Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World, Smart Cities That Work for Everyone: 7 Keys to Education & Employment and Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning. He is CEO of Getting Smart, a learning design firm and a partner in Learn Capital, an education venture capital firm. Previously he served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tom served as a public school superintendent in Washington State and has extensive private sector experience including serving as a senior executive for a national public retail chain.

A prolific writer and speaker, Tom has published thousands of articles, has written and contributed to twelve published books and co-authored more than 40 white papers. He writes regularly on his Education Week blog, Vander Ark on Innovation, and on

Tom is board chair of Charter Board Partners, and is a director of 4.0 Schools, Bloomboard, Digital Learning Institute, eduInnovation, and Imagination Foundation. Tom is an advisor to New Classrooms.

Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He received his M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver. He continues his education online. Tom advocates for innovations that customize and motivate learning and extend access.

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