Our advisory board brings a diversity of perspectives and a powerful commitment to the mission of higher education to bear on our work. They have led pioneering universities, and written about the disruption of education. They have launched breakthrough programs to reach a generation of “new normal” students and overseen the U.S. Department of Education’s often complex relationship between states, institutions and accreditors.
Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc is President of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). Under the ten years of Paul's direction, SNHU has more than tripled in size and is the largest provider of online higher education in New England, one of the five largest in the country, and the first to have a full competency-based degree program (untethered to the credit hour or classes) approved by a regional accreditor and the US Department of Education. In 2012 the university was #12 on Fast Company magazine's ''World's Fifty Most Innovative Companies'' list and was the only university included. Paul won a New England Higher Education Excellence Award in 2012 and was named one of ''New Hampshire’s Most Influential People'' by New Hampshire Business Review. In 2012 Forbes Magazine listed him as one of its 15 ''Classroom Revolutionaries,'' and he was featured on Bloomberg TV's ''Innovators'' series. He speaks frequently to industry, IHEs, national policy makers, and other higher education stakeholders and often appears in the media.
Sara Martinez Tucker is the former under secretary at the U.S. Department of Education, the nation's top higher education official overseeing all policies, programs and activities related to postsecondary education, vocational and adult education, and federal student aid. In addition to the successful oversight of over $32 billion in disbursed appropriations and more than 5,500 discretionary awards, Tucker led the development and implementation of two signature programs to increase access to college: a joint initiative with the U.S. Treasury Department to make nearly $70 billion in 2008-09 federal student loans available during the nation’s financial crisis, an effort described by the Wall Street Journal as “one bright spot in a season of crises and bailouts,” and an innovative new website, college.gov, which helps students and families prepare for college. College.gov received Computerworld’s Laureate Medal for exceptional use of technology to better society. Prior to joining the Department, Tucker worked for nine years as the CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), where she pursued an aggressive goal to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees. In her time at the helm of HSF, Tucker raised $280 million for scholarships, growing annual scholarships from $3 million to over $25 million, and to launch community outreach programs to raise college expectations in Latino families and communities. Prior to joining HSF, Tucker spent 16 years at AT&T. She serves on the Boards of Directors of American Electric Power, Sprint and Xerox. Tucker also serves on the University of Texas System Board of Regents and the University of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees .
Michael Horn is a co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute and serves as the executive director of its education program. He leads a team that educates policymakers and community leaders on the power of disruptive innovation in the K-12 and higher education spheres through its research. His team aims to transform monolithic, factory-model education systems into student-centered designs that educate every student successfully and enable each to realize his or her fullest potential. Michael is the coauthor of the recently published book Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, with Heather Staker. Blended is a practical field guide for designing and implementing blended learning in K-12 schools. The book is the followup to the award-winning Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, which Michael coauthored in 2008 with Harvard Business School Professor Clayton M. Christensen and Curtis W. Johnson. Newsweek cited the book 14th on its list of “Fifty Books for Our Times.” Michael has written several white papers about blended learning and is coeditor with Frederick Hess of the book Private Enterprise and Public Education. He has also written articles for numerous publications including Forbes, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Huffington Post, and Education Week.
Phil Regier became the dean of ASU Online in July 2009. He is responsible for guiding Arizona State University’s expansion into online learning and leadership role in education innovation. In five years, ASU Online has grown from 400 to nearly 10,000 students and from six to more than 60 degree programs. The university has received recognition from The New York Times and Bill Gates for its work in adaptive learning and use of data in student advising, as well as earning the top ranking by U.S. News & World Report for online student services and technology. Dean Regier previously served as executive dean at the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. He is an accounting faculty member and has published research in leading academic journals on postretirement benefits, corporate restructuring and market-based accounting. Dean Regier earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and mathematics from St. John’s College and his Ph.D. in accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Gerald Heeger was President of University of Maryland University College. Under his leadership, UMUC became one of the largest universities in the United States and received national and international recognition for its innovative leadership in online learning and in providing educational access solutions. Most recently he served as founding president of Whitney International University System (WIUS), a system of Latin American institutions and as President of the American College of Education. Earlier in his career, Jerry served as a Dean at NYU, Dean of the New School, and Executive Vice President at Adelphi University. From 2000-2005, he was a Commissioner with Middle States. Jerry earned political science degrees at the University of California, Berkeley (BA) and the University of Chicago (MA, PhD).
William J. Bennett is one of America’s most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and education issues. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bill Bennett studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree (J.D.) from Harvard. He is a Senior Advisor to Project Lead The Way, one of the nation’s leading providers of training and curriculum to improve STEM education in American schools; he is the Washington Fellow of the American Strategy Group, and is on the advisory board of Udacity, Inc. in Palo Alto California and Viridis Learning, Inc. in New York City.
Over the course of his professional life, in education, government and the private sector, Dr. Bennett has succeeded in a trifecta of American institutions. He is an award-winning professor in academia, having taught at Boston University, the University of Texas and Harvard; he is a three-time confirmed executive in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations including holding two cabinet-level positions, Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan and the Nation’s first Drug Czar under the first President Bush; and he is a host and senior correspondent with the Salem Media Group.
In his various roles, Dr. Bennett is perceived—even by his adversaries—as a man of strong, reasoned convictions who speaks candidly, eloquently, and honestly about some of the most important issues of our time.
Dr. Bennett has written or co-authored more than 25 books including two New York Times number one best sellers and two of the most successful books of the 1990s; His latest book is entitled, Tried By Fire: The Story of Christianity’s First Thousand Years. His three volume set of the history of the United States entitled America: The Last Best Hope, has been widely praised. . As a communicator, Dr. Bennett has received rare acclaim. In 2002 he was named by focus groups and leading analysts the “Best Communicator of 2002,” and the most well-received public commentator on the issues of “pride, patriotism, faith, and moral conviction.” In April of 2005, the Sunday New York Times named Dr. Bennett the “leading spokesman of the Traditional Values wing of the Republican Party.” Although he is a well-known Republican, Dr. Bennett often has crossed party lines in order to pursue important common purposes.
Thanks to his government positions, his writings and speeches, and thousands of media appearances, William Bennett has extraordinary influence on America’s political and social landscape. In many surveys and publications he has been named one of the most influential individuals in America. He is the recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees.
Dr. Bennett and his wife, Elayne, reside in North Carolina and Chevy Chase, Maryland and are the parents of two sons.