Samir Paul is a teacher, problem solver, and organizer committed to expanding economic opportunity and helping sustain and reform public institutions.
Samir’s family immigrated to the United States from India as students in the early 1980s, and they ultimately settled in Montgomery County to start a business and to send Samir and his brother to excellent public schools. He attended Wayside Elementary School, Hoover Middle School, and Blair High School before going on to earn his bachelor’s in computer science at Harvard University. He also holds a Master’s degree in teaching from American University.
Samir is an educator first and foremost. He left a lucrative job in the private sector to serve in the classroom and now teaches computer science at his alma mater in MCPS. In 2016, Samir was named Montgomery County’s “Rising Star Teacher of the Year,” and in 2017, the National Education Association identified him as one of its “30 Under 30” educators. Seeing the importance of early science and math exposure for kids, Samir started the STEM Talent Pipeline program. The Pipeline identifies 40 girls, low-income, and underrepresented minority 3rd graders who love math and gives them three years of accelerated coursework outside of school, setting them on a path to elite math/technology careers. He was a teacher representative at the 2016 White House summit on expanding computer science education and led his students to the highest average AP Computer Science Exam scores in five years. Samir is also a leader in the Montgomery County Education Association, where he helps organize the county’s 13,000 teachers. In 2011, Samir started the only AP Computer Science class in all of DC Public Schools and led his students at a Title I school to outstanding results. While in college, he helped teach an undergraduate computer science course, for which he won the Harvard Certificate of Distinction in Teaching.
Before returning to teach in MCPS, Samir worked in analytics and optimization for IBM, where he helped the U.S. Postal Service move international parcels faster and more cost-effectively. He sifted through huge airline route data sets to figure out whether commercial airlines were using the best possible routes to move the public’s packages, and ultimately Samir developed a tool that USPS could use to determine how long mail should take to get from one place to another. When combined with performance pay for air carriers, this innovation would lead to an estimated $125,000 in weekly savings for USPS and the taxpayer. Samir has long enjoyed difficult technical challenges; while in college, he conducted research at the Harvard Institute for Innovative Computing and at CitySense, a National Science Foundation-funded research project on mobile ad-hoc sensor networks.
Samir knows how to organize people. As a young professional field staffer for the 2012 re-election campaign for President Obama, Samir was responsible for five crucial swing counties in rural Wisconsin. He worked across lines of difference to build relationships with dairy farmers, correctional officers, teachers, postal workers, students, civil servants, small business owners, and more. Together, they organized the battleground counties that Democrats won in 2012 but lost in 2016, including 84% turnout and only the third-ever Democratic victory in Ripon, WI -- the birthplace of the Republican Party.
Since returning home to Montgomery County in 2010, Samir has served on a variety of boards, including the University of Maryland Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, the Harvard Club of Washington, the Montgomery Blair High School PTSA, the Blair Magnet Foundation, and the Montgomery County Young Democrats.
Samir lives in Bethesda and loves to play squash, watch stand-up comedy, read poetry, and spend time with friends.