Tom Vander Ark is an advocate for innovations in learning. As CEO of Getting Smart, he advises schools, districts, networks, foundations and learning organizations on the path forward. A prolific writer and speaker, Tom is author of Getting Smart, Smart Cities That Work for Everyone, Smart Parents, Better Together and The Power of Place and has published thousands of articles and co-authored more than 50 books and white papers. He writes regularly on GettingSmart.com, LinkedIn, and contributes to Forbes. 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. Tom is a board member for Education Board Partners, Director for 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation and an Advisor for One Stone, Teton Science Schools and Whittle School & Studios.
Dr. Emily Liebtag supports communities in their efforts to lead innovation and school change from the ground up. Emily has been a teacher in a Title 1 elementary school, an instructor at the University of Virginia, and most recently was the Vice President of Advocacy at a national education firm. Emily has helped lead national projects focused on school transformation. Her work on these projects has ranged from designing strategic plans to creating long-term evaluations, to hosting community conversations. She has led over 100 learning trips with educators and community members to see innovative practices in schools across the country.