Excellent Schools Detroit names Greg Harris as its first executive director

Excellent Schools Detroit announced today that Greg Harris will be the group’s first executive director, effective Jan. 10.
Harris’ most recent position was in Public Policy at Cincinnati-based KnowledgeWorks, a national education foundation that seeds future-oriented educational practices and policy reforms. At KnowledgeWorks, he led successful policy initiatives on education, workforce development and economic development. He was the lead staff member on the Ohio “Smart Schools” initiative, which identified several areas of reform that will yield hundreds of millions of dollars in cost-savings in school budgets without compromising classroom performance.
Harris also managed former Governor Bob Taft’s Ohio Workforce Education and Training and Advisory Council that led to transformative changes to the state’s workforce development system. And he played a key role in KnowledgeWorks’ strategic communications and foundation relations efforts.

From 2000-2005, Harris served as Executive Director of Citizens for Civic Renewal, which built broad public support for smart growth policies and regional approaches for addressing Cincinnati metro challenges.  

He also served on the Cincinnati City Council and the Governor’s Workforce Policy Board. Harris earned his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and master’s and PH.D. degrees from Miami (Ohio) University.

“We selected Greg after a national search," said Excellent Schools Detroit Chair Carol Goss, President & CEO of The Skillman Foundation. "We were especially impressed by his breadth of relevant experience, his proven track record in building and managing broad-based coalitions and his passionate commitment to children’s well-being.”

Excellent Schools Detroit is a broad and diverse cross section of Detroit’s education, government, community, parent and philanthropic leaders who have developed a citywide education plan to help ensure that all Detroit children are in an excellent school by 2020. Organizations represented are: City of Detroit, Cornerstone Schools, Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Detroit Parent Network, Detroit Public Schools, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the McGregor Fund, Michigan Future, Inc., New Detroit, New Urban Learning, the Skillman Foundation, Think Detroit PAL, and United Way for Southeastern Michigan.