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Ryan Wise, Ed.L.D.

School of Education Dean

Dr. Ryan Wise began serving as dean of the Drake University School of Education in April 2020.

Prior to his time at Drake, he was director of the Iowa Department of Education from July 2015 through March 2020. As director, Wise led with an emphasis on working together as an education system to make Iowa’s schools into places where adults can collaborate and students can thrive. He made it a priority to stay connected to Iowa schools, and visited 240 school districts statewide.

Dr. Wise was named Policy Leader of the Year by the National Association of State Boards of Education in 2017 and has worked in education at the local, state, national and international levels.

He began his career as a high school history teacher in Mississippi and Nebraska before moving to his home state of South Dakota to launch and lead Teach for America on the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations.  He also worked to eliminate educational inequity around the world as one of the founding staff members of Teach for All, a global network of education entrepreneurs.

Dean Wise earned a doctorate in education leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a bachelor’s degree and teacher certification in history and social studies from Creighton University.

He lives in Des Moines with his wife, Sacha, and their two sons, Weston and Graham.

Contact Information

Phone: 515-271-3829
Address: 2507 University Ave. Des Moines, IA 50311


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