Keynote

Milton Chen, Ph.D.

Chenheadshot 2Dr. Milton Chen is senior fellow and executive director, emeritus at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), a non-profit operating foundation in the San Francisco Bay Area that utilizes its multimedia website, Edutopia.org, and documentary films to communicate a new vision for 21st Century education. He served as executive director of GLEF for 12 years from 1998 to 2010. Edutopia.org is known as a destination Web site for educators and others interested in educational innovation and has won numerous honors, including the 2009 Webby People’s Voice Award for best education website. Edutopia.org’s web traffic averages more than 1 million unique visitors per month.

Prior to joining GLEF, he served for 10 years as the founding director of the KQED Center for Education (PBS) in San Francisco. In the 1970s, he was a director of research at Sesame Workshop in New York, helping develop Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact. Dr. Chen has been an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and, during 2007-08, was one of 35 Fulbright New Century Scholars conducting research on access and diversity issues in schools and universities.

Dr. Chen serves as chairman of the Panasonic Foundation in New Jersey, which supports superintendent leadership and district improvement, and is a member of the board of directors for Sesame Workshop and the California Emerging Technology Fund. He is also a member of the National Park System Advisory Board, appointed by Interior Secretary Jewell to advance the agency’s work in STEM and history/multicultural education.

Dr. Chen’s career has been honored by the NHK (Japan) President’s Award in 2015, Elmo Award from Sesame Workshop, Fred Rogers Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by the Congressional Black Caucus, National Parks Conservation Association, and two science centers in the Bay Area, The Exploratorium and the Lawrence Hall of Science. His 2010 book, Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools, was named as one of the year’s 10 best education books by the American School Board Journal.

Perhaps most importantly, on his 50th birthday, Dr. Chen was named a Jedi Master by George Lucas!