Kent McGuire joined the board of directors of The Wallace Foundation in 2016.
Since 2010, McGuire has been president of the Southern Education Foundation, a public charity focusing on public policy and education practice from pre-K to higher education in the southern United States. Through a variety of programs and services, the Atlanta-based foundation has been particularly concerned with questions of equal access to high-quality education for children and youth, and with the participation and success of poor and minority students in postsecondary education.
McGuire served from 2003 to 2010 as dean of Temple University's college of education and as a professor in the college’s department of leadership and policy studies. There his research interests focused on education administration, education policy and organizational change.
From 2001 to 2003, he was senior vice president at the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation (MDRC). At MDRC, he divided his time between developing and managing research projects focused on school reform and education policy and serving as the director of MDRC’s department on education, children and youth.
From 1998 to 2001, McGuire served as assistant secretary of education in the U.S. Department of Education, with responsibility for the Office of Education Research and Improvement. He was responsible for managing a wide range of federal grants and contracts administered through eight different operating units within the agency. As the education program officer for the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts from 1995 to 1998, he managed Pew’s K-12 grants’ portfolio. From 1991 to 1995, McGuire served as education program director for the Eli Lilly Endowment. In addition, he was an assistant professor at the University of Colorado-Denver school of education from 1989 to 1991.
From 1980 to 1989, McGuire worked for the Education Commission of the States, where he rose from policy analyst to senior policy analyst and director of the school finance collaborative.
He currently serves on a number of boards including: The Alliance for Excellent Education, the Institute for Education Leadership and Teachers College, Columbia University.
McGuire received his doctorate in public administration from the University of Colorado at Denver, his master’s degree in education administration and policy from Teachers College, Columbia University, and his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan.