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Keegan, Lisa

Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

Lisa Graham Keegan is the Principal Partner at the Keegan Company, where she consults, writes, and speaks on critical issues in American education. Keegan’s expertise and outspoken nature have made her a sought after education reform expert who has worked with national education leaders, the media, U.S. Congress, state legislative bodies, business groups, policy organizations, community groups, and the education industry.
From 2004 through 2010, she served as advisor to numerous private companies, non-profit organizations, and briefly as an assistant County Manager in Maricopa County, Arizona. She served as education advisor and spokesperson for the McCain 2008 Campaign for President, and recently co-authored the education chapter for Newt Gingrich’s 2010 bestseller, “To Save America.”

Mrs. Keegan was Chief Executive Officer of the Education Leaders Council (ELC) in Washington, D.C., from 2001 until 2004. Prior to ELC, Mrs. Keegan spent a decade serving as an Arizona state official, where she led that state’s education reform movement. She was the elected state school chief from 1995 to 2001, and from 1991 to 1994 she served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the House Education Committee and authored much of Arizona’s education reform legislation in the early 1990s.

Mrs. Keegan’s leadership in Arizona earned her a national reputation as a strong advocate for student-based education policies. In March of 1999, Milton and Rose Friedman personally presented Mrs. Keegan with the first Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation Award for Leadership in Educational Choice. She was honored in the same year by the National Republican Women Leaders Forum as Educator of the Year. In 2000, she was education advisor to the John McCain Campaign for President, and was later interviewed by President-Elect Bush for the job of U.S. Secretary of Education.

Her work has appeared or been cited in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard,Newsweek, Forbes Magazine, Education Week, and Phoenix Magazine. She has also discussed education issues on NPR, The PBS News Hour, Fox News Channel, CNBC, and local stations nationwide. She serves on the boards of The Century Council, Teach for America/Phoenix, Boy Scouts of America/Grand Canyon Council, Arizona Charter Schools Association, and Education Equality Project Action Fund.

Mrs. Keegan graduated from Stanford University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in human language. She earned a Master’s Degree in communications disorders from Arizona State University (ASU) in 1983. Keegan lives in Peoria with her husband, Justice of the Peace John Keegan, who served as Mayor of Peoria, Arizona for a decade. They have five children and one grandson.