Executive Director of State Strategy, College Board
Dane Linn is the executive director of state policy for the College Board. In this role, he is responsible for leading the College Board’s efforts on developing a state policy agenda that assists states in helping ensure all students are college and career ready. Most recently, Dane was director of the Education Division at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) for 15 years. As such, he oversaw all education-related policy research, analysis and resource development, and led the largest staff in the NGA Center. Under Dane’s leadership, the Education Division had become a highly regarded and trusted source for best practices at both the state and federal levels.
He is nationally recognized as an expert in his field, with experience in early childhood, K-12, higher education, and workforce issues. Dane has advised federal and state policymakers across the nation, informing policy actions and shaping legislation, and has provided counsel to three presidential administrations. He has authored numerous reports on issues ranging from school finance and teacher quality to school redesign and pay for performance.
In 2004, Dane spearheaded former NGA Chair Mark Warner’s initiative, Redesigning the American High School, which focused on improving America’s high schools with a five-point state action agenda and recommendations for common state data collection of high school graduation and dropout rates. His redesign work directly impacted education policy at the federal level and informed the national agenda on high schools.
In 2008, Dane and the Education Division worked with Achieve and the Council of Chief State School Officers to promote international benchmarking to make American students more globally competitive. This project set the stage for the Common Core State Standards Initiative, a state-led effort to create high shared standards to ensure that all students graduate from high school college- and career-ready. The initiative has garnered national attention and praise, and has been well-received among states. The Common Core State Standards have been adopted by 45 states thus far, and are changing the expectations for our nation’s students.
Dane has also led an effort to increase the importance of higher education among the nation’s governors. His work on Complete to Compete, an initiative led by Governor Chris Gregoire, was an attempt to help states and the country work toward helping high school students and adults complete some form of a college credential. The work on this initiative has also created a national dialogue on how to ensure colleges and universities play a direct role in helping rebuild state economies.
Prior to his work at NGA, Dane worked at the West Virginia Department of Education, where he was responsible for ensuring the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. He had previously served as a legislative liaison to the House of Delegates, and his professional experience in education began as an elementary school teacher and principal.
A graduate of Cabrini College, Dane received a master’s degree from Marshall University Graduate College and received his Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.