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Opening Plenary: Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
12th president of Purdue University and the former governor of Indiana

Sunday, February 26, 1–2:30 p.m.

He was elected Indiana’s 49th governor in 2004 in his first bid for elected office, and then re-elected in 2008 with more votes than any candidate for any public office in the state's history.  He spearheaded a host of reforms aimed at strengthening the Indiana economy, and improving the performance and fiscal condition of state government. 

At Purdue, Daniels has prioritized affordability and student success. Breaking with a 36-year trend, Purdue has held tuition unchanged from 2013 through at least the 2017-18 academic year. Simultaneously, room rates have remained steady, meal plan rates have fallen about 10%, and student borrowing has dropped 30%—giving students and their families some $55 million to invest in other dreams. He called for greater accountability and launched the Gallup-Purdue Index, a new method for measuring the value of a college degree; and he invested in a series of initiatives that are expanding Purdue’s STEM focus and facilitating the commercialization of faculty discoveries.

In recognition of his leadership as both a governor and a university president, Daniels was named among the Top 50 World Leaders by Fortune Magazine in March 2015.

Previously, Daniels served as President of Eli Lilly’s North American Pharmaceutical Operations, senior advisor to President Reagan, and Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. Daniels earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a law degree from Georgetown.

Closing Plenary Panel: Education Policy with a New Administration and Stronger State Role

Tuesday, February 28, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

The November election came at a pivotal time for education policy—just as states were gearing up to implement the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Now, big questions remain, chief among them: How will the new presidential administration put its stamp on ESSA and federal education policy? ESSA had already shifted control of K-12 education back to the states, and now the new administration promises an even smaller role for the federal government. States will really be in the driver’s seat as they work to revamp their assessment and accountability systems to better prepare students for college and career. Hear from state leaders and education experts who are trying to navigate this new normal.

Moderator: Michele McNeil - Senior Director, K-12 Policy Analysis, Advocacy & Policy - The College Board - DC


  • Victor Bugni - Formative Assessment Consultant - Michigan Department of Education - MI
  • David DeSchryver - Senior Vice President, Co-Director of Research - Whiteboard Advisors - DC