The Clayton Christensen Institute Appoints New Head of Education Team

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Julia Freeland Fisher takes leadership role as Michael B. Horn becomes Distinguished Fellow

Today, the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation announced that Julia Freeland Fisher will take over as director of its education program after its co-founder and current executive director, Michael Horn, steps down on Friday, October 9. Horn will continue his involvement with the Institute in a research capacity as a distinguished fellow with the Institute.

Freeland Fisher will continue to lead the Institute’s education arm with a focus on research that’s proven valuable in K–12 and higher education communities across the nation. “School as we know it is undergoing dramatic changes as technology penetrates classrooms nationwide,” said Freeland Fisher. “The Christensen Institute’s research will continue to show the field a way forward, in which we thoughtfully use technology to build a truly student-centered system.”

As a senior education research fellow for the Institute and a frequent speaker at education conferences around the country, Freeland Fisher established herself as one of the premier voices on the emergence of blended learning and competency-based education. Her research looks at how disruptive innovation is changing the education landscape, including: The Educator’s Dilemma: When and How Schools Should Embrace Poverty Relief, co-authored with Horn; Schools and Software: What’s Now and What’s Next, co-authored with Alex Hernandez; and Blending Toward Competency: Early Patterns of Blended Learning and Competency-Based Education in New Hampshire. Her most recent research revolves around emerging tools and practices that can radically expand who students know – their stock of “social capital” – by enhancing their access to and ability to navigate new peer, mentor and professional networks.

Prior to her involvement with the Christensen Institute, Freeland Fisher worked at NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy organization that supports education entrepreneurs who are transforming public education. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a JD from Yale Law School.

Horn will continue his involvement with the Institute by serving on its Board of Directors and contributing to its research agenda. His resignation as executive director will make way for consulting endeavors in new corners of the education field. “I’m proud of the conversation the Institute has galvanized around transforming our monolithic, factory-model education system into a student-centered one powered by online learning,” says Horn, “After working with Julia over the years, I know that she will continue to have tremendous impact in improving the fortunes of all students.”

The Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation ( is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving the world through disruptive innovation. Founded on the theories of Harvard professor Clayton M. Christensen, the Institute offers a unique framework for understanding many of society’s most pressing problems.


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Hayden Hill
The Clayton Christensen Institute
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