Kristan Van Hook

Chief Policy Officer

As chief policy officer at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Kristan Van Hook develops and implements strategies to build support for NIET's education initiatives, with a focus on increasing teacher and school leader effectiveness. Kristan leads NIET's work on education policy and initiatives at the federal, state and district level designed to support innovation and reform in teacher support, career development, evaluation and compensation. With 25 years of experience in public policy, Kristan previously worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, and then served as director of congressional affairs for the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Kristan founded a successful public policy firm, representing corporate and nonprofit clients in the fields of telecommunications, information and education prior to joining NIET. Kristan graduated from Dartmouth College and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

 Kristan  Van Hook

Why are you passionate about working at NIET? 

My favorite part of working with NIET is helping teachers and school leaders share their experiences and suggestions for improving education with policymakers. I also really enjoy working with educators to understand how decisions are made, and how they can have more of an impact on those decisions. The best is when educators start to see their story and their voice have an impact in ways that will improve things for their students. 

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

I loved the subject of history. So much of what has been learned in the past is relevant to our own lives.

What accomplishment are you most proud of though your work at NIET?

I am most proud of our work with practitioners to support the creation of federal and state grant programs that support innovative, locally designed projects to help classroom teachers to improve their practice. This funding provides the space for out-of-the-box thinking by educators around how to improve their support for students, which we need more of in education.