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People & Pioneers


Allen, Dixie J.

Dixie J. Allen was appointed to the Ohio House in January 1998 and was elected to the position in November 1998, 2000, 2002 and again in November 2004.

Allen, George

George F. Allen served the Commonwealth of Virginia for more than 20 years, as governor, in both bodies of the United States Congress, and as a delegate holding Thomas Jefferson’s seat in the Virginia General Assembly.

Allen, Jeanne

Jeanne Allen is the Founder and President of The Center for Education Reform, the nation’s leading advocate for substantive and structural education reforms.

Andrew, Seth

Seth Andrew is the Superintendent in Residence and Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the Office of Education Technology.

Antonucci, Mike

Mike is the director of the Education Intelligence Agency and has covered the education beat since 1993.

Arza, Rafael

Education Consultant

Ashton, Mashea

Mashea Ashton is the CEO of the Newark Charter School Fund, having joined the organization as a partner in February 2009.


Barbic, Chris

Chris Barbic was named the superintendent of the ASD in May 2011. Chris leads a student-focused, people-powered organization committed to moving the bottom 5% of schools in Tennessee to the top 25% in five years.

Barr, Steve

Steve Barr is the founder of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school organization in Los Angeles, CA.

Barresi, Janet

Sworn in on Jan. 10, 2011, as Oklahoma’s first new State Superintendent in 20 years, Dr. Janet Barresi is committed to assuring that each child graduating from an Oklahoma high school is college, career and citizen ready by the year 2020.

Baxter, Frank

Frank Baxter is chairman emeritus of the global investment bank Jefferies and Company Inc. He returned to the Alliance board, which he chaired, after serving as Ambassador to Uruguay from November 2006 to January 2009. Mr. Baxter has also has served as Board Chairman for After-School All Stars, Board Member of the California Institute of […]

Bennett, Tony

For nearly 30 years, Dr. Tony Bennett has dedicated his life to educating students. He began his career in southern Indiana as a high school science teacher and basketball coach, quickly advancing to school administration while building a reputation as a leader with talent for school management, strategic planning, and effective budgeting.

Bennett, William J.

William J. Bennett is one of America’s most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and education issues.

Bernard, Michelle

Michelle D. Bernard is the founder, president and CEO of the Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy and is a frequent political and legal analyst on MSNBC and other television networks.

Blew, Jim

Jim Blew is president of StudentsFirst, an education advocacy group, having previously advised the Walton Family Foundation on K-12 education reform issues for over a decade, working to expand educational choice and create high-quality alternatives to traditional district schools.

Boehner, John

John A. Boehner serves as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. He is a national leader in the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government.

Bolick, Clint

Mr. Bolick has served as vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute since 2007. On January 6, 2016 Governor Doug Ducey announced his appointment to the Supreme Court of Arizona.

Bowdon, Bob

Bob Bowdon has been a television producer, reporter and commentator for the past fifteen years.

Bradford, Derrell

Derrell Bradford is the Executive Director of Better Education for Kids’ 501c4 efforts. Before joining B4K, he served as the Executive Director and Director of Communications for Excellent Education for Everyone (E3), New Jersey’s largest school choice advocacy group.

Bradley, Katherine

Katherine Bradley is the president of CityBridge Foundation, a nonprofit enterprise located in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Bradley co-founded CityBridge in 1994 with her husband, entrepreneur and magazine publisher David G. Bradley.

Brown, Linda

Linda Brown is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Building Excellent Schools.

Bush, Jeb

Jeb Bush was the 43rd governor of the state of Florida, serving from 1999 through 2006. During his two terms, Bush championed major reform of government programs in education.


Campbell, Kenneth

Kenneth L. Campbell, a founding board member of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), has served as president of the organization since January 2010.

Carroll, Tom

Tom Carroll is the President of the Foundation for Opportunity in Education.

Cerf, Chris

As New Jersey’s Commissioner of Education, Mr. Cerf oversees 2,500 public schools, 1.4 million students, and 110,000 teachers in over 600 school districts. Between 2004 and 2009, he was Deputy Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education.

Chan, Yvonne

Yvonne is the Principal of the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center which serves 3,000 students (PK-12) in Los Angeles.

Chartock, Jonas

Jonas is widely known as a leader in the nation’s school reform movement.

Chavous, Dawn

Dawn Chavous is currently Executive Director of Students First PA, a nonprofit organization created to advocate for education reform policies to ensure all children have access to high-quality educational options.

