John Werner

John-lightJohn Werner helped transform Citizen Schools from a concept paper in 1995 into a thriving national educational program that is now in 8 states across the United States. He now holds the titles of Chief Mobilizing Officer & Managing Director, connecting leaders from all sectors to the ways they can break open opportunities for kids. As the founding director of Citizen Schools’ first school partnership, the creator of the beloved 8th Grade Academy and the Writing Coach program, the first Executive Director for all Citizen Schools sites, and the overseer of the Expanded Learning Time pilot, John has not only helped thousands of young people in Boston create paths towards high school graduation, college, and career success, but also launched innovations that are now redefining how learning happens across the country.

John graduated from Hamilton College and was a Boston Public Schools teacher for four years and principal of Wediko Children Services. John is one of Boston’s TOYL recipients (Ten Outstanding Young Leaders under forty), has served on the Governor’s Readiness Project, the Lt. Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, WGBH CAB, and the boards of many Boston education and youth organizations, including past President of the Boston Hamilton Alumni Society. John was one of ten prestigious Loeb Fellows in residence at the Harvard University 2008-9. He is a Connector at Boston World Partnerships, an Executive Curator of TEDxBoston 2010-‘11, member of LeadBoston and City to City Leadership Exchange, and featured in the E100 Network of ENTOVATION International Ltd and recently named Top 10 Education Troublemakers – Deconstructing Education Brick by Brick by Business Innovation Factory. He has presented at TED University in Long Beach, CA, TEDGlobal, the Intel Visionary Conference, Google’s TechTalk, BIF, and 100k in 10. He is an active photographer (, and has been an on-air host of “Yo! What’s the Origin of That?”, two hundred weekly live shows that he created. John is also on the advisory board of the internet start-up “” and “Gathered ED.”

John loves racing triathlons and qualified and raced at the 70.3 Ironman World Championships four times. John earned a spot on Team USA for the 2013 ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championships because of his performance at the 2012 USAT Sprint National Championship. John was in the top 6% of the nationals (96 of 1400/12th in his age group – 40-44). Top 18 qualified for Worlds. The 2013 World Championships are set to take place September 12-16, 2013 in London, England on the same course of the Olympic triathlon race. John is also a Director and Coach for the Brookline Youth Lacrosse. John is married to Erika Alvarez Werner and they are parents of three children and have a bilingual Spanish household.

John is the main organiser of TEDxBeaconstreet

John’s talk at TEDxBoston