Dr. Wagner has served as co-director of the Change Leadership Group (CLG) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education since its inception in 2000. An initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CLG is a knowledge-development and capacity-building organization focused on helping teens become effective change leaders in school and district improvement. He was also on the faculty of the Executive Leadership Program for Educators, a joint initiative of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, Business School, and Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Wagner consults widely to public and independent schools, districts, and foundations around the country and internationally, and served as Senior Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for eight years. Dr. Wagner’s publications include numerous articles and four books: The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don’t Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need, And What We Can do About It; Change Leadership: A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools; Making the Grade: Reinventing America’s Schools; and How Schools Change: Lessons from Three Communities Revisited. Dr. Wagner’s latest book is Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World.
Having worked for more than 35 years in the field of school improvement, Dr. Wagner is a frequent keynote speaker and widely published author on education and society. Prior to assuming his current position at Harvard, he was a high school teacher for 12 years, a school principal, a university professor in teacher education, co-founder and first executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility, project director for the Public Agenda Foundation in New York, and President and CEO of the Institute for Responsive Education.
He earned a Ph.D. in education at Harvard University.