Dr. Gary Stark
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Gary Stark serves as chief executive officer of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET). In this role, he leads a diverse team of educators, researchers, and policy experts focused on advancing educator effectiveness.
NIET is a national nonprofit that oversees one of the nation's largest multi-year, multi-state efforts to improve educator effectiveness. In addition, NIET works with state education agencies, universities and school districts across America to develop and implement educator evaluation systems, trainings and technologies.
With an eye on the strategic use of technology to strengthen educator evaluation, Stark spearheaded the development for NIET's Web-based training portals that have become essential tools for educators and leaders involved in both the organization’s signature initiatives: the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement and the Educator Effectiveness Best Practices Center.
Known for forging strong, collaborative partnerships, Stark's efforts have led to multiple federal Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) and Supporting Educator Effectiveness Development (SEED) grants.
Prior to his leadership at NIET, Stark held various senior management roles with NIET and the Milken Family Foundation. Initially appointed as a TAP state executive director in 2001, he played an integral role in developing the initial TAP pilot sites around the country. As the Milken Family Foundation’s vice president of program development, he led implementation for new schools and states participating in the early Teacher Advancement Program initiative, including technical assistance on performance-based compensation and teacher evaluation as well as the funding and budget restructuring associated with comprehensive reform.
Throughout his career, Stark has met with thousands of teachers, principals and school administrators, and has provided expert testimony before school boards, legislative committees and members of Congress. He has served on review committees and monitoring teams for the U.S. Department of Education and state education agencies, and held positions as an executive director, assistant professor and special assistant to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education.
Stark's passion for improving education on a national scale stemmed from his own experience as an educator in his home state of Arkansas. He served as a classroom teacher and assistant principal, and received the national Milken Educator Award as a principal. He holds a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Arkansas.