NewSchools Venture Fund CEO becomes Under Secretary of Education

The U.S. Department of Education has named Ted Mitchell as Under Secretary of Education. Prior to his new appointment, Mitchell was CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, a a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm focused on public education for underserved students.


OAKLAND, Calif., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — NewSchools Venture Fund CEO, Ted Mitchell, was confirmed today as Under Secretary of Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Mitchell, who replaces Dr. Martha Kanter, has served as CEO of NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public education for those students most at risk, since 2005.
Providing seed capital and sound counsel to some of our nation’s leading education entrepreneurs, NewSchools, under Ted’s leadership, has been on the cutting edge of some of education’s most promising new practices including high quality public charter school networks, practice based professional development programs and a new generation of technology based learning tools.
“We will miss Ted at NewSchools, but we are excited to see him in a position to make an even larger impact on behalf of our nation’s students,” said Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and chair of Emerson Collective and NewSchools board member. “Ted built a remarkable organization dedicated to expanding innovation and high quality learning to thousands of classrooms throughout the country.”
Since its founding in 1998, NewSchools has raised more than $200 million from individuals and foundations to support education innovation and student success. Fifteen million students across the country have benefited from these investments and more than 100 new organizations focused on driving measureable improvements in student achievement have grown from the seed capital and support NewSchools has provided. Last year alone, NewSchools invested in 49 promising ideas with the potential to make a real difference in our classrooms.
“The groundbreaking ideas for teachers and school leaders supported by Ted and NewSchools have led to innovative changes in some of our nation’s largest urban school districts. Ted and NewSchools have always focused on working toward a future when an excellent education will be available to all children,” said Jean Desravines, CEO of New Leaders.
Mitchell has long been a leader in education reform both in K12 and higher education. Prior to taking the helm at NewSchools in 2005, he was president of Occidental College in California. Mitchell was the vice chancellor and dean of the School of Education and Information Studies at the UCLA, and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College. From 2008 through 2010, he served as president of the California State Board of Education.
“In fall of 2010, Khan Academy was just getting its legs as a real organization and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by how quickly things were moving and how high profile they were getting. Ted’s natural groundedness, warm hugs, and humor coupled with his obvious thought leadership in the education space really helped me and the team navigate the whirlwind that we found ourselves in,” said Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy. “It wasn’t long ago that Ted was someone that I only read about and hoped to collaborate with one day. Today, I consider him a close friend and adviser.”
Mitchell will bring his deep passion for improving public education for all students to the U.S Department of Education. Learn more about NewSchools Venture Fund at

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