Edward Donley Leadership Award

About the Award

The Edward Donley Education Policy Leadership Award was established in 2004 by the Board of Directors of The Education Policy and Leadership Center and is presented each year by EPLC at its annual Awards Event.  The award is named after its first recipient, Edward Donley, the founding chair of the EPLC Board of Directors.

Ed Donley is an exemplary model of dedicated service to children, commitment to stronger educational opportunities for all, and hard work to improve the effectiveness of local, state, and national education policy.  He sets a very high standard for the leadership this award is established to recognize and to encourage.

A former President and Chairman of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. and former Chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Ed Donley served as a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education from 1991 to 2006.  He also served on the Board of Directors of The Education Policy and Leadership Center from 1998 to 2007, and as its chair from 1998 to 2005.  In addition, Mr. Donley’s great interest and involvement in education is demonstrated by his service for more than two decades as a member of several other state and national boards, including the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, the National Assessment Governing Board, the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Workforce Preparation and Quality Education, the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools, the Council for Aid to Education, the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, Good Schools Pennsylvania, and Standards Work, Inc.  In addition to his service at the national and state levels, he has provided continuous leadership and service in the Lehigh Valley for many education and other community initiatives.

Previous Awardees

Donna Cooper
Executive Director, Public Citizens for Children and Youth

Dr. Francis “Mike” Michelini
Former Chairman of the Council of Higher Education
Pennsylvania State Board of Education

Thomas J. Gentzel
Executive Director, National School Boards Association

Dr. Peter H. Garland
Acting Chancellor, Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

Joseph F. Bard
Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association for Rural and Small Schools

Robert E. Feir, Ph.D.
President, EdStrat21 (an education strategies consulting firm)
Former Manager of the Pennsylvania School Funding Campaign
Former Project Manager of the State Board of Education’s Costing-Out Study
and much more


Governor Edward G. Rendell
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Honorable Dwight Evans
Member, Pennsylvania House of Representatives (203rd District)
Chairman, House Appropriations Committee

Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq
Executive Director, Pennsylvania State Education Association

Senator James J. Rhoades
Chairman, Senate Education Committee

Karl R. Girton
Chairman, Pennsylvania State Board of Education

Dr. Paula Hess
Senior Advisor to the Speaker and Majority Leader,
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Edward Donley

The Education Policy and Leadership Center

The Education Policy and Leadership Center is an independent, non-partisan, and not-for-profit corporation based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The mission of EPLC is to encourage and support the development and implementation of effective state-level education policies to improve student learning in grades P-12, increase the effective operation of schools, and enhance educational opportunities for citizens of all ages.

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