Benjamin Riley is the founder and executive director of Deans for Impact, a national nonprofit organization working to improve and transform the way future educators are prepared. Deans for Impact is comprised of members who lead a diverse set of programs, including large research institutions, regional state colleges, historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and non-traditional programs. Through its core membership and fellowship program, Deans for Impact is affiliated with more than 45 active leaders of educator-preparation programs in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
Prior to stewarding the launch of Deans for Impact, Riley served as the director of policy for NewSchools Venture Fund, a national nonprofit organization that supports education innovation. In that role, he spearheaded advocacy for the bipartisan GREAT Teachers and Principals Act, which establishes a new method for creating and supporting outcomes-focused educator- preparation programs. The GREAT Act was later incorporated into the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the federal education legislation that replaced No Child Left Behind. Before that, Riley served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of California and worked primarily on education policy-related issues, including advising Governor Jerry Brown.
Riley has served on a number of commissions related to education policy, including the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Commission that established new and higher standards for accrediting of educator-preparation programs. His commentary has appeared in major education-media outlets including National Public Radio, the BBC, American Radio Works, the Economist, Education Week, Kappan Magazine, Albert Shanker Institute, Education Next, Education Leadership, Ed Surge, and others. Riley received his B.A. from the University of Washington and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He grew up in a family of public of educators and believes passionately that public education serves as the foundation of our democracy.