Michael D. Usdan served as President of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) from 1981 through 2001. As of July 1, 2001, he became a Senior Fellow at the organization.
Before joining IEL Mr. Usdan was Connecticut's Commissioner of Higher Education from 1978 through 1981. From 1974 through 1978 Mr. Usdan was President of the Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit.
Mr. Usdan received his masters and doctoral degrees from Columbia University, having previously completed his undergraduate studies at Brown University. He worked on the staff of the late Dr. James B. Conant in the latter's famous studies of American education and has taught at Columbia University, City University of New York, Northwestern and Fordham Universities, and in schools in New York City and White Plains. He also served as a member and president of the school board in the city of New Rochelle, New York from 1969 to 1974.
Mr. Usdan has written many articles and books on various aspects of education. Several themes dominate his writing: problems relating to urban education, the relationship of government and politics to education, and the growing interest in developing closer relationships between elementary - secondary and higher education. He has been a consultant to local and state boards of education and educational organizations throughout the country and has spoken at and participated in numerous meetings, both in the United states and internationally in nations such as China, India, Nepal, Hungary, Russia, and Japan.
Currently, among other affiliations, he is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Phi Delta Kappan magazine and a consultant to the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Hunt Institute, and the Council of Chief State School Officers. He also serves as a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education and the George Washington University."