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RISE is a bipartisan convening that will examine the health of the American education system after a school year that has rocked the foundation of our educational institutions and challenged formerly accepted notions about how schools need to run. Each year, RISE brings together hundreds of leaders and key stakeholders in education — including members of Congress, higher education administrators, and leaders from the Department of Education and industry — to examine the challenges and fortify the strengths of the U.S. education system.

The fourth annual Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) will be held virtually on July 22, 2021. The theme of RISE 2021, Disrupted: From Crisis to Innovation, will reflect America’s recovery from the convergence of a national and global crisis that has challenged every student, teacher, and parent in America. With history as our guide, the Reagan Institute believes that out of great disruption can arise great innovation. With world class thought leaders, RISE will lift voices and exemplary models that can guide us towards the most innovative policy solutions.  

While the RISE initiative acknowledges stark political differences in today’s landscape, we believe an American coalition exists with a common goal of building and maintaining a world-class education system that prepares children to become engaged citizens and ensures American competitiveness in the 22nd Century. 


press registration

2021 Confirmed rise speakers

MOriah Balingit

Reporter, Washington Post

Larry Berger

CEO, Amplify

Dr. Matthew Blomstedt

Commissioner of Education, Nebraska 

Jean-Claude Brizard

President and CEO, Digital Promise

The honorable phil bryant

Former Governor, Mississippi

Erin Carlson Mast

President and CEO, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Foundation

The honorable Jim Clyburn

U.S. Congressman & House Majority Whip, South Carolina

Celine coggins

Executive Director, Grantmakers for Education

The honorable Jacqueline coleman

Lieutenant Governor, Kentucky

Mal coles

Acting CEO, Americorps

Marcia cox mitchell

Director of Early Learning, Bainum Family Foundation

Romy Drucker

Interim K-12 Education Program Director, Walton Family Foundation

The honorable Doug Ducey

Governor, Arizona

The honorable Arne Duncan

Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Superintendent jhone ebert

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Nevada

Ella ENdorf

Student Leader, The Reagan Institute's Leadership and the American Presidency Program

Denise FOrte

Interim CEO, The Education Trust

Ellen galinsky

Cheif Science Officer, Bezos Family Foundation

Dr. Shannon Gilkey

Commissioner of Higher Ed-Rhode Island

The honorable Glenn Grothman

U.S. Congressman, Wisconsin

The honorable Bethany Hall Long

Lieutenant Governor, Delaware 

The honorable bill haslam

Former Governor, Tennessee 

Anne hedgepath

Senior Director of Federal and State Government Affairs, Child Care Aware of America

The honorable larry hogan

Governor, Maryland

The Honorable asa hutchinson

Governor, Arkansas

Mr. mike katz

Executive Vice President, T-Mobile

The Honorable Bill lee

Governor, Tennessee

Candice mcqueen

CEO, National Institute for Excellence in Teaching


Dr. pedro noguera

Dean, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

The honorable glenn nye

Former U.S. Congressman, Virginia & President & CEO, The Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress

The honorable rod paige

Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Megan Phelps-Roper

Author and Political Activist

The Honorable JAred Polis

Governor, Colorado

Dr. Kim hunter reed

Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education

The honorable frederick j. ryan

Chairman of the Board, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute 

Stefanie sanford

Chief of Global Policy & External Relations, College Board

DR. sonja santelises

CEO, Baltimore City Public Schools

Dr. CArlos Santiago

Commissioner of Higher Education, Massachusetts

Mr. Jon Schnur

Chairman and CEO, America Achieves

Dr. Penny Schwinn

Commissioner of Education, Tennessee 

Rachel schumacher

Former Director, The Federal Office of Child Care

The honorable mikie sherrill

U.S. Congresswoman, New Jersey

Dr. Javaid Siddiqi

President and CEO, The Hunt Institute

The Honorable victoria spartz

U.S. Congresswoman, Indiana

Superintendent Molly Spearman

Superintendent of Education, South Carolina 

Dr. Constance Steinkuehler

Professor of Informatics, University of California-Irvine

Ben sutton Jr.

Trustee, The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute

Dr. ruth watkins

President, Strada Impact, Strada Education Network

Juan Williams

Reporter, Fox News

The honorable david willis 

Congressman, North Carolina House of Representatives

Judy Woodruff

Reporter, PBS News Hour

Dan Wuori

Senior Director of Early Learning, The Hunt Institute

Roger Zakheim

Director, Ronald Reagan Institute

Highlights from Past rise Gatherings