The Honorable James B. Hunt, Jr.
Former Gov. Jim Hunt (1977-1985, 1993-2001) served four historic terms as governor of North Carolina. Under his leadership, North Carolina public schools improved test scores more than any other state in the 1990s according to the Rand Corporation. In 1999, Hunt called for the state to be first in America by 2010. To further this mission, he chairs the board of The Hunt Institute. An affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, The Institute was established in 2001 to work with current and emerging political, business, and education leaders on a national level to improve public education.
Hunt focused on early childhood development and the improvement of quality of teaching. His Smart Start program received the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1985, he co-chaired the “Committee of 50,” which led to the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy and eventually to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He has also provided education leadership as chairman of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, chaired the National Education Goals Panel, served as board vice chair of Achieve, Inc., and chairman of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.