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Education leader Alan Arkatov joins ASU California Center

Arkatov is joined by higher ed professional Claudia Ramirez Wiedeman


Two people walking outside ASU building in downtown Los Angeles
March 31, 2023

Arizona State University today announced the appointment of Alan Arkatov, distinguished education, public policy and communications leader, to serve in a variety of new roles.

Arkatov joins ASU from the University of Southern California, where he served as founding director of Center EDGE (Engagement-Driven Global Education) and the Katzman/Ernst Chair for Educational Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation at USC's Rossier School of Education — an appointment with an interdisciplinary emphasis, leveraging the work at USC’s schools of communications, cinematic arts, medicine, public policy and business. 

He will transfer Center EDGE operations to ASU and take on multiple new roles, including senior advisor to ASU President Michael Crow; launching a new ASU Institute for Educational Transformation, for which he will serve as executive director; and co-chairing and directing a new California Education Council to be made up of a cross section of innovation leaders.

Portrait of

Alan Arkatov

Arkatov will also serve as professor of practice in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and at the College of Global Futures. Concurrent with his new roles at ASU, Arkatov will be receiving an appointment as a senior fellow at the USC Rossier School of Education, and also at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.

He will join ASU on April 3 and will be based at the ASU California Center in downtown Los Angeles. 

“Alan brings a tremendous amount of knowledge, talent, energy and vision to ASU,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “He’s well poised to tap into, leverage and connect the resources within ASU to help advance major educational issues in California and beyond.”

Arkatov’s goal is to position the new institute as the leading facilitator of accelerated, equity-focused educational innovation and transformation with an emphasis on California; lead public discourse on advancing educational attainment for all students; launch innovation clusters; and speed up and scale sustainable changes through cross-sector collaborations.

“No university has done more to innovate and improve education over the past decade than ASU, and I’m thrilled to be joining President Crow and the Sun Devil family in meeting the unprecedented challenges facing education,” Arkatov said.

“The pandemic has exposed, reinforced and exacerbated the massive structural, pedagogical and social defects throughout the education ecosystem. We’re at a historic societal inflection point that calls for our new institute to be a creative and interdisciplinary catalyst that can rapidly tie together and scale crucial and disparate elements via public policy, research, teaching, practice and communications.”

Main efforts of the new institute will include tapping into California's imagination economy, with unique vehicles like Dreamscape Learn that have the capability to bring about the kind of dramatic and high-quality teaching enhancements that learners will increasingly require and demand. 

Arkatov was previously the president of Changing.edu, CEO of the Teaching Channel, part of the founding team and executive vice president for 2U, and the founder and chairman of OnlineLearning.net. He has guided some of the preeminent communications companies in the U.S. and, as a political media consultant, helped produce the ads for over a dozen successful mayoral, gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and presidential campaigns. In addition to serving on California's State Board of Education, Arkatov was the chair of California's Post-Secondary Education Commission, a U.S. secretary of education appointee to the Congressional Web-Based Education Commission, president of the Los Angeles Commission for Children and Families, and chair of the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency. He currently serves on the boards of the Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking, Roadtrip Nation and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Arkatov was a concert violinist and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

Portrait of

Claudia Ramirez Wiedeman

Arkatov will be joined in these efforts at ASU by Claudia Ramirez Wiedeman, who will continue as the director of Center EDGE and will be taking on added responsibilities as deputy director for the institute.

Wiedeman has more than 25 years of experience in teaching, research and higher education administration. She earned her PhD from the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. Before serving in her current role at Center EDGE, Wiedeman was most recently the director of research and evaluation at the USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education. Wiedeman also previously held a tenured professorship at Whittier College, where she taught in the teacher education and master’s programs and served as associate director of its lab school, the Broadoaks School.

Wiedeman will also be based at the ASU California Center and begin her new role on April 3.

Top photo: The ASU California Center building in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Deanna Dent/Arizona State University

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