Tom Vander Ark
CEO + Partner


Tom Vander Ark is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World, Smart Cities That Work for Everyone: 7 Keys to Education & Employment and Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning. He is CEO of Getting Smart, a learning design firm and a partner in Learn Capital, an education venture capital firm. Previously he served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tom served as a public school superintendent in Washington State and has extensive private sector experience including serving as a senior executive for a national public retail chain.

A prolific writer and speaker, Tom has published thousands of articles, has written and contributed to twelve published books and co-authored more than 40 white papers. He writes regularly on his Education Week blog, Vander Ark on Innovation and on

Tom is board chair of Charter Board Partners, and is a director of 4.0 Schools, Bloomboard, Digital Learning Institute, eduInnovation, and Imagination Foundation. Tom is an advisor to New Classrooms.

Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He received his M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver. He continues his education online. Tom advocates for innovations that customize and motivate learning and extend access.


Books (authored or contributed)

White Papers

For more Tom publications see our resources and all his authored blogs.

Press, interviews & mentions with Tom

Speaking Engagements

Tom is available for all types of speaking and moderating engagements such as keynotes, panel discussions, round tables and workshop sessions. From learning to leadership, we can customize a speech to fit the needs of your event and audience. Tom regularly speaks on the following:

  • • Education: leadership & policy
  • • Learning: technology, the shift to personal digital learning, blended learning, deeper learning, learning innovations
  • • Business: leadership, strategy, innovation, public-private partnerships
  • • Good Work: finding and doing mission-driven work, non-profit leadership, philanthropy, community leadership

To see more information on Tom, his speaking topics, and video examples – visit his speaker page on Collaborative Agency Group.

To book Tom for a speaking engagement please contact Allison at or 206-992-4592.

Comprehensive. Customized. Creative.

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