Task Force Board Bios

Chair – Governor Tim Pawlenty, Governor, Minnesota, since 2002.  He is the 2007-2008 Chair of the National Governors Association, and will be the 2008-09 Chair of the Education Commission of the States.. Prior to his election as governor, he served as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for ten years, including four years as House Majority Leader. His public service career includes serving as a criminal prosecutor and Eagan City Council member. He attended the University of Minnesota and practiced law in the private sector.

Vice Chair – Sir Michael Barber, Partner, McKinsey & Company, since September 2005.  He is the expert partner in its Global Public Sector Practice.  Prior to joining McKinsey he was (from 2001) Chief Adviser on Delivery to the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. As Head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, he was responsible for the oversight of implementation of the Prime Minister’s priority programs in health, education, transport, policing, the criminal justice system and asylum/immigration. Previously, he was a Professor at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Vice Chair – Carl A. Cohn, Clinical Professor of Urban School Leadership at Claremont Graduate University.  He was most recently the Distinguished Leader in Residence in the College of Education at San Diego State University. Cohn was formerly Superintendent of the San Diego Unified Schools, after 10 years of leading the Long Beach Public Schools as its superintendent.  In 2001, Cohn received the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education for his leadership in boosting student achievement.  He serves on the boards of American College Testing Inc., the San Diego Symphony, YMCA of San Diego County, Boy Scouts of America, Classics for Kids and on the executive committee of the Council of the Great City Schools and City of San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention.

Vice Chair – Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia School District, appointed by Mayor Adrian Fenty in June 2007. Previously, she founded The New Teacher Project in 1997.  She began her career in education as a Teach for America teacher.  She currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ); the National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC); and Project REACH of the University of Phoenix’s School of Education.  She is an Ex-Officio Member of the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees.

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