John D. Denning from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Joins Friday Institute Advisory Board

John D. Denning, Ed.D.
John D. Denning, Ed.D.

RALEIGH, N.C. — This month, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Senior Program Officer John D. Denning, Ed.D., joined the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation’s national advisory board. This board is composed of leaders from schools, universities, businesses and the government who share a deep commitment to educational innovation. Board members meet annually to discuss the strategic directions of the Friday Institute as well as provide consultation and advice throughout the year. 

“John Denning brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the FI advisory board, which will complement areas of existing expertise on North Carolina education,” said Hiller Spires, Ph.D., Friday Institute executive director and an associate dean with the NC State College of Education.

Denning leads Gates Foundation investments that support policy development and advocacy efforts, particularly those that drive improvements in the Foundation’s U.S. Program priority areas in North Carolina: early learning, K-12 education and postsecondary education. He previously served in roles as an award-winning high school social studies teacher, a researcher with the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a chair of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Commission and North Carolina’s state director for K-12 and postsecondary alignment.

“I’m delighted to join the Friday Institute national advisory board,” Denning said. “The work of the Friday Institute and its efforts to promote evidence-based practices to improve outcomes for all students is work that I’m happy to support. I look forward to working with other thought leaders in supporting the unique public-private partnership role of the Friday Institute — and all that it can be as a valued research and policy partner in North Carolina.” 

The Friday Institute brings together researchers, practitioners and policymakers to lead the transition to next-generation education systems that will prepare students for success in the digital-age world. It conducts research, develops educational resources, provides professional development programs for educators, advocates to improve teaching and learning, and helps inform policy-making. Visit to learn more.