Dr. Chester Finn Elected Maryland State Board Vice President
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Dr. Chester Finn Elected Maryland State Board Vice President

BALTIMORE – The Maryland State Board of Education today elected education policy expert Dr. Chester Finn as its new vice president.

A distinguished scholar, educator and public servant, Dr. Finn has devoted his career to improving education in the United States. He is the Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

Finn served as Fordham’s President from 1997 to 2014, after many earlier roles in education, academe and government. From 1999 until 2002, he was John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and previously at Hudson Institute. In 1992-94, he served as founding partner and senior scholar with the Edison Project. He was Professor of Education and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University from 1981 until 2002. From 1985 to 1988, he served as Assistant Secretary for Research and Improvement & Counselor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. Earlier positions include Staff Assistant to the President of the United States; Special Assistant to the Governor of Massachusetts; Counsel to the U.S. Ambassador to India; Research Associate at the Brookings Institution; and Legislative Director for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

For more than 40 years, Finn has been in the forefront of the national debate about school reform. His participation in seminars, conferences, and hearings has taken him to colleges, education and civic groups, and government organizations throughout the world. He is the author or co-author of more than 20 books.

A native of Ohio, he holds an undergraduate degree in U.S. history, a master’s degree in social studies teaching, and a doctorate in education policy, all from Harvard University. Dr. Finn and his wife, Renu Virmani, a physician, have two grown children and three adorable granddaughters. They live in Chevy Chase.

Dr. Finn succeeds Dr. S. James Gates, a professor and theoretical physicist the University of Maryland, who resigned from the State Board in October.


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