David P. Gardner has been president and vice president of the nine-campus University of California, president of the University of Utah, and faculty member and chancellor at the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus. In 1981, he chaired the National Commission on Excellence in Education, whose 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, sparked the national effort to improve and reform American education. Gardner is president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and board member and director of several organizations.

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