Carrie W. Penner, a K-12 education advocate and chair of the board of directors of the Walton Family Foundation, has been elected to the Stanford University Board of Trustees.

Carrie W. Penner

Carrie W. Penner (Image credit: Courtesy Carrie W. Penner)

She will begin a five-year term on June 1.

Steven A. Denning, chair of the Board of Trustees, said Penner will provide an invaluable perspective as a trustee.

“Carrie brings an extensive level of experience and an extraordinary depth of involvement in philanthropic educational organizations across the United States that will benefit the board and its deliberations in immeasurable ways,” Denning said. “We are fortunate to be able to add her to our ranks and to have her as a colleague.”

Penner earned two master’s degrees at the Stanford Graduate School of Education – in administration and policy analysis, and in program evaluation – in 1997. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and history at Georgetown University in 1993.

Penner has been active in education research, evaluation, advocacy and philanthropy for more than 20 years. She is focused on improving access to high-quality schools for every child, particularly those in low-income communities. She has advised nonprofit organizations on a variety of issues, including strategic planning, organizational transitions and building relationships with funders and grantees.

At Stanford, Penner is a member of the advisory council of the Graduate School of Education (GSE). She is a former member of the advisory council of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities, which is affiliated with the GSE. She also served on the GSE’s search committee for a new dean in 2014-15.

Penner and her husband, Greg, MBA ’97, are strong supporters of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, Stanford Athletics, the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program.

Currently, Penner is a member of the boards of the KIPP Foundation, the Charter School Growth Fund, EdVoice, and The Aspen Institute.

Penner has worked as an evaluator for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which offers programs on the entrepreneurial mindset to young people in underserved communities. She has also worked as a program officer for education at the Walton Family Foundation, which is working to expand access to high-quality education options for every student, particularly those growing up in high-poverty areas in the United States.

In addition, Penner has worked as a consultant to the Willowbrook International Preschool in Tokyo, Japan, and as a research analyst for an evaluation of the Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers. She has also served in internships at The Rockefeller Foundation, the Aaron Diamond Foundation and the Academy for Educational Development.

She is a former director of the California Charter Schools Association and the Alliance for School Choice, and a former trustee of the Governor’s Academy in Massachusetts, the Phillips Brooks School and the California Academy of Sciences.