Chris Gibbons

Deputy Director, Charter Schools

Chris Gibbons is the deputy director for charter schools at the Gates Foundation, with a portfolio that includes the support of a high-quality Washington state charter sector and national investments that support the growth of high-quality charter schools to support especially Black and Latino youth. He brings a passion for building great teams, a commitment to supporting students toward college success, and nearly 25 years of experience as an educator. 

Chris was the founder and CEO for 16 years of STRIVE Prep, now a combined organization known as Rocky Mountain Prep, a network of public charter schools in Denver, Colorado, that prepares low-income students for college success. The network today runs 12 schools and serves nearly 5,000 students and has closed longstanding achievement gaps. A STRIVE Prep school ranked first in academic growth among all public middle schools in Denver for seven consecutive years. 

Named the 2013 Top Thinker in Education by The Denver Post and a Game Changer by 5280 magazine, Chris is an alum of the Broad Superintendents Academy and a recipient of the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship and the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. He served as co-chair of the Denver Public Schools Collaborative Council, directed Denver Summerbridge (now part of Breakthrough Collaborative), and was a charter high school science teacher. He is fluent in Spanish. Chris has a bachelor's degree in biology from Yale University and a M.Ed. from Regis University. He is married to Audra Philippon, a fellow charter school founder, and they are proudly raising two daughters.