Education for Innovation: A Digital Town Hall

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan

United States Secretary of Education

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Arne Duncan was nominated to be secretary of education by President-elect Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009.

Prior to his appointment as secretary of education, Duncan served as the chief executive officer of the Chicago Public Schools, a position to which he was appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley, from June 2001 through December 2008, becoming the longest-serving big-city education superintendent in the country.

As CEO, Duncan's mandate was to raise education standards and performance, improve teacher and principal quality, and increase learning options. In seven and a half years, he united education reformers, teachers, principals and business stakeholders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening over 100 new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down underperforming schools, increasing early childhood and college access, dramatically boosting the caliber of teachers, and building public-private partnerships around a variety of education initiatives.

Among his most significant accomplishments during his tenure as CEO, an all-time high of 66.7 percent of the district's elementary school students met or exceeded state reading standards, and their math scores also reached a record high, with 70.6 percent meeting or exceeding the state's standards. At high schools, Chicago Public School students posted gains on the ACT at three times the rate of national gains and nearly twice that of the state's. Also, the number of CPS high school students taking Advanced Placement courses tripled and the number of students passing AP classes more than doubled. Duncan has increased graduation rates and boosted the total number of college scholarships secured by CPS students to $157 million.

Prior to joining the Chicago Public Schools, Duncan ran the non-profit education foundation Ariel Education Initiative (1992-1998), which helped fund a college education for a class of inner-city children under the I Have A Dream program. He was part of a team that later started a new public elementary school built around a financial literacy curriculum, the Ariel Community Academy, which today ranks among the top elementary schools in Chicago.

Duncan formerly served on the boards of the Ariel Education Initiative, Chicago Cares, the Children's Center, the Golden Apple Foundation, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Jobs for America's Graduates, Junior Achievement, the Dean's Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management, the National Association of Basketball Coaches' Foundation, Renaissance Schools Fund, Scholarship Chicago and the South Side YMCA. He also served on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College and the Visiting Committees for Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.

From 1987 to 1991, Duncan played professional basketball in Australia, where he also worked with children who were wards of the state. Duncan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987, majoring in sociology. He was co-captain of Harvard's basketball team and was named a first team Academic All-American. Duncan is married to Karen Duncan and they have two children, daughter Claire, 8, and son Ryan, 5, who attend a public elementary school in Arlington, Va.

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Angel Gurría

Angel Gurría

Secretary General, Organisation for Economic
Co-Operation and Development

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Born on May 8th, 1950, in Tampico, Mexico, Angel Gurría came to the OECD following a distinguished career in public service, including two ministerial posts.

As Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from December 1994 to January 1998, he made dialogue and consensus-building one of the hallmarks of his approach to global issues. From January 1998 to December 2000, he was Mexico’s Minister of Finance and Public Credit. For the first time in a generation, he steered Mexico’s economy through a change of Administration without a recurrence of the financial crises that had previously dogged such changes.

As OECD Secretary-General, since June 2006, he has reinforced the OECD's role as a ‘hub” for global dialogue and debate on economic policy issues while pursuing internal modernization and reform. Under his leadership, OECD has expanded its membership to include Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia and opened accession talks with Russia. It has also strengthened links with other major emerging economies, including Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, with a view to possible membership. The OECD is now an active participant in both the G-8 and the G-20 Summit processes.

Mr. Gurría has participated in various international not-for-profit bodies, including the Population Council, based in New York, and the Center for Global Development based in Washington. He chaired the International Task Force on Financing Water for All and continues to be deeply involved in water issues. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of Governors of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, based in Canada, and was the first recipient of the Globalist of the Year Award of the Canadian International Council to honour his efforts as a global citizen to promote trans-nationalism, inclusiveness, and a global consciousness.

Mr. Gurría holds a B.A. degree in Economics from UNAM (Mexico), and a M.A. degree in Economics from Leeds University (United Kingdom). He speaks: Spanish, French, English, Portuguese, Italian and some German. He is married to Dr. Lulu Quintana, a distinguished ophthalmologist, and they have three adult children.

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Karen Kornbluh

Karen Kornbluh

U.S. Permanent Representative, U.S. Mission to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

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Karen Kornbluh was sworn in as Ambassador and U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in August 2009.

Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Kornbluh was a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where she contributed to “The Shriver Report: a Woman’s Nation Changes Everything” and developed a proposal for a Green Bank. Ambassador Kornbluh served as Policy Director for then-Senator Barack Obama from 2005-2008 and authored his 2008 Party Platform. She founded the Work and Family Program at the New America Foundation where she was also a Markle Technology Policy Fellow. There, she argued for reforming institutions to better meet the needs of two-income “juggler families,” a term which she coined, and to increase U.S. competitiveness.

