Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows Examine Higher Ed, School Leader Policies in Final Session

August 12, 2019

Austin, Texas – Gathering in the Texas capital city for its final session beginning Wednesday, The Hunt Institute is convening the fifth cohort of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program, the nation’s premier education policy bipartisan fellowship.

Cohort Five comprises of 19 high-ranking state leaders from across the country, and upon completion, will join the ranks of Fellow Alumni that includes four sitting governors, a U.S. Senator and numerous state leaders who have announced campaigns for higher office.

The bipartisan group will engage in conversations surrounding quality child care and the early childhood workforce, teacher preparation and evaluation reform, the value of strong school leadership and higher education access, affordability and completion.     

The 2018-2019 Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows include:

  • State Rep. John Carney (R-KY)
  • State Rep. Harold Love (D-TN)
  • Former State Auditor Cynthia Cloud (R-WY)
  • State Sen. Shane Massey (R-SC)
  • Former Attorney General Matt Denn (D-DE)
  • County Executive Dan McCoy (D-NY)
  • Mayor Coral Evans (D-AZ)
  • State Rep. Patricia Billie Miller (D-CT)
  • Attorney General Tim Fox (R-MT)
  • Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D-NM)
  • Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg (R-IA)
  • State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt (R-ND)
  • Former State Sen. Michael Lee (R-NC)
  • Former City Official Stefany Shaheen (D-NH)
  • State Delegate Brooke Lierman (D-MD)
  • State Sen. Larry Taylor (R-TX)
  • Former Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth (I-AK)
  • Councilmember Robert White (D-D.C.)
  • State Sen. Mamie Locke (D-VA)

“My involvement with the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows will undoubtedly continue past these nine months,” said Rep. Harold M. Love, Jr. “The insight I’ve gained from the diverse program content has broadened my understanding of education issues and will allow me, along with my team, to push for education policy reform that will benefit students from all backgrounds.”

Unique to this program, Fellows have the opportunity to work with The Hunt Institute’s bipartisan Fellows Advisory Board, a network of former governors who have established reputations for working across the aisle and improving public education. The governors joining the Fellows this week include: Gov. Jim Hunt (NC | 1977-1985, 1993-2001); Gov. Tom Kean (NJ | 1982-1990); Gov. Jim Douglas (VT | 2003-2011); Gov. Dave Heineman (NE | 2005-2015); Gov. Susana Martinez (NM | 2011-2019); and Gov. Bob Wise (WV | 2001-2005).

“We’re thrilled to bring this high-achieving group of state leaders together again to further build their capacity on the most pressing issues in education,” said The Hunt Institute President & CEO Dr. Javaid Siddiqi. “During the program, our Fellows are exposed to a variety of policy levers and program exemplars so that they can lead critical conversations in their states and ultimately drive change that improves educational outcomes for all students.”

The Fellows’ first session, held in December 2018 in Washington, D.C., studied K-12 standards and assessments, school funding, early learning, school choice and effective teachers and school leaders. Fellows also participated in a local school visit at Two Rivers Public Charter School.

Over the nine months, Fellows also had the opportunity to participate in a site visit to Educare New Orleans, state-specific briefings in their home states, and in a series of webinars.

“The Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program has been a highlight for me as it deepened my understanding of the complex education issues that are affecting schools, teachers and families in Montana,” said Attorney General Tim Fox. “The opportunity to connect with and build sustaining relationships with these leading experts and renowned governors is invaluable, and I look forward to continuing to work with them beyond the fellowship.”

“While these senior-level leaders hold unique perspectives, they collectively acknowledge the urgency to improve educational opportunities for all students,” said Gov. Jim Hunt. “This cohesion, combined with the opportunity to connect with leading minds in education policy, is what makes the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program so special, and we are pleased to see these leaders cultivate their resolve to improve education in their states.”

Each session brings together some of the top education policy and research leaders, national experts and current principals and teachers. Over the next three days, Fellows will hear from:

  • Maria Anguiano, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Arizona State University

·       Elizabeth Kastiel, Co-Founder and Board President, Dallas Teacher Residency

  • Marica Cox Mitchell, Director of Early Learning, Bainum Family Foundation

·       Dr. Beth Maloch, Associate Dean for Administration and Educator Preparation, University of Texas at Austin

  • Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President, California State Board of Education

·       Dr. Candice McQueen, CEO, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching

  • Dr. Libby Doggett, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Policy and Learning, U.S. Department of Education

·       Will Miller, President, The Wallace Foundation 

  • Dr. Dhanfu Elston, Vice President of Strategy, Complete College America

·       James Milliken, Chancellor, University of Texas System

  • Glenn Hegar, Comptroller, Texas

·       Dr. Colleen Mullholland, Interim Dean, College of Education, University of Northern Iowa

  • Kevin Huffman, Former Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education

·       Anthony Randazzo, Executive Director, Equable Institute

  • Scott Jenkins, Strategy Director, Lumina Foundation

·       Margaret Spellings, President & CEO, Texas 2036, Former President of the University of North Carolina System and Former U.S. Secretary of Education

  • Dr. Tiffany Jones, Director of Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust

·       Katharine Stevens, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

  • Hanseul Kang, State Superintendent of Education, Washington, D.C.

·       Oscar Sweeten-Lopez, President of College Success Tools, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation


·       Jamie Woodson, Former CEO, Tennessee State Collaborative of Reforming Education

Since its launch in 2014, the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows program has established a network of 90 Fellows representing 48 states and Washington, D.C. Fellows currently in office include: Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon, Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Gov. Brad Little of Idaho, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada.

Four Fellows are currently running for governor – Spencer Cox (UT-Cohort 1), Tim Fox (MT-Cohort 5), Mark Herring (VA-Cohort 1) and Tate Reeves (MS-Cohort 1). Eugene DePasquale (PA-Cohort 2) and Maggie Toulouse Oliver (NM-Cohort 5) announced their candidacy for Congress, while Coral Evans (AZ-Cohort 5) is running for an Arizona House seat.

In June, The Hunt Institute welcomed David Struhs as its Director of Fellows program. Previously, Struhs served as the education analyst for the Florida Senate Majority Office and also served as the Policy Director for Adam Putnam’s (FL-Cohort 1) gubernatorial campaign. 

Share This