Hanna Skandera is currently CEO of Mile High Strategies serving as an education and employability entrepreneur, thought leader, senior advisor, and executive coach in leadership development and strategy, growing organizational impact, and transforming organizational culture. She is also Editor and Chief of The Line, Founder of Pathway 2 Tomorrow, Chief in Residence with Chiefs for Change, Superintendent in Residence with the Broad Center, and the Visiting Professor of Education Policy and Impact at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy. She has previously served as a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Hanna has over two decades of executive leadership experience in a variety of national and state-level private, public, and nonprofit organizations serving rural, suburban, and urban settings. Recently, she served as Secretary of Education for the State of New Mexico under Governor Susana Martinez. In this role, Hanna oversaw a budget of $2.7 billion and created a high-performing team of more than 300 employees, while cutting the agency operating budget by one-third. She realized record-breaking outcomes, including graduation rates reaching an all-time high—up 10 percentage points, AP course enrollment more than doubling, a one-third increase in the number of high-achieving schools, and the dramatic reduction of high school graduates’ college remediation rates—down 17 percentage points.
Previously, Hanna served as Undersecretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Deputy Commissioner for Governor Jeb Bush, and Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor for U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. Hanna was also a Research Fellow with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a Pahara-Aspen Institute fellow.
Hanna was recently appointed to the Colorado Community College Board. She also serves on the Code.org board, Great Cities, Great Schools Advisory Committee, the Uncharted Learning Board, Pepperdine School of Public Policy Advisory Committee, is Chair of the George W. Bush Center Education Advisory Board, and former Chair of Chiefs for Change, a bipartisan policy and advocacy organization she launched.
Hanna graduated cum laude with a degree in business from Sonoma State University and graduated Valedictorian from Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Public Policy.