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Jeanne Allen

Nationally recognized as the most accomplished, pioneering visionary in education reform, Jeanne Allen founded the Center for Education Reform (CER) in 1993 and serves as its CEO, intensively focusing on efforts at the local, state and national levels to advance innovation and opportunity across education for all learners at all levels. Jeanne’s relentless commitment to ensuring all may participate in the American dream, combined with her refreshing dedication to innovation in education has fueled her acclaimed written works, strategic policy counsel and two-decade-long dominating presence in major media outlets, as the leading expert on education reform.  Jeanne has been a trusted advisor to presidents, governors, and lawmakers, and continues to provide valuable counsel to policymakers, philanthropists, and her colleagues in education.

Jeanne puts her expertise to use on behalf of a number of schools, education and technology organizations, including start-ups such as CommonLit, and the Modern States Education Alliance, the StartED Accelerator at NYU, GSV Labs, Washington Leadership Academy and the Challenge Charter School in Chandler, AZ.  Among her charitable and civic work, Jeanne is on the Leadership Council of the National Italian American Foundation, is a Dame of Malta, and an active member of the John Carroll Society. In addition, Jeanne was awarded the Education Industry Association’s “Friend of Education Award” in 2012, Working Mother’s “Most Powerful Moms in Education,” and the Black Alliance for Educational Options’ Champion Award in 2013.

As a frequent media commentator, Jeanne has also published hundreds of articles and commentaries in newspapers and journals. Jeanne speaks with a passionate honesty, which makes her articles “essential reading” in diverse outlets like The Huffington Post, the Washington Examiner, National Review and the Wall Street Journal. Her book, The School Reform Handbook: How to Improve Your Schools (1995) ignited parent-led efforts for education reform and her 2014 publication, Education Reform: Before it Was Cool documents critical milestones during her work over the past 20 plus years.

Jeanne Allen began her career on Capitol Hill and was a senior official in the US Department of Education from 1983-1988 before moving on to launch the Heritage Foundation’s education policy program and the first policy-focused interactive social network, Townhall. Between 2013 and 2015 Jeanne stepped aside from her leadership at CER to explore the technology and higher ed landscape and served as Vice President of Business Development for HotChalk, Inc. helping expand their support for teacher education programs to marquis universities as she developed EdReform University, an online program focused on the history of reform and featuring the people who created it. Jeanne incorporated her learning from these experiences into CER’s reboot in 2016 and its refocus on Innovation and Opportunity, documented in a Manifesto: A Movement at Risk , The New Opportunity Agenda.

As a devoted lifelong learner, Jeanne graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Ed Entrepreneurship program in 2015 and her Bachelors in political science from Dickinson College.

At the top of her list of most stellar accomplishments, however, are her four young adult children in various stages of school and work who help Jeanne ‘keep it real,’ and contribute not only to some of the prodigious work accomplished at CER but to the well-being and security of our nation.

When time permits, she enjoys visiting the communities of her family’s origins in Italy, and spends time on the water with her husband Dr. Kevin Strother, a classically trained musician, educator, and charter boat captain. These activities and her family and friends contribute to Jeanne’s deep appreciation of wine.

Additional information can be found at www.jeanneallen.net


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