Hunt-Kean Leadership Cohort 3, Completes Education Policy Fellowship

August 11, 2017

DURHAM, N.C. – The Hunt Institute continues to invest in America’s political leaders with the culmination of its third Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows cohort.  A total of 19 high-ranking state officials and political leaders from across the country have completed the nine-month immersion in state-level education policy.

The 2016-2017 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows include:

  • Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele
  • Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske
  • Attorney General Doug Chin
  • Attorney General Thomas Donovan
  • Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores
  • State Treasurer Michael Frerichs
  • Lt. Governor Tim Griffin
  • Port of Seattle Commissioner Courtney Gregoire
  • Former Treasurer Cary Kennedy
  • Speaker of the House Tim Moore
    R-North Carolina
  • Secretary of State Ed Murray
  • Secretary of State Michele Reagan
  • Speaker of the House Anthony Rendon
  • Attorney General Sean Reyes
  • Assembly Member Robert Rodriquez
    D-New York
  • Lt. Governor John Sanchez
    R-New Mexico
  • Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney
  • Lt. Governor Mary Taylor
  • Former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer

Throughout the course of the Fellowship, the bipartisan cohort was exposed to a curriculum designed to help them understand the issues involved in developing successful schools and advancing sound strategies to improve teaching, learning and student achievement.

Fellows participated in strategy breakout sessions and interactive conversations with former governors—a unique feature of the Fellows program.  These governors, who serve as members of the Fellows Advisory Board, included: Gov. Jim Douglas (R-VT); Gov. Dave Heineman (R-NE); Gov. Brad Henry (D-OK); Gov. Jim Hunt (D-NC); Gov. Tom Kean (R-NJ); Gov. Bob Wise (D-WV) Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), Gov. John Engler (R-PA), and Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS).

“We are committed to inspiring, educating, and equipping elected officials and senior policymakers so that they make better, more informed decisions that increase equity and educational opportunities for all children,” said Dr. Javaid Siddiqi, Hunt Institute CEO.  “Having an opportunity to hear directly from governors, who have been in the trenches, is a critical component of this Fellowship experience, and the interaction is priceless for these leaders.” 

At the two in-person sessions, Fellows engaged with a number of national experts including: Secretary Arne Duncan, Managing Partner, Emerson Collective; Dan Weisberg, CEO of TNTP; Dr. Dan Goldhaber, Director of the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER); Dr. Linda Darling Hammond, President of the Learning Policy Institute; Brad Jupp, Senior Fellow at The Aspen Institute;  Andy Cole, Consultant, The Wallace Foundation; and Nina Rees, President and Chief Executive Officer at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. 

“This Fellowship provides a forum to thoroughly discuss important educational topics with other state and national leaders,” said Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.  “The overall experience has been second-to-none, and I am confident that this opportunity afforded by The Hunt Institute will help me and other members broaden our perspectives and promote positive long-term education and economic results.” 

Since its launch in 2014, the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program has established a network of over 50 Fellows representing 36 states.  To date, nine Fellows have announced gubernatorial runs across the across the nation, and two currently serve in gubernatorial roles – Governor Kate Brown of Oregon and Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa – both from the inaugural cohort.

“The growth of our leaders through this Fellows program continues to amaze me,” said Gov. Kean.  “I am confident that each one of them will go back home, take what they’ve learned, and work in a bipartisan manner to drive educational improvement.”


Cohort 3 will now join the distinguished group of Fellows from the first two cohorts as program alumni. The Hunt Institute continues to serve as a resource for alumni, fostering this growing, bipartisan network of state leaders as they continue on in their careers.


About The Hunt Institute
An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network since it was established in 2001, The Institute brings together people and resources that help build and nurture visionary leadership and mobilize strategic action for greater educational outcomes and student success.

About the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows
The Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program seeks to partner with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. Named for renowned education governors Jim Hunt (D-NC | 1977-1985; 1993-2001) and Tom Kean (R-NJ | 1982-1990), the national, nonpartisan Fellowship launched in the fall of 2014. Through the Fellowship, the Institute’s vision is to help political leaders develop a deeply rooted vision for educational improvement.  For more information about Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, please visit


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