Education: AIMEE ROGSTAD GUIDERA
SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, RICHMOND
With a background in K-12 education strategy, Guidera was the first person appointed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin to his Cabinet, announced a month after the Republican was elected governor.
Before becoming state education secretary, she ran an education consultancy, Guidera Strategy, and also founded the Data Quality Campaign, a nonprofit that compiles national education-related data. In 2012, she was named one of Time magazine’s top 12 education activists, which noted her efforts in prodding states to provide more data to inform decisions regarding schools.
Guidera is a proponent of charter schools, privately run institutions that receive public funding; one of Youngkin’s major educational goals is to add more charter schools. So far, the state legislature has not agreed to that, but in a budget compromise, $100 million will be used to set up K-12 “lab schools,” public, nonsectarian schools housed in colleges and universities, an idea that Guidera supports.
The Maryland native formerly served as director of the Washington, D.C., office of the National Center for Education Achievement. Guidera, who has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School, previously lived in Fairfax County and Minnesota before her appointment to Youngkin’s Cabinet.