Gov. Jim Hunt Named Education Policy Leader of the Year

NASBE recognizes Hunt’s contributions to education

Governor Jim Hunt

Governor Jim Hunt

DURHAM, NC – The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) named Chairman of The Hunt Institute and former North Carolina Governor, James B. Hunt, Jr. , National Education Policy Leader of the Year for his contributions and visionary leadership to the quality of education.

“Gov. Hunt’s dedication to improving public education is renowned in North Carolina and nationwide,” said NASBE Executive Director Kristen Amundson. “As governor, education was a primary focus. With The Hunt Institute and other boards he has chaired, the governor has led national efforts to improve public education via the common core, improved and greater access to early childhood education and family support services, and improved teacher preparation and licensure. For these efforts now and across the breadth of his career, we are proud to honor James Hunt as our Policy Leader of the Year. ”

The nation’s first “education governor,” Hunt is a nationally recognized leader in education, and he has been at the forefront of state and national education reform. He served an historic four terms as governor of North Carolina, and early childhood education was a primary focus of his agenda. Among his many successes in education, his early education program, Smart Start, has been emulated by states across the nation and received the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Hunt also focused on the improvement of teaching quality, set high standards for K-12 public schools, and was a national leader in ensuring rigorous accountability for student performance. In the 1980s, Hunt and the Carnegie Corporation of New York created the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which he chaired for 10 years. In the last decade of his governorship, the schools of North Carolina increased NAEP scores more than any other state in America. His work has been recognized with numerous national awards, and in 2006, he was named one of the 10 most influential people in American education, along with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“I’m proud to receive this award from an organization that I admire so much,” said Hunt. “At the beginning of my career in state politics, I was lieutenant governor and a member of the North Carolina State Board of Education. There, I received a lot of ideas that helped me become a successful governor on education.”

The award will be presented at NASBE’s national annual conference on July 29, 2013 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Arlington, VA.

Hunt joins a distinguished list of award recipients, including Gen. Colin Powell, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, South Carolina Gov. and Education Secretary Richard Riley, New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean, former First Lady Barbara Bush, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, and Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson.

Video link: Gov Hunt Message to NASBE