As CEO of the New York City Charter School Center, James Merriman is one of the nation’s foremost experts on charter school law, authorizing, and policy. James is a leading voice and advocate for high-quality charter schools and frequently speaks and writes about the actions that need to be taken to strengthen and expand charter schools within the New York City public school system. His op-eds, commentary and guest blogs have been featured in outlets such as The New York Times, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, and Eduwonk, and he is a frequent guest on major TV and radio outlets on public education reform and policy.
Before joining the Charter Center in 2007, James worked at the Walton Family Foundation, where he helped develop and implement the foundation’s grant making in the charter school sector. Previously, he served as executive director for the Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York (SUNY-CSI), one of two state-wide authorizers of charter schools. In this role, he helped create and design systems for authorization and oversight that promote the growth of a high-quality charter school sector, called a national model by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
James has also served on the board of the National Charter Schools Institute and was recently named a Pahara-Aspen Educational Fellow.