Tom Vander Ark

ABOUT: Tom Vander Ark


Tom Vander Ark is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World and Smart Cities That Work for Everyone: 7 Keys to Education & Employment. He is CEO of Getting Smart, an education advocacy firm and a partner in Learn Capital, an education venture capital firm investing in edtech startups. 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 six published books and co-authored more than 35 white papers. He writes regularly on his Education Week blog, Vander Ark on Innovation, and makes daily contributions to

Tom is Treasurer for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), board chair of Charter Board Partners, and is a director of Bloomboard, Digital Learning Institute, Imagination Foundation, and Strive for College. Tom is a national advisory board member for Communities In Schools, National Association for Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), and 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.


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 Caroline at or 206-234-1600.