Dr. John D. Denning

Dr. John D. Denning has worked in a variety of roles supporting intersections of education policy, philanthropy, teacher development, postsecondary attainment and economic development. John currently serves as Senior Advisor to the John M. Belk Endowment and Principal of New Educational Ventures (NEV), an education and public policy group committed to strengthening positive changes in teaching, learning and economic and workforce development. In addition to roles as a Senior Advisor to the Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership, John and NEV have partnered with organizations such as the Education Commission of the States and the Communities Foundation of Texas.

John previously served as a Senior Program Officer for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In that role he led the Foundation’s investments in policy development, advocacy and communications in North Carolina, Colorado, Kentucky and across the 16-state compact region supported by the Southern Regional Education Board. Committed to driving impact in transitions from high school to college and overall improved outcomes for both students and the teaching profession, John also served as North Carolina’s State Director for K-12 and Postsecondary Alignment and the NC Ready for Success initiative. In that capacity and through a joint appointment across the University of North Carolina, the NC Community College System and the NC Department of Public Instruction, John directed communication and policy alignment efforts across all sectors of K-12 and postsecondary education.

After attending Elon University as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow, John served with distinction as an American history and government teacher. Since earning an MA in Public Policy from Exeter University in England and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from UNC-Chapel Hill, John has worked in other organizations such as the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, All Kinds of Minds, the NC New Schools Project and the NC Teaching Fellows Commission.

John also currently serves as a member of various boards and organizations seeking to improve outcomes for students, teachers, families and communities. Some of these include the Elon University School of Education Advisory Board, the National Advisory Board of the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, the Advisory Board of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, and the My Future NC Advisory Board of Commissioners.