Dan Varner

CEO, Excellent Schools Detroit

Dan Varner is the Chief Executive Officer at Excellent Schools Detroit, a coalition of philanthropy, educators, and community-based organizations working to ensure that every Detroit student is in an excellent school by 2020. The coalition’s work impacts all Detroit students and all schools, regardless of governance. Their work focuses on the issues of new school creation, accountability, talent development, early childhood education, and building a broad and deep public demand for excellence in education.

Prior to joining Excellent Schools Detroit, Dan worked as a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on both the Michigan and Education & Learning teams. He is also the cofounder and former CEO of Think Detroit, which he led through a merger with another nonprofit organization to form Think Detroit PAL, where he also served as CEO. Think Detroit PAL is currently the largest provider of award-winning after-school sports programs in Detroit, serving over 10,000 participants annually.

Dan serves on numerous boards of directors, and is also a current member of the State Board of Education, to which he was appointed by Governor Granholm in 2010. Dan is an attorney by training, having received a JD from the University of Michigan Law School. He lives in Detroit, MI, and is the proud father of three children.