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Dan Cardinali has led Communities In Schools since 2004. Under his leadership, the organization has developed and embraced an evidence-based model of integrated student service provision and has launched a national growth strategy to increase the organization’s impact on improving public education. Cardinali’s background as a community organizer has helped the organization continue its steady and measured growth, establish its voice in national education policy debates, and launch an organization-wide quality improvement campaign.

Cardinali is a 2007 Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow. He also currently serves as a trustee for America’s Promise, and as chairman of the board of directors of Peace First. Cardinali is a board member of The Harwood Institute of Public Innovation and Child Trends. In May 2011 Dan Cardinali was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Trained as a community organizer in Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinali served on a team organizing a “squatter” community of 120,000 to secure land rights, running water and public education.  He returned to Washington, D.C., to receive a one-year research fellowship at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. At Partners of the Americas, Cardinali coordinated its leadership training program, the International Fellowship in Community Development.

Before assuming his current position, Cardinali served as executive vice president of Field Operations at Communities In Schools.


Cardinali holds a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University.

Learn more about Dan Cardinali in this extensive Q&A from Bridgestar.

Follow Dan Cardinali on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@DanCardinali