Vander Ark to lead X PRIZE Foundation

LOS ANGELES — The X PRIZE Foundation, an educational nonprofit with a mission of funding radical breakthrough projects, named the former executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, Tom Vander Ark, as its new president.

Vander Ark developed more than $3.5 billion in scholarship and grant programs benefiting U.S. education while with the Gates Foundation.

Prior to that, he was superintendent of a Washington State school district that has been lauded for narrowing the achievement gap and reducing administrative costs.

The X PRIZE Foundation is best known for its $10 million Ansari X PRIZE, which it awarded to Mojave Aerospace Ventures for the first successful private space flight in 2004.

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