the intervening months, fellows participate in one-day and two-day sessions each month and are expected to complete take-home assignments, as well as monthly contact with their executive coaches.

Upon completing this one-of-a-kind program, Surge Fellows have the skills necessary to accelerate their trajectory in leadership, along with a new understanding of the authenticity and power they bring to the education leadership table.

Surge Oakland Leadership

Michelle Seijas Web 2

Michelle Seijas

Executive Director


A passionate career educator, Michelle Seijas, Ed.D, served as a school leader for more than a decade before joining the Surge leadership team as the Oakland Executive Director. Michelle has previously served as a school principal and as a district-level administrator. She has earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of California-Davis. Michelle is passionate about serving youth and communities of color, and carries that passion with her into elevating and empowering Oakland’s emerging education leaders.

To learn more about Surge Oakland, send us an email at oakland@surgeinstitute.org. We look forward to hearing from you!