Chavous, Kevin

Kevin P. Chavous is a founding board member and executive counsel for the American Federation for Children and the Alliance for School Choice, a noted author, and national education reform leader.

Chubb, John

John E. Chubb, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and a member of Hoover’s Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, is the president of the National Association of Independent Schools effective July 1, 2013.

Clopton, Paul

Paul Clopton is a co-founder of Mathematically Correct, an organization of parents, mathematicians, scientists, teachers, and others advocating for improvements in mathematics education.

Courtney, Zakiya

Zakiya Courtney is Regional Director for Catapult Learning, which provides outcomes-based learning programs tailored to individual student needs.

Cunningham, Jane

Former Missouri State Senator.

Cutter, Milo

A Minnesota teacher, Cutter helped launch the nation’s first charter school, the City Academy in St. Paul, in 1992.


DeHoff, Randy

Randy DeHoff has served on the Colorado State Board of Education since 1999, representing the Sixth Congressional District. He was reelected to a second six-year term in 2004, and completed his term in 2010. He has served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Board between 2001 and 2004, earning a reputation as a passionate, nonpartisan defender of quality public schools.

Dreyer, Barbara

Barbara Dreyer is the president, CEO and co-founder of Connections Education® which she has led since January of 2002 to now serve over 50,000 full-time public school students through relationships with school districts and charter schools under its Connections Academy (for full-time virtual learning) or Nexus Academy (for full-time blended learning) school programs.


Engler, John

First elected in 1990 as Michigan’s 46th governor, Governor John Engler is now America’s most senior governor. Engler was elected chairman of the National Governors Association in August 2001.

Enlow, Robert

Robert C. Enlow is the President and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the school choice legacy foundation of Milton and Rose D. Friedman.

Evans, Dwight

Pennsylvania House of Representatives


Fair, T. Willard

T. Willard Fair is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Greater Miami, Inc. A powerful voice in the effort to improve his community, he has worked for the Urban League since September, 1963.

Feinberg, Mike

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Mike joined Teach For America where he was a fifth grade bilingual teacher in Houston, Texas, for three years.

Finn, Chester “Checker”

Chester E. Finn, Jr., scholar, educator and public servant, has devoted his career to improving education in the United States.

Fisher, John

Mr. Fisher is President of Pisces Inc., an investment management company for the Fisher family. He also serves as Chairman of KIPP Public Charter Schools.

Fuller, Howard

Howard Fuller’s career includes many years in both public service positions and the field of education. Dr. Fuller is a Distinguished Professor of Education, and Founder/Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Gleason, James, Janis, Tracy

The Gleason Family Foundation, and leaders in the battle for school choice

Goldberg, Milton

Milton Goldberg is a recognized leader and consultant on education policy, research and practice.

Gordy, Luke

Luke Gordy is executive director of the Arkansans for Education Reform Foundation, a 501c3 organization established to advance and support meaningful education reform.

Grasmick, Nancy

Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, Maryland’s first female state superintendent and the U.S.’s longest serving appointed schools chief, is known for her strong focus on student achievement, teacher quality, parent involvement, public school funding, and early care and education.

Greene, Jay

Jay P. Greene is department head and 21st Century Chair in Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. Greene’s current areas of research interest include school choice and the effects of culturally enriching field trips to art museums and theaters on students.

Gregg, Judd

A former US Senator, Mr. Judd A. Gregg, J.D., serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Mr. Gregg is also a Senior Advisor of New Mountain Capital, LLC.


Hage, Jonathan

From his service in the U.S. Army to his creation of Charter Schools USA (CSUSA), Jon Hage’s personal life and professional career have been dedicated to service, leadership and creating systemic change.

Hardy, David

In 2005, David Hardy had a vision of starting an all-boys charter school to address the unique academic and social needs of urban boys.

Helzberg, Barnett, Jr.

Former Chairman of the Board at Helzberg Diamonds, a family owned business started in 1915.

Hense, Donald

Donald Hense is Founder and Chairman of the Board of Friendship Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC. Friendship is the largest chartered public school in the nation serving more than 4,000 students on six campuses. Additionally, Friendship manages one DC Public School (DCPS) and four schools in Baltimore, in partnership with Baltimore City Public School System.

Henzerling, Jane

Jane Henzerling is the Founder and Head of School of The Mission Preparatory School in San Francisco, CA.

Hess, Frederick

An educator, political scientist, and author, Frederick M. Hess studies a range of K-12 and higher education issues.

