Aurora Institute Appoints Virgel Hammonds as CEO

Today, the Board of Directors of leading education innovation nonprofit the Aurora Institute announced that Virgel Hammonds, a nationally recognized leader in education innovation and systems change, will serve as CEO of the organization effective January 29, 2024. Virgel joins the Aurora Institute having most recently served as Chief Learning Officer of KnowledgeWorks and Board Chair of the Aurora Institute. He comes to Aurora with over two decades of experience working alongside young people, educators, communities, districts, and policymakers as they endeavor to become more learner-centered.

“The Aurora Institute Board of Directors is thrilled to have selected Virgel Hammonds as the organization’s next president and CEO,” said Aurora Board member Jackie Statum Allen. “Virgel is an exceptional leader who has dedicated his career to improving outcomes for young people. He brings a visionary approach to creating more just and equitable systems that are personalized for all learners, combined with a collaborative leadership style that will be of tremendous value to the organization. After an extensive search in partnership with an executive search firm involving outreach to hundreds of people, the Board is excited to be welcoming such an exceptional person to shepherd Aurora into this new era.”

During the last eight years at KnowledgeWorks, Virgel forged partnerships with national policymakers and local learning communities across the country to redesign learning systems to become more learner-centered, and worked to build competency-based education tools and services to help districts implement personalized learning.

“I am ecstatic to begin my tenure in this new capacity at the Aurora Institute,” said Hammonds. “I have seen the tremendous impact that Aurora has had on the education innovation space and am excited to be granted the opportunity to lead the organization forward in its work. I am inspired by the many innovators that I see in Aurora’s network and across the country who are working to rethink how, when, and where learning can happen. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be joining the organization as CEO.”

Virgel will officially join the organization on January 29, 2024, at which point interim CEO Loretta Goodwin will return to her position as Chief Operating Officer at the organization, and Amy Anderson will be assuming the role of Board Chair of the Aurora Institute. Aurora thanks Loretta for her exemplary leadership over the past six months.

About the Aurora Institute
The Aurora Institute’s mission is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all. Aurora is shaping the future of teaching and learning through its work in policy advocacy, research, field-building, and convening. With a national and global view of education innovation, we work on systems change in K-12 education, promote best practices, examine policy barriers, and make recommendations for change to yield improved outcomes for students. Aurora envisions a world in which all people are empowered to attain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to achieve success, contribute to their communities, and advance society.