Matt Gandal

Matt Gandal

Matt Gandal headshot

Matt Gandal founded Education Strategy Group in 2012 to support states, national organizations, and foundations committed to dramatically improving the capacity and performance of the U.S. education system. He brings over 20 years of experience leading advocacy, policy development and implementation work in both the K-12 and higher education sectors.  Gandal previously served as a senior advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and led a new division responsible for providing policy and implementation support to states. Before joining the Department of Education, Gandal was executive vice president of Achieve, the national organization formed by governors and business leaders to help states raise educational standards. He helped found the organization and was responsible for overseeing its major initiatives, including the American Diploma Project which helped 35 states advance college and career readiness policies; the Common Core State Standards Initiative which resulted in 45 states adopting rigorous academic standards; and National Education Summits that brought together governors, CEOs and education leaders from across the country to commit to ambitious reforms.

Before joining Achieve, Gandal was assistant director for educational issues at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and authored Making Standards Matter, an annual AFT report evaluating the quality of the academic standards, assessments and accountability policies in the 50 states. Gandal, a graduate of the Maryland public school system, earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

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