Barbara Chow

Program Director, Education Program

Barbara Chow photo

Barbara Chow began her term as the Education Program director with the Hewlett Foundation in the fall of 2008, coming from the House Budget Committee where she served as policy director. From 2001-2007 she was the executive director of the National Geographic Education Foundation and vice president for education and children's programs at National Geographic.

Barbara served in both terms of the Clinton administration. From 1993 to 1997, she was a special assistant to the president for legislative affairs, acting as White House liaison to Congress on economic, budget, and appropriation matters. From 1997 to 2001, Barbara worked in the Office of Management and Budget, where she was the program associate director for education, income maintenance, and labor. Starting in 2000, she kept the OMB position and added the position of deputy director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Earlier in her career, she worked as a member of the staff of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, as staff member of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee specializing in energy and natural resource issues, and as a manager of federal budget policy at Price Waterhouse. She also served on two presidential transition teams – in 1992 for President-elect Clinton and in 2008 for President-elect Obama.

Barbara served as a member of the board of Grantmakers for Education from 2001 to 2006, the last two years as co-chair and then chairperson; as ex-officio board member of the National Environmental Education Foundation from 2004 to 2006; and as a member of the steering committee of the Geography Education National Implementation Plan from 2001 to 2006.

Raised in Fullerton, California, Barbara has a bachelor's degree in government from Pomona College and a master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Read "Foundations" – A Q&A with Barbara Chow.