Dr. J.D. LaRock is President and CEO of the Commonwealth Corporation, Massachusetts’ public-private corporation dedicated to workforce development, youth development, and economic development. A $55 million organization with employees across the state, Commonwealth Corporation works to advance Massachusetts’ economic leadership through signature partnerships with employers, employees, educational institutions, and community-based organizations. J.D. is also a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and Chair of the Board of Trustees at North Shore Community College.
Previously, J.D. was a member of Northeastern University’s senior leadership team, an education policymaker at the federal and state levels, and a senior manager at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. As senior education advisor to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, he helped lead the 2008 reauthorization of the federal Higher Education Act and the 2007 passage of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which provided $20 billion in financial aid to U.S. college students. As education policy director for the Governor of Massachusetts, J.D. helped author the Achievement Gap Act of 2010, a landmark K-12 education reform law, as well as Massachusetts’ successful application to President Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition, which secured $250 million for the state.
A scholar of education policy, higher education, and the future of work, J.D. is a faculty member in Northeastern’ University’s Doctor of Law and Policy program. He is the co-editor of Special Education for a New Century (Harvard Education Press, 2005) and editor of the OECD publication Education at a Glance (2012). He holds three degrees from Harvard, including a doctorate in education administration, policy, and social planning, and a law degree from Georgetown.
The Job Quality Fellowship is part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at as.pn/eofn.
Bio updated September 2017.