Kathy Hurley is a 40+ year veteran of the education industry and currently serves as CEO of Girls Thinking Global. In December of 2014, Kathy retired from Pearson where she spent ten years and served as Executive Vice President for Education Alliances for the Pearson Foundation. While she has retired from Pearson, she remains active in the education industry as a consultant, sharing her wealth of knowledge in both publishing and technology with companies, non-profits and associations. In her spare time Kathy is busy preparing her next speech or connecting people to support the vision of global education for all.
Throughout her career in the education industry, Kathy has served in top positions in both publishing and technology companies, which includes executive positions with Pearson and IBM. She utilizes her expertise in education policy, sales, marketing, and business development to help further the work of top businesses, executive level customers, associations, and foundations.
Kathy is based in Washington, DC, where she works closely with education associations. In this capacity, she currently serves on several key industry and education advisory boards, including the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) as Past Board Chairman, the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), Association of American Publishers (AAP), the People to People Ambassador Programs inaugural Advisory Board, and the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) board, where she participates on the International Committee. She remains active with the SIIA Education Division Board and the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group Board and is past president of both organizations. Kathy co-founded the Making IT Happen Award (MIH) with Deb deVries and Pat Walkington and is now run by International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Over 500 MIH awards have been given to deserving winners across the US. In 2015, ISTE announced the MIT Global Award, which Kathy also had a hand in creating.
Her work throughout the years with various businesses and organizations has taken Kathy around the world and into various countries such as India, Australia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, France, Finland, Argentina, Indonesia, and Cuba. She is sought after to speak and participate as a thought leader and her global commitment and wealth of knowledge helps organizations develop new and innovative approaches to education. In 2013, Kathy was selected as a Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI) at Harvard University for 2014. Upon completing the ALI at Harvard, Kathy co-founded a global non-profit organization called Girls Thinking Global, which has as it mission to connect global changemakers to educate and empower adolescent girls around the world.
In the 1990’s Kathy received several awards, but of particular note is the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Leadership in Special Education Technology and Media Award and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) Leader Award for Excellence in Education. In 2003, she was inducted into the Association of Educational Publishers Hall of Fame for her achievements and service to the education publishing industry. In addition, Kathy has received various awards for her service in the industry. In 2011, she was awarded the prestigious SIIA Ed Tech Impact Award. In 2001, Hurley was named to receive CoSN’s first-ever Outstanding Private Sector Achievement Award, and in 2010 she received an award for her 25 years of contributions to SIIA and the education industry at the CODiE Awards. In April 2014 the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA) presented Kathy with an award to recognize her contribution to and ongoing support of diversity programs over the years. In December of 2014, Kathy was the first person to receive the new AAP Ambassador Award, which recognizes an individual that has helped the association establish strong relationships across the learning resource community.
Kathy currently sits on the Board of Directors for Nervanix, an edtech neuroscience company; the Concord Consortium, a non-profit educational research and development organization dedicated to sharing the promise of technology into a reality for education in science, math and engineering; and the Advisory Board for the New York Academy of Sciences.
Kathy holds a B.A. degree in special education from the University of Dayton and a Master’s degree in education from Jersey City State College. She is a former NJ teacher. She is married to Charles Blaschke and resides in Arlington, Virginia.