Title and Organization:
Jean-Claude is Senior Advisor and Deputy Director in US Programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In his role as Senior Advisor he leads the US Program’s P-16 Community Investment Team in their effort to more deeply understand a student’s journey from preschool through completion of a post-secondary credential. As Deputy Director for the Washington State Strategy within the Pacific Northwest team, he leads several strategies to support partners to close the racial and economic opportunity gaps in Washington State’s educational system as well as support the growth and sustainability of the public charter schools sector in Washington state.
Prior, he was a Senior Fellow – Strategy, Planning and Management at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he is focused on supporting the execution of a local proof point to close the achievement and opportunity gaps in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States as well as advising the K-12 team on their new strategy. He was a Partner at FourPoint Education Group (formerly Cross & Joftus, LLC) where he was focused on two practice areas – a unique collaborative structure that supported the work of many state departments of education and public school districts as they sought to turnaround chronically failing school systems as well as a practice area focused on education to career.
Jean-Claude is the former Chief Executive of Chicago Public Schools, and prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester, NY School District. Under Jean-Claude’s leadership, both the Chicago Public Schools and the Rochester City School District saw substantial improvements in student performance. Jean-Claude’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the NYC Department of Education. There, he was a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 schools in the Borough of Brooklyn, and he also served as the system’s Executive Director for secondary schools.
Jean-Claude is a Fellow of the Broad Center, a Fellow of the third class of the Pahara-Aspen Institute Education Fellowship, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. A commercial pilot and a native of Haiti, Jean-Claude credits his parents—both of whom were educators—with inspiring him to pursue a career in education. He is married to Dr. K. Brooke Stafford-Brizard and is the proud father of four beautiful children.