Deputy Director, Charters
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Chris Gibbons leads the foundation’s national charter school strategy, which has a particular focus on charter school students with disabilities in Washington State. Chris was the founder and CEO for 16 years of STRIVE Prep, a network of public charter schools in Denver, Colorado, that prepares low-income students for college success. STRIVE Prep, which runs 10 schools and serves 3,200 students, has closed longstanding achievement gaps. A STRIVE Prep school ranked first in academic growth among all public middle schools in Denver for seven consecutive years. Named the 2013 Top Thinker in Education by The Denver Post and a Game Changer by 5280 magazine, Chris is an alumnus of the Broad Superintendents Academy and a recipient of the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship and the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. He served as co-chair of the Denver Public Schools Collaborative Council, directed Denver Summerbridge (now part of Breakthrough Collaborative), and was a charter school teacher. He is fluent in Spanish. Chris has a B.S. in biology from Yale University and a M.Ed. from Regis University. He is happily married to Audra Philippon, also a charter school founder, and they are proudly raising two daughters.