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.
Whether as a business owner or governor, Tom Wolf is a leader consistently taking on the status quo and trying to help middle class families. Tom is a different kind of leader, and he has been a different kind of governor. Before he was governor, Tom was the owner of the Wolf Organization, a distributor of lumber and other building products. Tom bought this family business and grew the company — eventually more than quintupling the business in size. He did this with smart leadership and by treating his employees fairly, even sharing the company’s profits with workers. Since he took office in 2015, Tom has fought to change Harrisburg. On day one, his first actions as governor were signing a gift ban prohibiting administration employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists and reforming legal contracting to end pay to play. Tom also donates his entire salary to charity and refuses a state pension. When Tom took office, he inherited an education system that had been cut by one billion dollars that led to teacher layoffs, cuts to programs like pre-k and tutoring, and larger class sizes. Rather than make Pennsylvania’s children the first casualty of the budget process, Tom made our children and our future our top priority. He has now restored the one billion dollar cut to education made in the previous administration, leading to improved graduation rates and more children in pre-K. By expanding Medicaid, Tom provided quality, affordable health care to 720,000 Pennsylvanians. He has also given more than 50,000 seniors the opportunity to age in their homes and made Pennsylvania a national leader in fighting the opioid and heroin epidemic by expanding treatment options and ensuring law enforcement and first responders have the resources they need. Tom is working to grow our economy by making it easier for small businesses to start and expanding career and technical education opportunities. He is fighting to make sure wages keep up with the cost of living, focusing on skills training for kids who do not go to college, helping small businesses and rebuilding Pennsylvania’s infrastructure.
Shirley N. Weber is a Democratic member of the California State Assembly, representing District 79. She was first elected to the chamber in 2012. Weber has served as chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, Committee on Elections and Redistricting and the Select Committee on Higher Education in San Diego County. She currently serves as chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety, the Select Committee on Campus Climate and the California Legislative Black Caucus. She is a member of the committees on education, higher education, banking and finance, and elections and redistricting. Weber has lived in the 79th Assembly District for more than 30 years and has served on numerous boards, including for the NAACP, the YWCA, Battered Women Services, United Way and the San Diego Consortium. She also has received hundreds of awards and has lectured across the U.S., the Caribbean and Africa.
Deeply committed to education, she served eight years as president and member of the San Diego School Board. She has translated her commitment to education and social justice into an ambitious legislative agenda, including bills on K-12 education reform; college campus safety, affordability and food security; civil and voting rights; and public safety. Weber has bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from UCLA. Her professional experience includes working as a professor at San Diego State University for over 40 years and teaching at California State University Los Angeles and Los Angeles City College.
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.