Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints Dr. Glen Thomas Secretary of Education


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the appointment of Dr. Glen Thomas as Secretary of Education. A strong promoter of early education learning opportunities, Dr. Thomas has over 30 years of experience as a teacher and leader at local, county and state levels.

Making the announcement, Governor Schwarzenegger said, “Glen is the right person to make sure California continues to uphold high academic standards during this challenging fiscal time. He shares my dedication to quality education for every student, and I am confident that he will work collaboratively with the educational community to improve student achievement and expand educational opportunities in our state while also working towards stronger accountability and greater transparency in our educational system.”


“I am honored Governor Schwarzenegger has selected me to work with him in this new capacity. I am excited to build on existing policies that will strengthen our schools, promote student achievement for every student, create conditions for innovation, promote civic engagement and work through the fiscal challenges we are all facing. I look forward to working with the Governor, the legislature and the educational community to ensure the best possible education for our young people. They are the future of this state.” – Dr. Glen Thomas.

Dr. Thomas earned a Doctorate degree in educational leadership with an emphasis in instructional policy and school administration from the University of Southern California, a Master of Arts degree in child and family studies from Washington State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Biola University.

As well as being an educator, Dr. Thomas has served as a consultant to several philanthropic foundations and educational organizations.

Four organizations Dr. Thomas worked with:

  • Khosla Foundation
  • Hewlett Foundation
  • California State Parent Teachers Association
  • Association of California School Administrators
  • From 1995 to 1996, Dr. Thomas was assistant superintendent and director of the elementary teaching and learning division for the California Department of Education. From 1998 to 2006, he was executive director of the California County Superintendents Education Services Association, the statewide network of California’s 58 county superintendents of schools. In 2006, he was director for Preschool for All Planning Support.

    Dr. Thomas was also director for the Reinvigorating Arts Education in California Project from 2005 to 2006 and the Statewide Administrator Training Program from 2003 to 2006.

    Dr. Thomas also served the state in many other roles during his work:

  • co-director for the U.S. Department of Education Grant Preparing Tomorrow’s Teacher to Use Technology
  • director for education technology Office for the California Department of Education
  • executive director for the Council on Technology in Learning
  • deputy executive director for the Commission of the Establishment of Academic Content and Performance Standards
  • executive secretary for the California State Curriculum Commission
  • director for the curriculum frameworks and instructional resources office for the California Department of Education
  • Explaining Dr. Thomas’ background, the Governor said, “Glen started his teaching career in Modesto in 1970 in working with the children of farm laborers in migrant education. He later worked for the Modesto City School District as a teacher from 1971 to 1974 and was an instructor for the Association of California School Administrators from 1987 to 2004. Glen served as an adjunct professor for National University from 1996 to 1999, the California State University, Sacramento Graduate School from 1997 to 2005 and Pepperdine University Doctoral Program from 1999 to 2001. Furthering his commitment to education, he has worked at the University of Southern California, Sacramento Center where he has served as an adjunct professor since 2005 and previously served as a clinical professor from 1999 to 2003.”

    Dr. Thomas is also a member of the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Education Board of Advisors. He was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Academic Standards Commission and served on the High School Exit Exam Committee.