MENLO PARK, Calif. – TJ Bliss has joined The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as a program officer in the Education Program, the Foundation announced today.

At the Foundation, Bliss will manage the set of grants that provides funding for efforts to openly license high-quality, mostly online educational materials, that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. The Hewlett Foundation has been the leading grantmaker in this emerging field, known as Open Educational Resources, or OER.

Bliss comes to the Hewlett Foundation from the Idaho Department of Education, where he was director of assessment and accountability. In that capacity, he managed all statewide assessments and school accountability standards. He also assisted in the public school system’s efforts to identify and distribute OER textbooks, videos, modules, and other coursework to the classroom.

In Idaho, he was responsible for leading the school system’s work to implement the assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards. These assessments are a useful way to measure Deeper Learning, a set of skills that includes critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and other tools that young people will need to thrive in a rapidly changing economy.

Prior to working for the Idaho Department of Education, Bliss was an OER policy fellow at the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), where he led research of OER policy models and strategies for K-12 students.

As an OER program officer at the Hewlett Foundation, Bliss will report to Education Program Director Barbara Chow and collaborate with other program staff to strengthen strategic planning, make and supervise grants in the field, and improve the organizational capacity of grantees to deliver better results.

“TJ is going to help us continue the groundbreaking work of the Open Educational Resources field,” Chow said. “He has the experience and vision to advance this exciting approach to teaching and learning and a passion for the work.”

Bliss holds a Ph.D. in Educational Inquiry, Measurement and Evaluation from Brigham Young University and has been published widely on the subject of OER research.

“The Hewlett Foundation is a true leader in the field of Open Educational Resources,” Bliss said. “I am absolutely thrilled to join an organization that fully comprehends the range of possibilities of this exciting idea to revolutionize education throughout the world.”

He began work June 23.

About The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. A full list of all the Hewlett Foundation’s grants can be found here.

Jon Jeter
Communications Officer