Charles Hokanson is Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer for Helios Education Foundation. He leads the Foundation’s Policy, Research and Evaluation Center of Excellence and is instrumental in the development of a public policy agenda around Helios’ three impact areas of Early Grade Success, College and Career Readiness and Postsecondary Completion.
Mr. Hokanson is an experienced education policy professional whose career has bridged the worlds of nonprofit, think tank, foundation, and public sector policy development and executive management. Prior to joining Helios, he was President and CEO of Hokanson Consulting Group LLC where he provided strategic and public policy advice, especially in the areas of preK-12 education reform and postsecondary education, to a number of nonprofit, foundation, trade association, and government clients, including the U.S. Department of Education and the Maryland and Ohio State Departments of Education.
Mr. Hokanson previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education and as President of two leading education reform nonprofits, the Alliance for School Choice (501c3) and Advocates for School Choice (501c4). He also served as professional staff member/education counsel to now-Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he was a key staff negotiator on the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and led the Committee’s efforts to reform and re-authorize the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Earlier in his career, after serving as the President and Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Mr. Hokanson joined the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson LLP before taking on simultaneous research and management positions at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.
Mr. Hokanson graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University, earning a BA in History and American Studies and an MA in History, before earning JD and Master of Public Policy degrees at the Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Hostelling International-USA.