Norman Atkins

Member of the Board

Norman Atkins is the Managing Partner of an education innovation studio, supporting and incubating mission-driven teaching and learning organizations.  He is the founder, former CEO and current board chair of Uncommon Schools; the co-founder, past president, and current board chair of Relay GSE; the; the co-Founder and board chair of Zearn; and the board chair of Merit America. In 1997, Atkins co-founded and co-led North Star Academy of Newark, one of New Jersey’s first and most celebrated charter schools. From 1989 to 1994, he was the Co-Executive Director of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. He was honored with the Heinz Award for improving the Human Condition and has been inducted into the Charter School Hall of Fame. Atkins began his career as a journalist, writing about education, poverty, politics, culture, and social issues.  His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. He earned an M.A. in Educational Administration from Columbia University Teachers College and an A.B. in History from Brown University, where he also recently received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.


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