Mary Gifford is the chief operating officer at StrongMind. Ms. Gifford oversees day-to-day functions at the company. She joined the company in January 2019. Prior to joining StrongMind, Mary was the senior vice president for academic policy and external relations at K12 Inc which manages online schools in more than 40 states.
Ms. Gifford served on the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools for 11 years as an appointee of both the governor and the state superintendent of public instruction. Prior to K12, she served as the leadership development director at Mackinac Center for Public Policy. She also worked as the education policy director at the Goldwater institute for more than a decade. Ms. Gifford serves on the board of directors for the Foundation for Blended and Online Learning, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and as the board president of EdKey, a nonprofit charter management organization that oversees 17 schools throughout Arizona.
Ms. Gifford earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Arizona State University, a master’s degree in education leadership from Northern Arizona University, and has completed coursework in public administration at Arizona State University.