To see a list of past chairs, please click here. Education Commission of the States is privileged to have the following individuals provide leadership for our organization.
Jeremy Anderson is the president of Education Commission of the States, a national education policy organization that serves as a partner to state policymakers. In his role, Anderson works with all state education leaders, from governors to chief state school officers – from both political parties – to provide unbiased information, personalized support and opportunities for collaboration. Anderson is committed to helping states create informed education policy and better education systems for students, from early learning through postsecondary and the workforce. Jeremy is in airports more than the office, traveling frequently to visit with Education Commission of the States Commissioners and deliver key note presentations around the country. Prior to joining the organization in 2012, Jeremy built a strong public service record working with officials in Washington, D.C., with many governors and legislators in states and with education policy organizations around the country. Some of his accomplishments include providing strategic leadership on education policy design and implementation through projects with the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Conference of State Legislators, and many other national policy organizations. Jeremy has served in multiple policy and governmental affairs roles for governors on state and national education initiatives and was directly involved in brokering the bipartisan passage of the largest K-12 funding investment in Kansas history to avert a shutdown of Kansas schools. Jeremy’s passion for education runs deep; he was raised by two amazing teachers in Kansas and his wife is an early learning teacher in Colorado where they currently reside with their three children.
Phil Bryant is the current republican governor of Mississippi. Bryant has served in this position since Jan.10, 2012, and was subsequently re-elected in 2015. Before his governorship, Bryant served as lieutenant governor of Mississippi. In this role, he was also president of the Mississippi State Senate. Bryant served five years as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives during which time he served as vice chairman of the Insurance Committee and authored the Capital Gains Tax Cut Act of 1992. Outside state government, Bryant has worked as an adjunct professor of government at Mississippi College and is the contributing author of 21st Century Government: Digital Promise, Digital Reality, Leadership Secrets of Government Financial Officials, Best Case Practices. He is currently the 2017-19 Chair for Education Commission of the States. Bryant holds a B.S. in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi and an M.A. in political science from Mississippi College.
Shirley N. Weber is a democratic member of the California State Assembly, representing District 79. She was first elected to the chamber in 2012. Dr. Weber has served as chair of the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting, chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Higher Education in San Diego County and the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate. She currently serves on the Education, Higher Education and Appropriations committees. Weber has lived in the 79th Assembly District for more than 30 years and has served on numerous boards including the NAACP, the YWCA, Battered Women Services, United Way and the San Diego Consortium.
Deeply committed to education, she served eight years as a school board member and president at San Diego City Schools. She has translated her commitment to education and social justice into her ambitious legislative agenda, including bills on K-12 education reform, civil rights, protections for person with disabilities and voting rights. Shirley holds a B.A., an M.A. and a Ph.D. from UCLA. Her professional experience includes working as a professor at San Diego State University, California State University at Los Angeles, Los Angeles City College and San Diego State University.
Jillian Balow was elected Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2014 and was appointed Treasurer for the Education Commission of the States in 2018. She also sits on the board of directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers. Jillian’s leadership reflects her belief that everyone is a stakeholder in education and all education issues matter. In 2016, Balow was recognized with the Patrick Henry Award for her contributions to the Wyoming Military Department, and in 2017 she received the State Policymaker Award from the State Education Technology Directors Association. Jillian holds an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree in education from Regis University. Previously she consulted in the private sector on education issues, served as an administrator for the Wyoming Department of Education and Family Services, and was a policy advisor to Governor Matt Mead.