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United States Program Advisory Panel



Our United States Program Advisory Panel is comprised of a group of esteemed experts from outside of the foundation who offer a wide range of experiences and perspectives. This panel plays an important role in strengthening our work by offering independent assessments of our strategies and helping us evaluate results.

Ann Fudge

Ann Fudge served as the chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands, as well as Chairman and CEO of its largest division, Y&R Advertising, one of the world’s leading marketing and communications agencies until 2006. Prior to that, Fudge ran a $5 billion division of Kraft Foods, overseeing some of its largest brands. Currently on the board of directors of the Rockefeller Foundation and Novartis AG, she also serves as a Vice Chairman and Senior Independent Director for Unilever, and as a trustee of WGBH Public Media and the Brookings Institution. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as serving on the Council’s Board. Prior board appointments include Morehouse College and General Electric. Among her many honors and awards, she has been named by Fortune as one of the fifty most powerful women in American business.

Philip Bredesen

Philip Bredesen served as the 48th Governor of Tennessee from 2003 to 2011. During his tenure, he led changes in Tennessee’s higher education system, including establishing a strong academic relationship between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, clarifying and rationalizing the course structure in the community college system, and changing the funding formula for higher education to incentivize student retention and college completion. In the field of health care, he established a broad children’s insurance program, as well as innovative small business and individual health insurance offerings. He is recognized for his commitment to fiscal management, successfully recruiting corporate headquarters and multibillion-dollar investments to his state and reforming an out-of-control Medicaid Program. He is also known for his commitment to conservation issues, and during his term preserved nearly 300,000 acres of ecologically sensitive land. From 1991 to 1999, he served as Mayor of Nashville. Prior to his time in public office, he was a businessman and entrepreneur. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012 and is a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Lincoln Project.

Christopher Edley, Jr.

Christopher Edley, Jr. is the co-founder of The Opportunity Institute. He founded and continues to be Chair of Partners for Each and Every Child, now a project of The Opportunity Institute. He co-chaired the congressionally chartered National Commission on Education Equity and Excellence (2011-13), appointed by Secretary Arne Duncan. Christopher is the Honorable William H. Orrick, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law, after serving as dean from 2004 through 2013. Before Berkeley, he was a law professor at Harvard for 23 years, where Professor Gary Orfield and he co-founded the Harvard Civil Rights Project. He served in White House policy and budget positions under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Christopher has also held senior positions in five presidential campaigns, including senior policy adviser for Barack Obama (2008) and policy director for Michael Dukakis (1988). He is a member of: the American Academy of Arts & Sciences; the National Academy of Public Administration; the Council on Foreign Relations; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s National Programs Advisory Panel; and the Advisory Board of the Hamilton Project, the Brookings Institution. He is a National Associate of the National Research Council, National Academies of Science, for which he currently chairs the committee on NAEP performance levels.

Edward Glaeser

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught urban and social economics and microeconomic theory since 1992. He has published dozens of papers on cities and economic growth, including papers on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers for the transmission of ideas. In addition to his teaching and research, Glaeser edits the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Glaeser’s work examining the historical evolution of economic hubs like Boston and New York City has had a major influence on the study of both economics and urban geography. Other topics on which he has written widely, from both contemporary and historical perspectives, include social economics and the economics of religion.

Margaret Spellings

Margaret Spellings took office as president of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system on March 1, 2016. Nationally known as an education thought leader and public policy expert, Spellings most recently served as President of the George W. Bush Presidential Center where she planned, managed, and implemented programs on economic growth, education reform, global health, and special initiatives focused on women and military service. Her work at the Bush Center included the 2014 launch of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, a one-of-a-kind leadership program born out of the first-ever partnership of multiple Presidential Centers.

Spellings was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but spent much of her childhood in Houston. She is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also received an honorary doctorate and Distinguished Alumna Award from the university in 2006.

Early in her career, Spellings served as legislative director and chief committee clerk for the Texas House of Representatives, special projects director for Austin (TX) Community College, and led governmental and external relations for the Texas Association of School Boards. From 1995 to 2000, she was senior advisor to then-Governor George W. Bush of Texas.

Following his election as President, Spellings served in key positions in the Bush Administration. As White House Domestic Policy Advisor, from 2001 to 2005, she led the development of the President’s domestic policy agenda. Her areas of responsibility included education, transportation, health, justice, housing and labor. In that role, she oversaw the development of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the development of a comprehensive immigration plan, and numerous other initiatives.

From 2005 to 2009, Spellings served as U.S. Secretary of Education, the nation’s senior policy official on all aspects of education—primary, secondary, and post-secondary. During her tenure she led the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act, a national bipartisan initiative to provide greater accountability for the education of 50 million U.S. public school students.

As Secretary, she also launched a national conversation on the future of higher education that resulted in an action plan to address challenges of access, affordability, quality, and accountability of our nation's colleges and universities. In addition to developing and implementing international education agreements on behalf of the President, she also helped manage the federal role in the aftermath of crises including Hurricane Katrina, the credit crunch in the student loan industry, and the Virginia Tech shootings.

From 2009 until joining the Bush Center in 2013, Spellings was president and CEO of Margaret Spellings and Company, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm that provided strategic guidance on a variety of domestic policy matters, particularly those related to education and workforce issues. During much of this same period, she served as a president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, leading its initiatives to drive effective education and workforce training reform.

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