The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Lance T. Izumi, J.D.

Senior Director of Education Studies, Pacific Research Institute

Schedule a Speaking Engagement With Lance T. Izumi,

Lance T. Izumi, J.D. is Koret Senior Fellow and Senior Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute (PRI), California’s free market public-policy think tank based in San Francisco and Sacramento. He is the co-author of the book "Not as Good as You Think: Why the Middle Class Needs School Choice," which has been praised by such publications as the Wall Street Journal and Education Week.

He is co-executive producer of the award-winning 2009 PRI full-length film documentary "Not as Good As You Think: The Myth of the Middle Class School," which is based on his 2007 book. The film has been broadcast multiple times on PBS. He also appears in Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim’s major 2010 education film documentary "Waiting for Superman," which was voted best U.S. documentary at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

In 2008, The New York Times selected Lance Izumi to be one of its online contributors on the presidential race and education issues. In 2009, The New York Times posted “Sweden’s Choice,” a video op-ed Lance wrote and narrated, which has garnered critical praise.

He is also the co-author of the book "Free to Learn: Lessons from Model Charter Schools," which has been used as a guidebook for creating high-performing charter schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 

Lance is a member of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, the largest system of higher education in the nation with nearly three million students. He served two one-year terms as president of the Board of Governors from 2008 through 2009, and in 2010 he received an award recognizing his leadership and service. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger initially appointed him to the board in 2004 and re-appointed him in 2009.

In 2008, the United States Army appointed Lance to its Los Angeles/Southern California Advisory Board Executive Committee. In that capacity, he assists the Army with its community outreach, image enhancement, and recruiting efforts. In 2010, the Army’s Sacramento Recruiting Battalion named him president of its grassroots advisory council.

In 2007, Lance Izumi was named to the California Advisory Committee of the United States Commission on Civil Rights. In 2003, United States secretary of education Rod Paige appointed him to the Teacher Assistance Corps, a task force of experts assigned to review state teacher quality plans as they relate to the federal No Child Left Behind Act. He also served a five-year term as a commissioner on the California Postsecondary Education Commission, the state’s higher education coordinating body.

Prior to going into the think-tank world, Lance Izumi served as chief speechwriter and director of writing and research for California Gov. George Deukmejian. He also served in the administration of President Ronald Reagan as speechwriter to United States Attorney General Edwin Meese III.

Lance Izumi served as a commissioned officer, holding the rank of captain, in the California State Military Reserve, the state defense force that assists the California National Guard. He was attached to the Public Affairs Office at CSMR Headquarters in Sacramento. During his service, Izumi was awarded the commendation medal and the achievement ribbon.

Lance Izumi received his juris doctorate from the University of Southern California School of Law and his master of arts in political science from the University ofCalifornia at Davis. He received his bachelor of arts in economics and history from the University of California at Los Angeles.


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