Hickok, Gene

Eugene Hickok was a professor of political science and law at Dickinson College and the Dickinson School of Law for many years. An award-winning teacher, he has published numerous books and articles on topics related to the Constitution, the presidency, congress and the courts, including Justice vs. Law: Courts and Politics in American Society (with Gary McDowell).

Horn, Michael

Michael Horn is a co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute and serves as the executive director of its education program.

Hoxby, Caroline

Caroline M Hoxby is the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor of Economics at Stanford University.

Huff, Gisèle

Dr. Gisèle Huff is a founder of The Learning Accelerator and the executive director of the Jaquelin Hume Foundation in San Francisco.

Husted, Jon

As Ohio’s 53rd Secretary of State, Jon Husted is responsible for oversight of elections in one of the nation’s most hotly-contested swing states.


Keegan, Lisa

Lisa Graham Keegan has spent 11 years as Principal Partner at the Keegan Company, where she consults, writes, and speaks on critical issues and emerging markets in American education.

King, Colbert

Colbert “Colby” King writes a column — sometimes about D.C., sometimes about politics — that runs on Saturdays.

Klein, Joel

Joel Klein is an American lawyer and school superintendent.

Klinsky, Steven

Dr. Steven Klinsky, J.D., M.D., is the Founder, Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer at New Mountain Capital, LLC. Dr. Klinsky owns this title since its inception in 1999.

Kolderie, Ted

Ted Kolderie has worked on questions of system design in various areas of public life. Through the 1960s and into the ’70s this was in urban and metropolitan affairs and public finance, when Minnesota generated a series of important ‘institutional innovations’. After that, he worked on more general questions about the structure of the public sector and its redesign.


Ladner, Matthew

Dr. Matthew Ladner is the Senior Advisor of Policy and Research for the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

Landrieu, Mary

Mary L. Landrieu has been fighting and winning for Louisiana since she was first elected to the Louisiana state legislature at the age of 23.

Legend, John

John Legend, is an American singer-songwriter and actor. He has won nine Grammy Awards, and in 2007, he received the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Lord, Albert

Albert Lord served as the Chief Executive Officer of SLM Corporation (also known as Sallie Mae) since December 14, 2007.

Lowenstein, Roger

Roger Lowenstein, a former criminal defense attorney, founded The Los Angeles Leadership Academy.

Lubbers, Teresa

Teresa S. Lubbers is the current Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education. She served from 1992 to 2009 as a Republican member of the Indiana Senate, representing the 30th District.


Macdonald, Bobbi

Bobbi Macdonald is the founder of The City Neighbors Foundation, Inc. and serves as its Executive Director.

Manning, Bill

A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Bill Manning has practiced law there since 1976 and leads the Wilmington office of Saul Ewing LLP. Bill also serves as Co-Chair of Saul Ewing’s Higher Education Practice Group.

Manning, Martha

Martha Manning was instrumental in the founding of the Cab Calloway School of the Arts, a choice school located in Delaware’s Red Clay School District.

Maranto, Bob

Bob Maranto is the 21st Century Chair in Leadership at the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and previously taught at Villanova and served in government in the Clinton years.

McCarthy, Jack

Jack McCarthy is President and CEO of AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation and AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School.

McGriff, Deborah

Deborah has been committed to transforming the lives of underserved urban school students for more than four decades. In 1993, Deborah became the first public school superintendent to join EdisonLearning (formerly Edison Schools).

McKeown, Michael

Michael McKeown is a co-founder of Mathematically Correct, an organization of parents and others working toward improving mathematics education.

Milken, Lowell

Lowell Milken’s reputation as a visionary leader of education reform has been honed by more than three decades of education research, policy and practices — as well as firsthand visits to thousands of classrooms and the creation of major national initiatives.

Miller, Greg

Mr. Greg Miller, was nominated by Governor Jan Brewer to serve on the Arizona State Board of Education.

Moe, Michael

Michael is co-founder, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer of GSV Capital, as well as co-founder of GSV Asset Management and an advisor to GSV Advisors.

Moskowitz, Eva

Eva Moskowitz is the Founder and CEO of Success Charter Network, which runs charter schools in Harlem.

Musante, Michael

Michael created a national government relations plan for Edison Learning, Inc. at the federal, state and local levels. He has been involved in advocating for the public charter school community for the past nine years.


Norris, Michele

Michele Norris is one of the most trusted voices in American Journalism. Her voice informs, engages and enlightens listeners with thoughtful interviews and in depth reporting as one of the hosts of NPR’s flagship afternoon broadcast, All Things Considered.


