Jeanne Allen is considered among the nation’s most accomplished and relentless advocates for education reform. She has earned recognition and credibility as a forceful leader and businesswoman and is a compelling writer and public speaker.
She founded The Center for Education Reform in 1993 and served as its president through 2013. Prior to founding the Center, Jeanne served in prominent roles at the US Department of Education, The Heritage Foundation and on Capitol Hill. Jeanne is now senior fellow, president-emeritus, and a member of CER’s Board of Directors. She was recently named vice president of K-12 Programs of HotChalk, Inc., an education technology company.
Jeanne serves on the board of Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, DC and Challenge Charter School in Chandler, AZ. She is on the Education Innovation Council of Arizona State University; an advisor to the University of Pennsylvania’s Education Innovation group and the Education Industry Association, which honored her with its “Friend of Education Award” in 2012. Additional honors include Working Mother’s “Most Powerful Moms in Education” and the Black Alliance for Educational Options Champion Award in 2013.
Jeanne has been a frequent commentator in the media, and has appeared on NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News and CNN, NPR and national and local talk radio. She has published hundreds of articles and commentaries in newspapers and journals. Jeanne is a regular contributor to the National Journal Education Experts forum, and her honesty and linear thinking on issues such as reform, choice for parents, and teacher accountability has made her articles in outlets such as The Huffington Post essential reading. Her book, The School Reform Handbook: How to Improve Your Schools, ignited parent-led efforts for education reform. In spring 2014, Jeanne completed her new book, Education Reform: Before It Was Cool, showcasing the personal stories of the people and pioneers who made education reform really happen. She continues to document her experiences in education through her popular blogs and commentaries and for another future publication, as well as to help the Center formally launch EdReform University.
Jeanne has been a trusted advisor to presidential administrations, governors, and lawmakers, and continues to provide valuable counsel to policymakers, philanthropists and her colleagues in education. She is a Dame of Malta, a member of the John Carroll Society, and the National Italian American Federation. Jeanne earned a bachelors degree in political science from Dickinson College, undertook masters’ studies in politics at the Catholic University of America and is currently enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Jeanne has raised four accomplished children and is married to Dr. Kevin L. Strother.