Frederick “Rick” M. Hess
Director of Education Policy Studies


  • Accountability
  • Leadership and governance
  • Politics
  • School choice
  • School reform
  • Teacher quality

Frederick M. Hess is the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. An educator, political scientist and author, he studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include “The Cage-Busting Teacher,” “Cage-Busting Leadership” and “Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age.” He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, Rick Hess Straight Up, and is a regular contributor to The Hill and to National Review Online. Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review board for the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds a master’s degree and doctorate in government, as well as a master’s in education degree in teaching and curriculum, from Harvard University.