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News Brief

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CCSSO Announces New Executive Director

Chris Minnich to lead organization starting mid-January 2013
Contact:Melissa McGrathmelissa.mcgrath@ccsso.org202-336-7034

Washington, DC - Chris Minnich has been named Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The decision follows a nationwide search by CCSSO Board of Directors to find a successor for Gene Wilhoit, after he announced his plans to retire in June.

Minnich currently serves as the senior membership director at CCSSO. He joined CCSSO in 2008 and has also served as strategic initiative director for standards, assessment and accountability where he oversaw the state development and widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards. Minnich has an extensive background in assessment and accountability work. Previously, he led the statewide, online assessment implementation for the Oregon Department of Education and also held positions at Harcourt Assessment (now Pearson) and Deloitte & Touche L.L.P.

"This is an exciting time in education. States are leading efforts across the country to strengthen the way education is delivered to ensure high achievement for all students.  I look forward to working with the state chiefs to represent them and continue the work of this great organization," said Chris Minnich, incoming CCSSO Executive Director

"Gene has left CCSSO in a very strong position. Chris has been an essential contributor to this success.   The CCSSO Board of Directors is impressed with Chris's leadership as well as his understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing state education agencies," said Mitchell Chester, Commissioner of Education for Massachusetts and incoming President of CCSSO.  Chester led the Board of Director's nationwide search.

 "Chris knows CCSSO and has a deep understanding of the work state education agencies are taking on today. I have total confidence in Chris as he steps into this role. He is going to be a terrific executive director," said Gene Wilhoit, outgoing CCSSO Executive Director.

"States are continuing to lead on aggressive reforms to ensure that all students leave school ready for postsecondary education and the workforce, and that all teachers enter the classroom ready to help students succeed," said Tom Luna, CCSSO President and Superintendent of Public Instruction for Idaho. "Chris has been a true leader supporting states in this effort, and is poised to continue to be a leader in this important time of education reform."

Wilhoit will remain on as the organization's Executive Director until mid-January 2013 to ensure a smooth transition.


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.