Chester E. Finn, Jr.
-- professor of education and public policy

  Chester E. Finn Jr. was an assistant secretary of education during in the Reagan Administration and remains a conservative voice in national education policy debates.
  He grew up in Dayton, the son of Chester E. Finn Sr., a well-known local attorney who often represented the Dayton Daily News.
  Finn is a professor of education and public policy at Vanderbuilt University, a founding partner of the Edison Project, an organization which operates for-profit public schools, and president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a Dayton-based education reform organization.

Background on Chester E. Finn Jr.:

Born: August 3. 1944 in Columbus. He has sometimes mistakenly been identified as a "Dayton native," but this is incorrect. The family moved to Dayton View when he was two.
Family: He's the eldest son of Dayton attorney Chester E. Finn, who was a senior partner at Estabrook, Finn and Mckee and who represented DNI in the 1970s and 1980s.
   On Aug. 3, 1974 (his 30th birthday) Finn married Renu Virmani They have two children, Arti and Aloke.
Education: Finn went to Dayton public schools (including a year at Colonel White) through the ninth grade but then went to Phillips Exeter academy and then to Harvard, where he earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate.
   While a student at Harvard, Finn met Daniel Patrick Moynihan and when Moynihan became director of Nixon's Council on Urban Affairs, Finn became a member of his staff (1967).
   In 1973, when Moynihan became ambassador to India, Finn again served on his staff.
   After about a year in India, Finn became a research associate at the Brookings Institution. In 1976 President Ford named Finn to the National Council on Educational Research. In 1976 Moynihan was elected to the U.S. Senate and Finn became his legislative director when Moynihan took office in 1977.
   In 1981 he was considered for an Education post in the incoming Reagan administration, but was rejected by White House staffers because he had not been a long-time Reagan supporter. That year Finn left Washington and became a professor at Vanderbuilt University in Tennessee.
   However, in 1985 after Reagan's re-election Finn was named assistant secretary of Education for educational research and improvement.
   Although he held no official post in the Bush Administration, he was credited as the architect of the "America 2000" plan promoted by Bush's Education Secretary, Lamar Alexander.
   In the 1990s Finn has become associated with the Hudson Institute and remains a prominent conservative voice in debates over national education policy.

File created: 2-7-97


Who's Who in America, 1988-89
JH 2-16-1965, "Work With Kids Sets Life's Goal For Dayton Senior at Harvard"
DDN 3-23-1969, "Daytonian Enjoys DC Pace"
JH 2-14-1981, "Politics snags Daytonian"
DDN 6-12-1985, "Education post nominee strong believer in reforms"
New York Times 7-31-1985, "He tests the nation's teachers, schools"
U.S. News 7-15-1991, "The Wizard of Education"