Joanne Weiss, Chief of Staff—Biography

Joanne Weiss is Chief of Staff to the United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan. She joined the Department in 2009 to serve as Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Director of the Race to the Top Fund. In this capacity, she led the Department's $4.35B Race to the Top program, designed to encourage and reward States making system-wide, comprehensive, and coherent education reforms. Prior to joining the Administration, Joanne was Partner and Chief Operating Officer at NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education by supporting education entrepreneurs and connecting their work to systemic change. At NewSchools, Joanne focused on investments and management assistance for a variety of charter management organizations, human capital solutions providers, and academic tools and systems designers; in addition, she oversaw the organization's operations. Prior to her work at NewSchools, Joanne was Chief Executive Officer of Claria Corporation, an e-services recruiting firm that helped emerging-growth companies build their teams quickly and well. She previously spent twenty years in the design, development, and marketing of technology-based products and services for education. She was co-founder, Chief Executive Officer, and before that, Vice President of Products and Technologies at Academic Systems, a company that helped under-prepared college students succeed in mathematics and writing. Joanne also served as Executive Vice President of Business Operations at Wasatch Education Systems, where she led product development, customer service, and operations for this K-12 educational technology company. She began her career as Vice President of Education R&D at Wicat Systems, where she was responsible for the development of nearly 100 multimedia curriculum and assessment products for K-12 schools. Joanne has a passion for education, and has spent much of her career pioneering innovative work to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes. She holds a degree in biochemistry from Princeton University.

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Last Modified: 07/06/2010