Chiefs for Change adds four new members

Chiefs for Change
May 15, 2017

Chiefs for Change members represent 5.3 million students.

Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee today announced that 4 new schools Chiefs have joined the coalition of leaders dedicated to excellence and equity for all students. The new members include 1 new state Chief and 3 new district superintendents, including the first-ever Future Chief to assume a Chief role and become a member.

“These Chiefs demonstrate that when effective leaders advance bold policies, we see better outcomes for kids,” John White, CFC Board Chair and Louisiana State Superintendent of Education, said. “We’re looking forward to working closely with them.”

Chiefs for Change now has 7 members at the state level and 18 at the district level. 44% of members are women, and 60% are leaders of color.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our 4 newest members into this diverse community where courageous, effective current Chiefs share ideas and offer each other advice and support — and where Future Chiefs learn what they’ll need to hit the ground running,” Magee said.

The four new members are:

William Hite:  Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Candice McQueen:  Commissioner of Education, Tennessee

Kunjan Narechania:  Superintendent of the Recovery School District, Louisiana

Paymon Rouhanifard:  Superintendent of Camden City School District, New Jersey


From our new members:

William Hite / Superintendent, Philadelphia, PA
“It is a privilege to join forces with colleagues across the country and align the work we are doing to raise student achievement. I look forward to working with this diverse group of leaders to explore solutions to the challenges facing our students and to effect meaningful change on a national scale.”

Candice McQueen / Commissioner, Tennessee

“Learning from other leaders has been key to inform our work. I’m looking forward to continuing to collaborate with state and district members as we strive to improve student outcomes and build on what we have started through our state’s strategic plan, Tennessee Succeeds.”

Kunjan Narechania / Superintendent, Louisiana RSD

“Through my work in Louisiana and my experience in the Future Chiefs program, I’ve come to know Chiefs for Change as an organization of thought leaders who are willing to think critically about effective school design, policy structures, and governance. I’m honored to join this great group of leaders.”

Paymon Rouhanifard / Superintendent, Camden, NJ

“Open dialogue and collaboration with our communities and with colleagues is critical to our ability to help students achieve their full potential. I’m looking forward to working with district and state education chiefs from around the country who are dedicated to equity and excellence for all students.”


We now have 26 members:

Malika Anderson:  Superintendent of the Achievement School District, Tennessee
Robert Avossa:  Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools, Florida
Desmond K. Blackburn:  Superintendent of Brevard County Schools, Florida
Tom Boasberg:  Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Colorado
Steve Canavero:  Superintendent of Public Instruction, Nevada
Christopher D. Cerf:  Superintendent of Newark Public Schools, New Jersey
Tommy Chang:  Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, Massachusetts
Mitchell D. Chester:  Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Massachusetts
Veronica Conforme:  Chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority, Michigan
Lewis D. Ferebee:  Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana
Deborah A. Gist:  Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, Oklahoma
William R. Hite, Jr.:  Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Barbara Jenkins:  Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools, Florida
Hanseul Kang:  State Superintendent of Education, District of Columbia
Christina M. Kishimoto:  Superintendent of Gilbert Public Schools, Arizona
Pedro Martinez:  Superintendent of San Antonio Independent School District, Texas
Candice McQueen:  Commissioner of Education, Tennessee
Kunjan Narechania:  Superintendent of the Recovery School District, Louisiana
Paymon Rouhanifard:  Superintendent of Camden City School District, New Jersey
Robert W. Runcie:  Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Florida
Sonja Santelises:  Chief Executive Officer of Baltimore City Public Schools, Maryland
Hanna Skandera:  Secretary of Education, New Mexico
Brad Smith:  Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Utah
John White:  State Superintendent of Education, Louisiana
Antwan Wilson:  Superintendent of Oakland Unified School District, California
Carey M. Wright:  State Superintendent of Education, Mississippi


View a map of all Chiefs for Change members.