Leading a state or large urban school system is one of the most important and complex jobs in America. Yet there’s little practical preparation for the role today – and as a consequence, too many leaders are forced to learn on the job, at real cost to the thousands or even millions of students and families they serve. Chiefs for Change is working to fix that, by identifying some of the most promising future leaders, integrating them into a community of practice with current Chiefs, and helping them have real-world experiences that will make them savvy, strong leaders from the start.

Over the course of a 12-month program, Future Chiefs cohort members benefit from learning experiences that include individual coaching, shadowing, and participation in virtual and in-person peer-to-peer sessions. This allows these emerging leaders to develop the skills and networks they will need to build on their existing success and
prepare them for the challenge of their roles ahead.


Future Chiefs Programming

Meet Cohort 1

Meet Cohort 2

Meet Cohort 3

Nominate a Future Chief

Future Chiefs in the News



"Cultivating the next generation of state and local education leaders is critical to ensuring that all students have the opportunities they deserve. Chiefs for Change’s new program, Future Chiefs, will help better prepare a diverse group to step up and lead schools, districts, and states so that we continue to improve both equity and excellence for students."   
John B. King, Jr. U.S. Secretary of Education
"It’s inspiring to see these up-and-coming education leaders taking the next step in their development. Their intelligence, drive, and ability tell me that our public school systems will be in good hands for years to come. I congratulate them and thank Chiefs for Change for developing this mentorship program."   
Arne Duncan Former U.S. Secretary of Education
"As CEO of the first Latino-founded and led national organization solely dedicated to building a pipeline of Latino education leaders and advocates, I know how important it is to identify and nurture talent. Chiefs for Change is doing it right with Future Chiefs and this impressive inaugural class. I cannot wait for the talent pipeline to be bursting with education leaders ready to take our systems to new and great places."  
Amanda Fernandez CEO, Latinos for Education
"In today’s education landscape, leadership at the state and local levels is a significant factor in helping all of our kids reach their full potential, and building a pipeline of skilled and qualified future education Chiefs is more important now than ever before. These Future Chiefs have a great opportunity to continue to develop, grow, and help build a brighter future for school children across America."  
Hanna Skandera Secretary of Education, New Mexico
"School leaders face a multitude of challenges. This program aims to prepare future education leaders to face those challenges, and equip aspiring Chiefs with the skills to be successful for kids. The Council of Chief State School Officers works with state Chiefs to ensure all students receive a high-quality education. It’s my hope that a strong bench of aspiring Chiefs ready to step into important educational leadership roles will only further the pursuit of student success.  
Chris Minnich Executive Director, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
"America’s students and teachers deserve the best, and excellent leaders, like Talia Shaull from Tulsa Public Schools, need opportunities to expand their knowledge and experience. By supporting the growth of Future Chiefs, we can increase the pool of diverse, mission-driven and exceptionally talented system leaders. I am excited to play a role in mentoring these Future Chiefs and launching such an important effort for the country."  
Deborah A. Gist Superintendent, Tulsa Public Schools