Tom Vander Ark

Author. Speaker. Thought leader.

Tom Vander Ark is an advocate for innovations in learning. As CEO of Getting Smart, Tom advises impact organizations and learning institutions on the path forward.

A prolific writer and speaker, Tom has co-authored more than 50 books, chapters, and white papers and has published thousands of articles. He writes regularly on GettingSmart.com, LinkedIn, and contributes to Education Week and Forbes. 

Tom served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and was a public school superintendent in Washington state. Tom's extensive private sector experience includes executive roles in retail, energy and technology. 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, and eduInnovation and Advisor for One Stone and Teton Science Schools and Whittle School & Studios.

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 graduated from the Colorado School of Mines and received the Distinguished Achievement Medal. He received his M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver and taught finance, strategy, and leadership at DU and Regis University. He continues his education online.