Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst became the first Director of IES in November 2002 and served until November 2008. Born and raised in Washington, North Carolina, he earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at East Carolina University, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in child psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Whitehurst joined the faculty at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1970 and eventually rose to the position of Chairman of the Department of Psychology. He also taught at the University of New South Wales in Australia and was Academic Vice President of the Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit. In government, he served as assistant secretary for the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, the predecessor to the IES, where he established the What Works Clearinghouse.
After leaving the IES, Whitehurst became the director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution.
“The view of education that may be ruled out is that education is an art and it will never be more than accumulated craft wisdom. These are very pessimistic views of education.”