Rae Ann Knopf

RAK headshot medium res
Deputy Director, Policy, Advocacy, and Communications, US Programs

As a member of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and fellow “impatient optimist,” Rae Ann leads a team that works to keep education leaders, community leaders and policy makers informed and engaged in pursuing the most effective strategies and systems to compel great teaching and more personalized learning environments for students. Through consistently higher standards and personalization for students, and improved preparation, feedback and development opportunities for teachers, we believe education in America holds the greatest potential to help young people grow and thrive. It’s through consistent access to high quality education, that so many children who are underserved now, will be empowered to change their stars.

Committed to ensuring all young people, regardless of personal circumstance, have the opportunities and supports to challenge themselves intellectually, creatively, and socially and pursue post-secondary aspirations of choice; Rae Ann has served in leadership roles across non-profit, private and government sectors. As State Deputy Commissioner of Education, CEO, and Head of School, her focus has always been on leveraging local, state and national partnerships to sustain the work. She brings her experience in leading personalized alternative high schools for young people caught up in the juvenile justice and mental health systems, to catalyze the most effective reforms by capturing them in teaching practice, public law, and local policy.

Forever a courageous spirit and insatiable learner; Rae Ann is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice and lives in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area with her husband.