Vermont State Chief to Join CCSSO as New Chief Operating Officer

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Washington, D.C. (March 17, 2023) –– The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced that Vermont Secretary of Education Dan French will join as CCSSO’s chief operating officer.

French has more than 30 years of experience in leading, managing and supervising organizational operations. His career has included roles as a state chief, district superintendent and organizational consultant that supported districts in improving their organizational performance. French began his career in the military and became a classroom teacher in 1992. He also has served as a principal and taught graduate-level courses in school leadership, financial management and using data to improve schools.

French announced today he will step down from his role as secretary on April 9. He will join CCSSO on April 10. French also served as a member of the CCSSO Board of Directors from November 2021 to March 2023.

During his time as Vermont secretary of education, French navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, working to reopen schools safely through aggressive testing and vaccination efforts across the state in partnership with health agencies. He also led the work necessary to shift the Vermont Agency of Education to remote work during the pandemic and to maintain a completely remote workforce presently, which has required the adoption of new systems and tools to support the agency’s mission.

“Dan has brought his unique combination of experience, skills and leadership to every position he has held. I’m excited to welcome him to the CCSSO team, where his strategic and systems-level thinking will be an asset in our efforts to continuously improve how we serve state members,” said CCSSO Chief Executive Officer Carissa Moffat Miller. 

As chief operating officer, French will lead CCSSO’s internal operations to ensure our internal systems and processes are streamlined to support the organization.

“CCSSO is an incredible resource for state chiefs. I look forward to joining the staff and leveraging my experience in operations, human resources and agency leadership in support of broader efforts on behalf of states,” French said.

French earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at University of Connecticut, a master’s degree in educational leadership at Plymouth State University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at University of Vermont.


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, Bureau of Indian Education, 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.

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