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NIET Names Dr. Joshua Barnett as CEO

Dr. Barnett's long-standing leadership at NIET has contributed to exponential growth and partnership development throughout the U.S.

May 26, 2022

Lowell Milken, chairman and founder of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), announced today that Dr. Joshua Barnett has been selected by the Board of Directors as the organization's new chief executive officer.

Dr. Barnett currently serves as NIET's president and chief operating officer, leading a talented, diverse staff of educators, researchers, and policy experts to advance the organization's mission of building educator excellence to give all students the opportunity for success.

Since joining NIET in 2013, Dr. Barnett has fulfilled leadership roles spanning research, federal and state initiatives, content development, operations, and partnership development from K-12 to higher education.

"Dr. Joshua Barnett has devoted his career to maximizing the critical role outstanding educators play in shaping students' lives," said Milken. "At NIET, Dr. Barnett has and continues to make a tremendous contribution to our work on all fronts, fueling partnerships, training and services that broaden NIET's capacity to create environments for educators and students to thrive. This new role will allow Dr. Barnett to build on NIET's collective success to widen our reach and strengthen our work across the country."

Most recently, Dr. Barnett has been instrumental in guiding NIET through expanding services for school administrators and district leaders; refining instructional rubrics for principals and aspiring teachers; creating new statewide partnerships; expanding NIET's online support; and serving as a destination of choice for accelerating learning during the pandemic and beyond. Dr. Barnett is also the principal investigator for NIET’s federal grant projects.

"I believe educators have the most important job in our nation, and I have been tremendously blessed to learn with and from so many exemplary educators throughout my career," said Dr. Barnett. "I am humbled by and excited to take on this role to continue working with NIET's extraordinary leadership team. Together, we will build upon our partnerships to advance opportunities for educators and students across the nation." 

Before joining NIET, Dr. Barnett worked as an assistant professor of education policy and evaluation at Arizona State University, a visiting scholar at Massey University in New Zealand, and a research associate in the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas.

Dr. Barnett has taught courses in research methods, school finance, education evaluation, and educational psychology; served as the principal investigator for more than 20 federal grants; served as an evaluator for the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences; and worked with local, state and national government agencies and organizations on projects aimed at improving educator effectiveness. He is also the co-author of the book, A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay: Encouraging and Rewarding Schoolwide Improvement. Dr. Barnett earned his Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Arkansas.

About NIET
Increasing student achievement through developing skilled educators for every classroom in America has been the hallmark of NIET'S work for more than two decades. NIET partners with schools, districts, states, and universities to create comprehensive systems of leadership, training and support aligned to the individual, real-time needs of educators and students. NIET’s initiatives, including TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement; teacher and leader development; school improvement; rubric and observation systems; educator preparation and character education have a collective impact on nearly 300,000 educators and three million students throughout the U.S. NIET has staff across the country, including in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Phoenix and Nashville. To learn more about NIET, please visit