Tom Vander Ark
Venture Partner, Education
Tom Vander Ark is a Venture Partner in the Education Practice of RIDGE-LANE LP.
Mr. Vander Ark was the co-founder and Managing Partner of Learn Capital, OpenEd Solutions, and Getting Smart. He also served as the President at XPRIZE Foundation. Previously, he was the Executive Director of Education for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he developed and implemented more than $3.5 billion in scholarship and grant programs to improve education throughout the United States.
Prior to his role with the Gates Foundation, he served as Superintendent of one of Washington State's larger school districts which has been recognized for narrowing achievement gaps and reducing administrative costs.
He published more than 100 articles and given thousands of presentations on the subject of education. Mr. Vander Ark is the author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the World, as well as Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning.
Mr. Vander Ark received the Distinguished Achievement Medal. Mr. Ark holds an M.B.A. in Energy Finance from the University of Denver and a B.S. in Mineral Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Tom serves as a board Director of AdvancePath Academics, the International Association of K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), Charter Board Partners, Digital Learning Institute, eduInnovation and Imagination Foundation.