Dr. Johanek is a Senior Fellow at the Graduate School of Education (GSE), University of Pennsylvania, where he is also Director of the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership; Co-Director of the Inter-American Educational Leadership Network; founding Director of the Penn Educational Leadership Simulations (PELS) Program; and affiliated faculty for the International Educational Development Program. He teaches as Profesor Invitado Internacional at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Before coming to Penn in the spring of 2007, he served as Vice President of Professional Services for Teachscape, a for-profit blended technology services company, where he managed all service engagements nationally. He is the former Executive Director for K-12 Professional Development, The College Board, where he managed programs supporting over 500,000 middle and high school teachers, college faculty, coordinators, and administrators, including those involved in the Advanced Placement Program. He founded, developed, and managed a program development and operations department with responsibilities including new product development, in-person training, web services, electronic and print publications, regional office operational support, marketing and research. A former high school teacher in Cleveland, New York, and Lima, Peru, he taught in and managed the Fellows in Teaching Program and Urban Fellow Program at Teachers College, Columbia University prior to joining the College Board.
Dr. Johanek currently serves on the board of Research for Action, a non-profit organization engaged in education research and evaluation, on the Advisory Group for the Inter-American Teacher Education Network (AGITEN), Organization of American States, and on the Advisory Council of the Penn Center for Educational Leadership. Prior to serving as a reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education in the 2010 and 2012 Race to the Top competitions, he served on the department’s Working Group for Postsecondary Linkage Efforts to Improve College Readiness and on the independent Annenberg Commission on Public Schools for their Institutions of Democracy Project. He served as co-PI and advisor in several National Science Foundation-funded professional development research projects, on the National Education Advisory Board for the French & Indian War 250th Anniversary Commemoration, and on the Organization of American Historians-Advanced Placement Joint Advisory Board on Teaching the U.S. History Survey. He served on the Alumni Council at Teachers College, Columbia University, and on the Board of Trustees of The Concord Review. He has recently served as a peer reviewer for AERA, UCEA, Educational Researcher, Theory and Research in Education, Journal of School Leadership, the History of Education Society, and the Fondo de Investigaciones Educativas (PREAL). He has occasionally taught at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education and consulted for school districts.
Current interests include the history of recent educational reforms, especially school choice; community-centered and place-based approaches to education; citizenship development, especially youth engagement and the role of schooling; and educational leadership development in the U.S. and Latin America. Under a current Spencer Foundation grant, he is investigating the history of an urban neighborhood organization now running an extensive charter school network. In collaboration with Sigal Ben-Porath, he is writing a book for University of Chicago Press that will provide philosophical and historical perspectives on school choice in the U.S. He is developing and will co-teach a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with John Puckett, focused on the utility of history in understanding current school reform. With Susan and “Torch” Lytle, he is editing a multi-volume series of practitioner research in educational leadership. Johanek serves on a research team with Catholic University colleagues in Chile for the FONIDE-funded project, “Validación de proceso de Assessment Center para la selección de directivos escolares,” and was recently awarded a Fulbright grant to support his work with Catholic University.