Ambassador Kornbluh has published articles on economic policy in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. Previously, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Treasury Department; Assistant Chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s International Bureau; Director of the Commission's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs; and economic policy advisor to Senator John Kerry. She began her career as an economic forecaster and management consultant to U.S. manufacturing companies.

Ambassador Kornbluh received her Master’s from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College.

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Robert D. Atkinson

Robert D. Atkinson

President, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

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Robert Atkinson is President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, DC-based technology policy think tank. He is also author of the book, The Past and Future of America's Economy: Long Waves of Innovation that Power Cycles of Growth (Edward Elgar, 2005). He has an extensive background in technology policy, he has conducted ground-breaking research projects on technology and innovation, is a valued adviser to state and national policy makers, and a popular speaker on innovation policy nationally and internationally.

Before coming to ITIF, Dr. Atkinson was Vice President of the Progressive Policy Institute and Director of PPI's Technology & New Economy Project. While at PPI he wrote numerous research reports on technology and innovation policy, including on issues such as broadband telecommunications, Internet telephony, universal service, e-commerce, e-government, middleman opposition to e-commerce, privacy, copyright, RFID and smart cards, Internet telephony, the role of IT in homeland security, the R&D tax credit, offshoring, and growth economics.

Previously Dr. Atkinson served as the first Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Policy Council, a public-private partnership including as members the Governor, legislative leaders, and corporate and labor leaders. As head of RIEPC, he was responsible for drafting a comprehensive economic strategic development plan for the state, developing a ten-point economic development plan, and working to successfully implement all ten proposals through the legislative and administrative branches. Prior to that he was Project Director at the former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. While at OTA, he directed "The Technological Reshaping of Metropolitan America," a seminal report examining the impact of the information technology revolution on America's urban areas.

He is a board member or advisory council member of the Alliance for Public Technology, Information Policy Institute, Internet Education Foundation, NanoBusiness Alliance, NetChoice Coalition, the Pacific Institute for Workforce Innovation, and the University of Oregon Institute for Policy Research and Innovation. He also serves on the advisory panel to Americans for Computer Privacy, is an affiliated expert for the New Millennium Research Council, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Electronic Government, a member of the Reason Foundation's Mobility Project Advisory Board, and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Dr. Atkinson was appointed by President Clinton to the Commission on Workers, Communities, and Economic Change in the New Economy. He is also a member of the Task Force on National Security in the Information Age, co-chaired by Markle Foundation president Zoe Baird and former Netscape Communications chairman James Barksdale. In 1999, he was featured in "Who's Who in America: Finance and Industry." In 2002, he was awarded the Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award Silver Medal. In addition, Government Technology Magazine and the Center for Digital Government named him one of the 25 top "Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of Information Technology." In 2006, Inc. Magazine listed Atkinson as one of "19 Friends" of small business in Washington. He received his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1989.

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Thomas L. Friedman

Thomas L. Friedman

Foreign Affairs Columnist and Author, The New York Times

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Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist—the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of five bestselling books, among them From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat.

Friedman attended the University of Minnesota and Brandeis University. During his undergraduate years, he spent semesters abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the American University in Cairo. Following his graduation from Brandeis, Friedman attended St. Antony's College, Oxford University, on a Marshall Scholarship. In 1978, he received an M.Phil. degree in modern Middle East studies. That summer he joined the London Bureau of United Press International (UPI).

Friedman spent almost a year reporting and editing in London before UPI dispatched him to Beirut as a correspondent in the spring of 1979. In May 1981, Friedman was offered a job by the New York Times. From May 1981 to April 1982, Friedman worked as a general assignment financial reporter for the Times.

In April 1982, he was appointed Beirut Bureau Chief for The New York Times. In June 1984, Friedman was transferred to Jerusalem, where he served as the Times's Jerusalem Bureau Chief until February 1988. As a result of his work, he was awarded a second Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and was granted a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship to write a book about the Middle East. The book was From Beirut to Jerusalem.

In January 1989, Friedman started a new assignment as the Times's Chief Diplomatic Correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. In November 1992, Friedman shifted to domestic politics with his appointment as the Times's Chief White House Correspondent. In that role he covered the post-election transition and the first year of Bill Clinton's presidency. In January 1994 he became the Times's International Economics Correspondent. In January 1995, Friedman took over the New York Times Foreign Affairs column, a position he’s held since.

His book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, published in 1999, won the Overseas Press Club Award for best book on foreign policy in 2000. In 2002 FSG published a collection of the columns, along with a diary he kept after 9/11, as Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11.

