Warren Simmons ’73

2003 Distinguished Citizen Award

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Warren Simmons is a scholar, policymaker, researcher and practitioner, all in the interest of better schools. As executive director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, he directs a national not-for-profit organization established to promote and advocate for the serious redesign of American schools.

Simmons earned his Ph.D. in psychology at Cornell University. For a decade he developed strategies to aid disadvantaged youth and adults in developing thinking, literacy and writing skills. As director of the Equity Assurance Program for the Prince George’s County, Maryland schools, he implemented district-wide initiatives aimed at improving the achievement of disadvantaged students.

In his three years with the National Center on Education and the Economy in Washington, D.C., Simmons took a national perspective, working with a coalition of 17 states and six school districts to build a performance-based examination system. As director of the nonprofit Philadelphia Education Fund, he brought the school district, local business, higher education and national organizations together to implement school reform.

Upon naming him to head the Annenberg Institute, Brown University President E. Gordon Gee said: "Time and again, Warren Simmons has skillfully led teachers, administrators, parents and others through the challenging terrain of education reform. He brings to this University and the Annenberg Institute a concern for equity and a talent for implementing new initiatives by building consensus among a variety of constituencies. We are fortunate."

Simmons, who consults to schools across the country, has published numerous articles. He has served as a Macalester trustee and as a board member of the Public Education Network, Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, National Center on Education and the Economy, and others.