Tom Vander Ark

Author. Speaker. Thought leader.

Tom Vander Ark is a recognized advocate for powerful learning experiences. As CEO of Getting Smart, he advises school districts and networks, education foundations and funders and impact organizations on the path forward. A prolific writer and speaker, Tom is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World; Smart Cities That Work for Everyone: 7 Keys to Education & Employment; and Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning. He has published thousands of articles, co-authored and contributed to more than 50 books and white papers. He writes regularly on his Education Week blog, Vander Ark on Innovation, and contributes to GettingSmart.com, Medium, HuffPost and LinkedIn.   

Previously, Tom served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also served as a public school superintendent in Washington state and has extensive private sector experience. Tom co-founded the first education venture fund, Learn Capital. Tom is Board Chair of Charter Board Partners, Director for 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, eduInnovation and Imagination Foundation and Advisor for One Stone and Teton Science Schools.

Tom has presented at a variety of national conferences, including SXSWEdu, iNACOL’s Blended & Online Learning Symposium, ASU/GSV, National Charter Schools Conference and AACN Annual Meeting. He has also presented at international conferences including The World Bank,  The Digital Education Show Middle East and Bett Show.

Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver, and continues his education online.