Paige, Rod

Rod Paige is a life-long educator and served as U.S. Secretary of Education
from 2001 to 2005.

Pataki, George

George Pataki is an American politician who was the 53rd Governor of New York.

Perz, Sally

Sally Perz is a former educator and legislator and founded Cardinal Learning, a school services and consulting firm in Ohio.

Peyser, Jim

Jim Peyser is a Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund’s Boston office, where he leads NewSchools’ city-focused investments.

Phillips, Bill

Bill is the President of the Northeast Charter Schools Network (NECSN). He oversees the operations of NECSN and maintains a focus on grasstops advocacy.

Powell, Paul

Paul Powell is the Founding Principal of True North Troy Prep, soon to be in its fifth year of operation.


Rebarber, Ted

Rebarber is CEO and founder of AccountabilityWorks (AW), a nonprofit education organization whose mission is to support states, schools and parents in implementing research-based practices and high quality education assessment and accountability

Reichgott Junge, Ember

Former Minnesota State Senator Ember Reichgott Junge is the author of Minnesota’s 1991 first-in-nation charter school law, which was a winner of the 2000 Innovations in American Government Award from the JFK School of Government at Harvard University.

Revenaugh, Mickey

Mickey Revenaugh is co-founder of Connections Academy (now Connections Education) and Executive Vice President of Connections Learning


Schulz, Melanie

Melanie Schulz has been involved in NJ State Government for over 30 years. Her vision and leadership as Executive Director has guided the Joint Committee on the Public Schools for the past 21½ years.

Sharpe, Michael

Dr. Sharpe is president of the Connecticut Charter School Association and founding member of the Legacy Project and Family Urban Schools of Excellence (FUSE).

Singer, David

Entering urban education a decade ago, David Singer started his career as a high school math teacher.

Spady, Fawn and Jim

Fawn and her husband founded the Education Excellence Coalition to revitalize public education through legislative reforms based on increasing parental choice and competition.

Spellings, Margaret

Margaret Spellings is the president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.

Spence, Nancy

Spence was first elected to the Cherry Creek School District Board of Education in 1980 and served there continuously until 1993.

Stossel, John

John Stossel joined Fox Business Network (FBN) in 2009. He is the host of “Stossel”, a weekly program highlighting current consumer issues with a libertarian viewpoint.


Tantillo, Sarah

Sarah Tantillo consults in New Jersey and nationally with schools seeking to improve student achievement.

Teasley, Kevin

Kevin D. Teasley is president and founder of the Greater Educational Opportunities Foundation, a non-profit educational organization headquartered in Indianapolis.

Thomas-Morgan, Alisha

Serving in her sixth term in the Georgia House of Representatives, Alisha Thomas Morgan is a full-time lawmaker and full-time advocate for students. Throughout her career, she’s challenged traditional thinking on education, working for common sense solutions with democrats and republicans alike. An education expert in her own right, she consults for the U.S. Department […]

Thompson, Tommy

From 1987 to 2001, Tommy Thompson served as the 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, having been elected to an unprecedented four terms.


Vukmir, Leah

Leah Vukmir is serving in her first term in the Wisconsin Senate. Leah previously served four terms in the Wisconsin Assembly.


Walker, Wyatt T

Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker is internationally known for his contributions to the Civil Rights and anti-apartheid movements.

Weld, William

Bill Weld was raised in Smithtown, New York. He graduated from Harvard College in 1966 with a B.A. in classics and a year later received his diploma in economics and political science from Oxford University.

Whittle, Christopher

Christopher Whittle is an American media and education entrepreneur.

Williams, Brian

Brian Williams is the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network.

Williams, Joe

Joe Williams has built a reputation as one of the most effective strategists and coalition-builders in the education reform community.

Williams, Johnathan

Under his leadership, The Accelerated Schools—in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), California State University, Los Angeles, along with foundations and corporate supporters—completed construction of a $50-million dollar comprehensive pre-K—12th grade school complex in 2003.

Williams, Polly

The late Annette “Polly” Williams, the “Mother of School Choice”, was an early leader in the education reform movement, fighting for choice in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin.

Wolf, Patrick

Dr. Patrick J. Wolf is Professor and 21st Century Endowed Chair in School Choice in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas College of Education and Health Professions.


Yass, Janine

Janine Yass is an avid education reform advocate both nationally and in the Philadelphia area.

Young, Caprice

For over two decades, Caprice has been at the forefront of education reform, inside and outside the system.