As senior vice president for public policy and development at the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET), Kristan Van Hook develops and implements strategies to build support for NIET's education initiatives, including teacher quality and performance compensation. She has over 15 years of experience in government and public policy. She worked for the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance for 5 years, and then served as director of congressional affairs for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce. In this role, she worked on administration initiatives in the area of education technology. In 1997, Ms. Van Hook started a successful public policy firm, representing corporate and nonprofit clients in the fields of communications and education, and recently served as executive director for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a coalition of business, community and education organizations. Kristan graduated from Dartmouth College and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.