In April 2005, FSG published his fourth book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century.

Also in 2007, Friedman wrote the afterword for Classic Shots, a collection of photographs from the United States Golf Association, published by the National Geographic Society. Friedman's most recent book is Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America.

Friedman has won three Pulitzer Prizes: the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon), the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel), and the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. In 2004, he was also awarded the Overseas Press Club Award for lifetime achievement and the honorary title Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he was given the National Press Club's lifetime achievement award.

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Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson

President and CEO, The Aspen Institute

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Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, D.C. He has been the Chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of Time Magazine.

He is the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe (April 2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).

Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at the Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item. He joined Time Magazine in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor and editor of new media before becoming the magazine's 14th editor in 1996. He became Chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003.

He is the chairman of the board of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in underserved communities. He is also chairman of the board of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership, set up by the U.S. State Department to promote economic and educational opportunities for the Palestinian people. He is on the Board of United Airlines, Tulane University, Society for Science & the Public, and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He was appointed after Hurricane Katrina to be the vice-chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. He lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, D.C.

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Wendy Hawkins

Wendy Hawkins

Executive Director, Intel Foundation

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Wendy Hawkins is Executive Director of the Intel Foundation. The Foundation represents a commitment of approximately $40M per year for improving math, science, technology and engineering education worldwide.

Wendy joined Intel in 1990 as foundation manager and program officer, and since has held a variety of management positions in Intel’s Corporate Affairs Group including manager of Corporate K-12 programs, founder of Intel® Teach Program, which has provided professional development for more than 7 million teachers worldwide, and as Director of Education for Intel Corporation.

Ms. Hawkins graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a degree in Psychology.

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FEATURED MODERATORS

Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill

Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

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Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and senior correspondent for "The PBS NewsHour."

The best-selling author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," (Doubleday, 2009), she also moderated the Vice Presidential debates during the Presidential elections in 2004 and 2008.

Gwen has covered six Presidential campaigns, and during the 2008 campaign season, won the George Foster Peabody Award after bringing Washington Week to live audiences around the country as part of a 10-city tour. Now in its 40th year, Washington Week is the longest-running prime-time news and public affairs program on television. Each week, Gwen brings together some of the best journalists in Washington to discuss the major stories of the week with the reporters who actually cover the news that emanates from the nation’s capital and affects the nation and the world.

Gwen joined both Washington Week and The NewsHour in 1999, interviewing newsmakers and reporting on issues ranging from foreign affairs to politics. Before coming to PBS, she was chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News, White House correspondent for The New York Times, and a local and national political reporter for The Washington Post. She also reported for the Baltimore Evening Sun and the Boston Herald American.

"I always knew I wanted to be a journalist, and my first love was newspapers," Ifill said. "But public broadcasting provides the best of both worlds-combining the depth of newspapering with the immediate impact of broadcast television."

A native of New York City and a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, Ifill has received more than a dozen honorary doctorates. She has also been honored for her work by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Harvard’s Joan Shorenstein Center, The National Association of Black Journalists, Boston’s Ford Hall Forum, and was included in Ebony Magazine’s list of 150 Most Influential African Americans.

She also serves on the boards of the Harvard University Institute of Politics and the Committee to Protect Journalists and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Hari S

Hari Sreenivasan

News Summary Correspondent, PBS NewsHour

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In December 2009 Hari Sreenivasan joined the new PBS NewsHour as an online and on-air correspondent. Hari makes regular news updates throughout the day on the NewsHour's Web site in addition to appearing nightly on the program.

While at CBS News, Hari reported regularly on the "CBS Evening News," "The Early Show;" and "CBS Sunday Morning." Before that, he served as an anchor and correspondent for ABC News, working extensively on the network's 24-hour digital service "ABC News Now." Hari also reported for "World News Tonight" and "Nightline."

Previously, he ran his own production company and freelanced as a reporter for KTVU-TV in Oakland, Calif. (2002-04). Sreenivasan served as an anchor and senior correspondent for CNET Broadcast in San Francisco, Calif. (1996-2002) and was a reporter for WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C. (1995-96)

He is the recipient of the 1997, 1998 and 1999 Outstanding Broadcast Story Award presented by the South Asian Journalists Association, an organization for which he served as a board member from 2001-04. Sreenivasan is also a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and a 2003 graduate of their Executive Leadership Program.

He was born in Mumbai, India, where he also spent his early childhood. Sreenivasan graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 1995 with a degree in mass communication and minors in politics and philosophy.


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Refueling the U.S. Innovation Economy