About The COVID-19 Policy Update

Welcome to the COVID-19 Policy Update - a digest of important stories, research, and resources to help leaders better understand the rapidly unfolding events related the coronavirus and the ongoing recovery efforts.

This began not as a newsletter, but rather a Slack channel within a philanthropy that eventually became an email shared with a funder collaborative of more than 40 foundations. Others asked to be added to the list which led us to migrate it over to Substack in October 2021. Subscribers now include leaders in the White House, U.S. Department of Education, state Covid directors, state school chiefs, philanthropies, investors, school leaders and entrepreneurs.

What you can expect:  An email twice a week which covers important stories, research, and policy developments to help you stay on top of what’s happening with COVID-19 and the ongoing learning recovery efforts. Occasionally my dogs will make an appearance. All of this is a lot to process so we have a fun or inspirational link at the end of every email.

I also have a weekly version you can subscribe to over at The 74.

My hope is that these provide the information you need to better understand the emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities surfacing during the pandemic and the important recovery work we have ahead.

About John

John’s experience spans government, philanthropy, and venture capital, focusing on a wide variety of issues such as innovation policy, immigration, education, and the future of work. He currently serves as a fellow at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and a non-resident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, in addition to advising numerous philanthropies and venture investors.

As a domestic policy advisor in the White House, John coordinated the Bush Administration's efforts during the credit crisis to stabilize $200 billion in student loans and served as a negotiator for the reauthorization of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.  As Deputy Policy Director to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, he contributed to the development of the first National Pandemic Strategy and the President's package of immigration reforms.

As the nation's second Director of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, John co-chaired the interagency Advanced Education Technology Initiative, which emphasized the R&D of cutting-edge technologies in education and training. While working for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, John spearheaded several technology and education initiatives, including a statewide broadband mapping project.

John co-founded Whiteboard Advisors, a strategic advisory firm, was a senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and served as the Vice President of Policy for Governor Jeb Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education.

John is a fellow and moderator in the Aspen Global Leadership Network and an alumnus of the American Council on Germany Young Leaders Program. In 2022, the Washingtonian named him as one of Washington's Most Influential People in policy. He currently serves on the board of directors for Zearn Math and advisory boards for Pope Francis’ Scholas Initiative, the Tech Talent Project, the Covid Collaborative, and the Bush Institute. He has also served an advisor to four presidential campaigns.

Subscribe to COVID-19 Policy Update

A twice a week briefing on COVID-19 developments for those working in education or public policy read by the White House, U.S. Department or Education, state Covid directors, philanthropies, and more.


John Bailey

John Bailey currently serves as a fellow at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and as an advisor to the Walton Family Foundation.