Jonathan Gyurko, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President
Dr. Gyurko is a co-founder and Senior Vice President of Leeds Global Partners and brings to the firm over fifteen years of experience as an education policymaker and practitioner. Dr. Gyurko has led or managed all of Leeds’ engagements since the firm’s inception.
Prior to Leeds, Dr. Gyurko served as a senior advisor to the President of the United Federation of Teachers (“UFT”), New York City’s teachers union. In this capacity he cultivated innovative partnerships, advised on local and national education policy, and negotiated school-based teachers contracts that have influenced collective bargaining agreements in Chicago, New Haven, Washington DC and elsewhere. During his time with the UFT he co-founded the Green Dot New York Charter School, located in the South Bronx.
Dr. Gyurko was also a senior official with the New York City Department of Education. At that time, New York City launched “Children First,” a multi-year strategic planning and implementation effort to dramatically improve New York City’s public schools. Dr. Gyurko managed research and design efforts to bring greater choice to families across New York City. Serving as Director of Charter Schools, he was responsible for the oversight and support of 32 schools educating over 8,000 students and authored, with New York University, a key study of charter school funding and finances. During his tenure, landmark steps were taken to expand the number, quality, and accountability of charter schools across the city. Through this effort, $41 million was raised to create the New York City Charter Schools Center, which remains the leading supporter and advocate of the city and state’s charter school movement.
Dr. Gyurko was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned his B.A. degree. He holds an M.P.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a Ph.D. in Politics and Education, also from Columbia. An expert in education politics and school reform, his research interests pertain to school district management, the organization of education bureaucracies, political participation and teacher voice. His latest research can be found in Between Public and Private: Politics, Governance, and the New Portfolio Models for Urban School Reform (2010), published by Harvard Education Press; his examination of “teacher voice” is available through Columbia University’s academic commons. Dr. Gyurko began his career as a teacher at Tiger Kloof School in South Africa.