Tom Vander Ark

Educational Advisory Board

Tom Vander Ark is an advocate for innovations in learning. 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; Smart Cities That Work for Everyone; Smart Parents; and Better Together. He has published thousands of articles, co-authored and contributed to more than 50 books and white papers. He writes regularly on, LinkedIn, and contributes to Forbes.  

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. In addition to his position as Chair on the Educational Advisory Board for Whittle Schools, Tom is also 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.

Tom has presented at a variety of national conferences, including SXSWEduiNACOL’s Blended & Online Learning Symposium,ASU/GSVNational 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.