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Peter Kannam

By Elizabeth Cryan Photography with permission from Donnell-Kay Foundation at Rocky Mountain Prep school

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Peter Kannam
Senior Adviser
Policy and Thought Leadership
Strategic Advising

Background: Peter joined the Bellwether team in 2017 as a senior advisor supporting the Strategic Advising and Policy and Thought Leadership teams. Over the past twenty-five years, Peter has served on the management team of three national nonprofits, chaired a national education nonprofit board, and been appointed to two terms as a school board commissioner in Baltimore. He has launched several new initiatives and led teams, organizational strategies, policy development, and talent searches.

Most recently he has been co-founder and managing partner at America Achieves, a national education nonprofit which creates clear pathways for economic advancement and success for all in a rapidly changing economy. He will continue to serve as a part-time advisor to America Achieves. Prior to his work at America Achieves, Peter also served four years as executive director of New Leaders for New Schools Maryland, where he launched programs in Baltimore City and Prince George's County to recruit and train principals for both systems. From 2003 to early 2005, he served as the New England regional director for Catapult Learning, overseeing all aspects of the regional operations. Peter also served as the executive director of Teach For America – Baltimore, supporting Baltimore City Public Schools in recruitment, selection, and training of incoming TFA teachers.

In his public life, Peter serves as vice chair of the Baltimore City Public School System, which includes 84,000 students, 8,000 employees, and a $1.3B budget. He is also chair of the board for UnboundEd, a national education nonprofit which provides high-quality standards, resources, and trainings for educators, with a focus on underserved communities.

Prior to receiving a master's degree in Administration from the Johns Hopkins University, Peter earned a bachelor's degree in History from Bates College. Peter began his career as a teacher at Lombard Middle School in Baltimore, where he taught eighth grade Social Studies from 1993 until 1998. He lives in Baltimore, is married to an educator, and is the proud father of three sons ages 13, 16, and 18.

Why I do this work: As a first-generation American, I have seen firsthand how a strong education has provided me and my family many incredible opportunities. I want all students to have equal access to an excellent education, which will give them the opportunities to be the best person they can be, and become active contributing members of our democracy.