Gary Hart served in the California State Legislature as an assemblymember and senator for 20 years, representing Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. In his role as chairman of the Senate Education Committee (1983 to 1994), he wrote important education legislation concerning school finance, class-size reduction, and charter schools. He also served as the secretary of education for Governor Gray Davis. In addition to his current service on the PPIC Higher Education Center Advisory Council
, he served on PPIC’s board of directors for more than ten years, including as chair. In 1995, he founded the California State University Institute for Education Reform, a policy center focusing on elementary and secondary school issues. In 2001, he established the Program in America and California Explorations (PACE), an honors program at Kennedy High School in Sacramento. He obtained his MA in teaching from Harvard University and his BA from Stanford University.