Walden University has collaborated with national experts to help define what educators need to know in order to effectively lead their students, fellow teachers, and schools to greater achievement. Through research and sharing their own experiences in the field, these experts have influenced the education profession and can help you make a difference as well.

James P. Comer, MD, MPH

Dr. Comer is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine's Child Study Center. He is also the founder and chairman of the Comer School Development Program, which promotes the collaboration of parents, educators, and community to improve social, emotional, and academic outcomes for children which, in turn, helps them achieve greater school success. His concept of teamwork has improved the educational environment in more than 500 schools throughout America. He has served as a consultant, committee member, advisory board member, and trustee to numerous local, national, and international organizations serving children and youth. For his work and his scholarship, Dr. Comer has been awarded 46 honorary degrees and numerous recognitions, including the Rockefeller Public Service Award, the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in American Higher Education, and the Heinz Award for Service to Humanity.

Linda Darling-Hammond, EdD

Dr. Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, where she serves as principal investigator for the School Redesign Network and is a director of the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute. She was the founding executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, which produced the widely cited 1996 blueprint for education reform, What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future. Dr. Darling-Hammond's work focuses on educational policy, teaching and teacher education, school restructuring, and educational equity. Among her more than 200 publications is The Right to Learn, which received the 1998 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association, and (as co-editor) Teaching as the Learning Profession: A Handbook of Policy and Practice, which was awarded the National Staff Development Council's Outstanding Book Award in 2000.

Richard DuFour, EdD

Dr. DuFour was a public school educator for 34 years. He was principal of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, from 1983 to 1991, and superintendent of the district from 1991 to 2002. During his tenure, Stevenson became "one of the most recognized and celebrated schools in America," according to the U.S. Department of Education. Stevenson has been repeatedly cited in the popular press as one of America's best schools and referenced in professional literature as an exemplar of best practices in education. Dr. DuFour has consulted with school districts, state departments, and professional organizations throughout North America on strategies for improving schools. He is the author/co-author of six books, including Whatever It Takes: How Professional Learning Communities Respond When Kids Don't Learn.

Joseph Murphy, PhD

Dr. Joseph Murphy is associate dean and professor of education at Vanderbilt University, Peabody College of Education. In public schools, he has served as an administrator at the school, district, and state levels and was the founding president of the Ohio Principals Leadership Academy. At the university level, he has been a faculty member at the University of Illinois and Ohio State University. He is a past vice president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and was the founding chair of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) where he directed the development of the ISLLC Standards for School Leaders and chaired the research panel that produced the revisions to those standards—ISLLC: 2008.