Paolo DeMaria is Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction, where he works to support the state’s nearly 3,600 schools and 1.8 million students.

Much of his career has focused on school finance and promoting higher student achievement, college readiness and completion, and school choice for families. He has a 25-year record of public service for the state of Ohio, having formerly served as a staff member in the Ohio Senate, as assistant director and director of the Office of Budget and Management, and as chief policy advisor to former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft.

Later, as associate superintendent for the Ohio Department of Education’s Center for School Options and Finance, he supervised the annual distribution of more than $7 billion to K-12 districts and developed policies and legislative recommendations on school finance and educational choices for families. After that, he served as executive vice chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, leading initiatives to improve college completion, increase credential attainment, make textbooks more affordable, and increase college readiness.

In addition, DeMaria served for six years as principal consultant for Education First Consulting, where he guided policy, implementation, and strategy projects for K-12 and higher education clients in several states.

DeMaria earned his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Furman University of Greenville, S.C., and a master’s of public administration from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs. He has co-authored several publications, including K-12/Higher Education Alignment: An Action Agenda for Increasing Student Success. His honors include The Ohio State University Alumni Association’s Distinguished State Government Service Award and being named as one of 20 [People] to Know in Education by Columbus Business First Magazine.