Joel Klein's Headshot

Joel Klein

Chancellor of New York City Schools - Panelist Blurb

As chancellor of the New York City public school system, renowned educational innovator Joel Klein oversees more than 1,600 schools with 1.1 million students, 136,000 employees, and a $21-billion operating budget. Mr. Klein's comprehensive education reform program, Children First, is transforming the nation's largest public school system into a system of great schools. Achievement is up, students and families have more and better choices, schools are safer, and principals are more empowered.

Klein became New York City schools chancellor in July 2002 after serving in the highest levels of government and business. When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg appointed Mr. Klein, a graduate of New York City public schools, as the first chancellor of the newly-reorganized Department of Education, he called the new chancellor, "a true leader who never shies away from the tough and sometimes controversial decisions that are necessary to implement change."

Previously, Klein has served as assistant attorney general in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division and as the chairman and chief executive officer of Bertelsmann, Inc. He has participated in Big Brothers, served as chairman of the board of Green Door, a pioneering community-based treatment program for mentally ill residents of the District of Columbia, and as treasurer of the World Federation for Mental Health. In 1991, he was a member of a U.S. Department of State delegation to examine issues of psychiatric abuse in the Soviet Union.

He has also served on the board of several non-profit organizations, including the National Symphony Orchestra Association.

NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in The Forum program on November 11, 2010.