Dr. Daniel A. Domenech retired in 2023 following 27 years as a superintendent. During his tenure, he most recently served as executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, where he worked to strengthen school districts’ ability to serve students equitably. Under his leadership, AASA was instrumental in negotiations concerning the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind (now Every Student Succeeds Act); in establishing the Rural Education Achievement Program; in expanding the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act; and in creating the Medicaid in School Coalition. His advocacy also led to a codified review of the equity and efficacy of the Title 1 formula.

In addition, Domenech aided in the launch of the Large Countywide Suburban District Consortium. The organization comprises school leaders who are committed to closing opportunity gaps, and improving the academic success and college attendance of high school students, ultimately benefiting 1.8 million students in southeastern United States.

Domenech continues to advocate for and support progress for student-centered, equity-focused education as co-chair of the Learning 2025 Commission.

A veteran astronaut, Dr. Harris has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space. He was the first African American to complete a space walk. While at NASA, he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend Astronaut stays in space. 

Harris is now chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative, where he leads the organization’s efforts to improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement in STEM education across the country. He has been involved in math and science education for more than 25 years through the Harris Institute & Foundation and as a founding board member for NMSI. 

Prior to NMSI, Harris was CEO and managing partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm that invests in early- to mid-stage healthcare technologies and companies. He is a member of the board of directors for U.S. Physical Therapy, JSA Health and Monebo Technologies. He serves as a trustee for Salient Fund, Salient MF Trust and Barings Fund & Trust. In addition, he is on the board of the National Academy of Medicine, the Texas Medical Center, HealthConnect, NMSI and the Harris Institute & Foundation. 

He earned a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Houston, a master's of medical science from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a master's of business administration from the University of Houston and a doctorate of medicine from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a National Research Council fellowship in Endocrinology at the NASA Ames Research Center and trained as a flight surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base. He is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver. 

Harris is the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Stony Brook University, Morehouse School of Medicine, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Washington & Jefferson College, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, University of Hartford and Indiana Institute of Technology. He’s also been awarded the NASA Space Flight Medal, NASA Award of Merit and the 2000 Horatio Alger Award.  

He is the author of “Dream Walker: A Journey of Achievement and Inspiration.”

Michael Kirst, professor emeritus at Stanford University, is California’s longest-serving board president, having held the post during both administrations of former Gov. Jerry Brown: once in the mid-1970s and almost 40 years later when Brown again became governor in 2010.

The last eight years of Kirst’s board leadership proved the most challenging and fruitful, as California embarked on a dramatic overhaul of its standards, curriculum frameworks, assessments and school accountability.

Philip Uri Treisman is University Distinguished Teaching Professor, professor of mathematics and professor of public affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He is the founder and executive director of the University’s Charles A. Dana Center, which works on the equity-minded improvement of American mathematics and science education at scale.

Treisman is a founder and member of the governing board of Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics. He serves as a representative of the American Mathematical Society to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Education, Section Q) and as a senior advisor to the Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences Research Advisory Group. In addition, he serves as a member of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Data Science Postsecondary Education.

Treisman has served as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Education Commission of the States since 2013. He served as founding chairman of the Expert Advisory Board for Strong Start to Finish, a joint initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and Ascendium Education Group that works nationally to ensure that all students get a strong start in their first year of college and finish with the skills they need to thrive. Treisman has served on the STEM working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges of the American Association of Community Colleges, and the Commission on Mathematics and Science Education of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Institute for Advanced Study. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the International Society for Design and Development in Education.

Treisman's research and professional interests span mathematics and science education, education policy, social and developmental psychology, community service, and volunteerism. For his leadership of national education initiatives, he has received the Mathematical Association of America’s Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics (2019), the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics’ Ross Taylor/Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award (2016), and the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges’ Mathematics Excellence Award (2016).

For Treisman's work in supporting high achievement in mathematics of students from groups historically underrepresented in STEM professions, he received the 1987 Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in American Higher Education. In 1992, he was named a MacArthur Fellow.

Raised in and out of foster care from birth until high school, Crabill bounced around enough that he attended 11 schools prior to high school graduation. He attended urban, suburban and rural schools and private, public and parochial schools; lived with white families and families of color and in racist communities and inclusive communities; and experienced loving homes and homelessness. Guided by the idea that student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change, he has devoted much of his adult life to advocating for the well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable youth.

In his role as deputy commissioner of governance at the Texas Education Agency, Crabill led the creation of Lone Star Governance, a governance framework, workshop series and coaching system. Lone Star Governance distills national research on student achievement into an applicable framework for local school board action. The framework allows school boards to evaluate their progress toward and hone their focus on improving student outcomes. To support implementation of the new template and actions, Crabill provided group training and individualized coaching for local boards and their communities.

Gov. Bill Haslam has earned a reputation as the education governor for his innovation around and commitment to educational attainment in Tennessee. He started the Drive to 55, a comprehensive effort to increase the number of Tennesseans with a postsecondary degree or credential to 55 percent by 2025, which will assist the state in meeting its future workforce demands. Haslam created Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect, scholarship programs that offer two years of postsecondary education free of tuition and fees to high school graduates and adults, respectively, who have not yet obtained a degree. Tennessee became the first state in the nation to implement this practice, and 18 other states have since created similar programs. From 2011 to 2016, Tennessee was one of the fastest improving states in the nation in K-12 student performance and remains a leader in student progress. In 2016-17, Tennessee’s high school graduation rate rose to 89 percent — the highest on record for the state. Additionally, entering college freshmen remediation rates have dropped by more than 12 percentage points since 2011.

For more than 30 years, Lowell Milken has been leading the Milken Family Foundation as it continues to fulfill its mission to support individuals and innovation in not only education, but also in medical research and public health. Milken’s education research, in-person classroom visits with teachers and students, and development of prominent and robust initiatives highlight both his professional and personal interest in and commitment to advancing education. In his ongoing support of education practice and programs, Milken has created initiatives that provide educators and students with opportunities allowing for increased success both in the present and future. The Milken Educator Awards, celebrating its 30th anniversary, have recognized exemplary early- to mid-career educators through financial prizes and a professional network dedicated to strengthening education. The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching advances educator effectiveness and student achievement, impacting more than 200,000 educators and 2.5 million students daily. And the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes engages students in project-based learning to discover individuals in history who have made a profound difference in the lives of others.

In 2008, Khan founded the Khan Academy – a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Since its creation, Khan Academy’s readily available content has grown to include more than 6,500 videos, accessed by more than 10 million people seeking knowledge to enrich their lives. The Khan Academy provides educational access to a broad range of subjects and offers customized lesson plans and assessments, creating an interactive and personalized learning experience. By emphasizing learning, rather than teaching, Khan’s approach has greatly impacted not only how information is delivered, but also the way in which children and adults learn in America. His commitment to providing a high-quality education and his work to ensure that anyone, anywhere has the knowledge and tools needed to help support a successful future demonstrates his leadership in the advancement of educational attainment.

Benjamin Mays, noted for his achievements in faculty development, civil rights and combating declining enrollments, spent 27 years as president of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia; 12 years as president of the Atlanta School Board; and six years as dean of the Howard University School of Religion. He also was an English instructor at the State College of South Carolina, an ordained Baptist minister and author of several books. Mays died in 1984.

Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of the Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) and originator of Sesame Street, served as CTW’s president and chief executive officer until 1990. She currently chairs the Sesame Workshop Board and sits on several corporate boards. Cooney has been a member of many special commissions and has received numerous awards for her outstanding achievements. Cooney was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

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