WVPA Sharing

State Leaders Gather for Bipartisan Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows Program in Education Policy

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Hunt Institute will kick off Cohort 7 of The Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program on August 11-13 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The nation’s premier education policy fellowship brings together a group of bipartisan state leaders who examine state-level education policy over the course of nine months.

Joining a network of almost 150 Fellows across seven cohorts is West Virginia State Auditor, John B. “JB” McCuskey, one of 29 high-ranking state leaders. Over the two-day meeting, leaders will examine the teacher workforce, including preparation, diversity, evaluation, and compensation, as well as higher education access and completion. Sessions will engage Fellows in conversation with some of the nation’s leading experts in education, policy, and politics.

“A “what’s next” approach to our nation’s education policy is crucial. Emerging technologies and diverse views give us the power to produce solutions at the state-level which are mutually beneficial for teacher and pupil. I am honored to be a part of this conversation with our country’s experts and my fellow cohort members. By engaging this team in discussions on the latest in education, and by calling on our multi-sector experience, we can move the marker for feasible solutions to teacher workforce, preparation, and compensation issues and address access to higher education and the corresponding completion rates. An opportunity to create substantive change is why we serve; it is why I serve. Thank you to the Hunt Institute for allowing me the opportunity to play a role in the success of the Hunt-Kean Fellows collaborative process.” – John B. McCuskey, State Auditor.

  • Secretary of State Mike Adams (R-KY)
  • State Senator Dawn Buckingham (D-TX)
  • State. Rep. Ashton Clemmons (D-NC)
  • State Auditor Brian Colón (D-NM)
  • Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch (R-IN)
  • Treasurer Julie Ellsworth (R-ID)
  • Agriculture Comm. Nikki Fried (D-FL)
  • Speaker of the House Jason Frierson (D-NV)
  • State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski (D- WI)
  • State Rep. Toni Hasenbeck (R-OK)
  • State Senator Greg Hembree (R-SC)
  • Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D-AZ)
  • Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe (R-MO)
  • State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-PA)
  • State Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-IL)
  • State Senator Louise Lucas (D-VA)
  • Treasurer Seth Magaziner (D-RI)
  • State Auditor John “JB” McCuskey (R-WV)
  • Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig (R- IA)
  • Attorney General Dana Nessel (D-MI)
  • Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser (R-LA)
  • Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera (D-CO) • State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-NY)
  • Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford (R-MD) • Fmr. White House Press Secretary
  • Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR)
  • Mayor Andre Sayegh (D-NJ)
  • Treasurer Robert Sprague (R-OH)
  • State Superintendent Tony Thurmond (D-CA)
  • State Senator Bo Watson (R-TN)

“Convening each new cohort of Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows is a highlight of my work at The Hunt Institute,” said Institute President & CEO Dr. Javaid Siddiqi. “The pandemic’s impact on education has really heightened awareness and understanding of the stark challenges facing our education system, and I am hopeful that Fellows will come away from this experience with the requisite information they need to advocate for equitable change.”

Each session brings together some of the top education policy and research leaders. In Albuquerque Fellows will hear from:

  • Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute
  • Romy Drucker, Interim K-12 Education Program Director, Walton Family Foundation
  • Dr. Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. Ryan Stewart, New Mexico Secretary of Education
  • Melody Schopp, Director of Education Industry Consulting, SAS
  • Dr. Tequilla Brownie, Executive Vice President, Strategy, Policy & Community Coalitions, TNTP
  • Dr. Cassandra Herring, President and CEO, Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity (BranchED)
  • Heather Harding, Senior Director, Education Grantmaking, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies
  • The Honorable Bob Wise, CEO, Bob Wise, LLC; Coordinator – Global Science, Learning Education Network; Governor of West Virginia (2001-2005)
  • Dr. Leslie Fenwick, Dean Emerita and Professor of Education Policy, School of Education, Howard University
  • Keilani Goggins, Director of the Black Educators Initiative, National Center for Teacher Residencies
  • Senator Michael Lee, North Carolina
  • Brad Jupp, Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute
  • Dan Goldhaber, Director of the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, American Institutes for Research and Director of the Center for Education Data & Research, University of Washington
  • Laurie Sztejnberg, Director of Research and Senior Program Officer, Exceptional Educators, Overdeck Family Foundation
  • Scott Marion, Executive Director, The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment
  • Peggy Brookins, President and CEO, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards
  • Jon Schnur, Chairman and CEO, America Achieves
  • Joel Vargas, Vice President, Programs, Jobs for the Future
  • Janet Godwin, Chief Executive Officer, ACT
  • Wil Del Pilar, Vice President of Higher Education Policy and Practice, The Education Trust
  • Dr. Davis Jenkins, Senior Research Scholar, Community College Research Center, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • Nicole Washington, Principal, Washington Education Strategies LLC
  • The Honorable Dannel Malloy, Chancellor, University of Maine System and Governor of Connecticut (2011-2019)
  • Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education
  • Stefanie Sanford, Chief of Global Policy & External Relations, CollegeBoard
  • Dr. Michael Sorrell, President, Paul Quinn College
  • The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Former President of the University of California System and Governor of Arizona (2003-2009)
  • Chancellor James Milliken, Chancellor of the University of Texas System
  • Mushtaq Gunja, Vice President and Chief of Staff, American Council on Education
  • Tania LaViolet, Director, College Excellence Program, Aspen Institute
  • Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, President, College Success Tools, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
  • M.C. Belk Pilon, President and Board Chair, John M. Belk Endowment
  • Dr. Dhanfu Elston, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Strategy, Complete College America
  • Dr. Timothy Renick, Vice Provost and Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Georgia State University Unique to this program, Fellows have access to The Hunt Institute’s bipartisan network of former governors who have established reputations for working across the aisle and improving public education. The governors joining the Fellows during the program include Governor Tom Kean (R-NJ), Governor Jim Douglas (R-VT), Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT), Governor Susana Martinez (R-NM), Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ), and Governor Bob Wise (D-WV). Counted among Fellows Alumni are six sitting governors – Governor Kate Brown of Oregon, Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Governor Brad Little of Idaho, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Governor Tate Reeves of Mississippi, and Governor Spencer Cox of Utah.


“Our latest cohort of Fellows has unprecedented opportunity in the education space, and I look forward to working through issues with these leaders to improve education through thoughtful policy,” said the program’s co-founder, Governor Jim Hunt (D-NC). “If we expect our education systems to recover and improve, we must be strategic and bold in our actions,” shared co- founder, Governor Kean.

About The Hunt Institute

An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since it was established in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success.

About the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows

The Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program seeks to partner with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. Named for renowned education governors Jim Hunt (D-NC | 1977-1985; 1993-2001) and Tom Kean (R-NJ | 1982-1990), the national, nonpartisan Fellowship launched in the fall of 2014. Through the Fellowship, the Institute’s vision is to help political leaders develop a deeply rooted vision for educational improvement. For more information about Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, please visit http://www.hunt-institute.org/hunt-kean-leadership-fellows/.

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