Education Commission of the States is honored to announce the 2016 Distinguished Senior Fellows, three education policy veterans who in the coming year will serve as advisors to the organization and the states it serves.

Christopher T. Cross, Philip “Uri” Treisman and Joanne Weiss will provide intellectual leadership and direction for Education Commission of the States. Their expertise is a valued addition to a policy team that spans the full education spectrum, from early learning through postsecondary and the workforce.

More about the Distinguished Senior Fellows:

  • Christopher T. Cross is chairman of the education policy consulting firm Cross & Joftus, where he contributes his considerable strategic planning, policy analysis and development skills. Cross also serves as a consultant to the Broad Foundation. Previously, he was a senior fellow with the Center for Education Policy. From 1994 to 2002, he was president and chief executive officer of the Council for Basic Education (CBE). Before joining CBE, he served as director of the education initiative of The Business Roundtable and as assistant secretary for educational research and improvement in the U.S. Department of Education. Cross served as president of the Maryland State Board of Education from 1994-97 and was a member from 1993-97. He also was a member of the National Education Commission on Time and Learning.
  • Philip “Uri” Treisman is founder and executive director of the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin, which focuses on K-16 math and science education as a means of ensuring postsecondary success for all students. Treisman is professor of mathematics and of public affairs at the university. He served on the AACC 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and serves on the boards of many entrepreneurial nonprofits committed to improving American education. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 1992 for his work on nurturing minority student high achievement in college mathematics and the 2006 Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation for his outstanding contributions to mathematics.
  • Joanne Weiss is an independent consultant to organizations on education programs, technologies and policy. For the past 15 years she has focused on driving systems-level education change through high-impact grant-making, investing and policymaking. From 2009-13 she served in the Obama Administration as chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and director of the federal Race to the Top program. Weiss was partner and chief operating officer at NewSchools Venture Fund, where she focused on investments and management assistance for a variety of charter management organizations, human capital solutions providers, and academic tools and systems designers. Prior, she led companies that pioneered technology-based approaches to solving teaching and learning challenges in K-12 and higher education.

“Education Commission of the States is grateful to these Distinguished Senior Fellows for lending their expertise to our leadership team on several important education projects,” President Jeremy Anderson said. “We are a stronger and more knowledgeable organization with  their ongoing consultation and advice.”

Education Commission of the States believes in the power of learning from experience, providing education leaders with unbiased information and opportunities for collaboration. We research, report, counsel and convene, knowing that informed policymakers create better education policy.

For questions, contact Education Commission of the States Communications Specialist Brady Delander at or (303) 299.3622. 

 PUBLISHED: March 9, 2016

 AUTHOR(S): Unspecified



 STATE(S): Nationwide

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