CHRISTOPHER LIANG VERGARA
Chief Learning Officer
Thriving at the cutting edge of education and learning, Chris Liang-Vergara is currently the Chief Learning Officer for the Advanced Education Research & Development Fund (AERDF), a nonprofit dedicated to addressing intractable challenges in education. He is also the Founder of World Class Education, a learning design shop. He focuses on justice-focused, inclusive research and development approaches that create new inventions, models, and knowledge. Liang-Vergara was named as one of the Top 40 Innovators in Educations in 2013 by the Center for Digital Education and is the former founding Chief of Learning Innovation at LEAP Innovations, a nonprofit in Chicago that supports pilot studies of personalized learning models and provides training space to connect educators, entrepreneurs, tech companies, learning scientists, and students to develop next-generation models, share ideas, and co-develop solutions. During his tenure at LEAP, the organization worked with over 125 schools across Chicagoland to develop whole child, student agency focused school models and practices that produced statistically significant results compared to control groups. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Chris co-led the transition to blended learning for FirstLine Schools in New Orleans. Every FirstLine school he helped transform experienced record academic growth. Chris has taught at all grade levels, set growth records at many of his former institutions, and has experience internationally in public, private, and charter school institutions. He holds BAs in Biology and Secondary Education from Washington University in St. Louis and an Ed.M. in Curriculum, Technology, and Education Reform from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a happy father and husband.