Colorado Commissioner of Education

Robert Hammond serves Colorado as its Commissioner of Education and oversees the state’s public elementary and secondary education system. He leads what has become a nationally-recognized state education reform system that integrates accountability, educator effectiveness, standards and assessments, and innovation and choice components. 

Colorado stepped into the national spotlight when the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education and the State’s General Assembly worked together to enact public policy supporting each reform component and brought them to life all at the same time under Hammond’s leadership.

Prior to his appointment as Commissioner in May 2011, Hammond served as the Department's Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Operations overseeing the school finance, federal programs, human resources, information management services, state libraries, budget/fiscal management, professional services, licensing, and the exceptional student services (special education) units, and the Legislative Liaison.

With more than 34 years of private and public sector experience in banking, city management and K-12 education, Hammond brings a strong customer focus and a belief that organizations must serve their stakeholders. Hammond draws on a 23-year career in K-12 education leadership, not only in his current role but in past roles as chief operations officer, associate superintendent and division director of operations in two school districts in Colorado and Kansas. 

Hammond is well-known for his wide level of leadership skills and accomplishments through his previous experience in financial and management accountability, educational reform, continuous quality improvement, human resource and negotiations, information technology systems and infrastructure, comprehensive facility and technology planning, and legislative support.

Robert Hammond talks about healthy food in Colorado schools at Washington Post Live Future of Food forum in Denver, Colorado on June 28, 2012 (Jim Turley/for The Washington Post)

Hammond strongly believes in continuing with the implementation of the ambitious education reform endeavors the State Board of Education set in motion over the last several years. Through building collaboration while emphasizing accountability and leadership, he has improved the Department’s work in making efficient, effective use of federal, state and private funds, becoming a reliable source for research, data and analysis, and implementing a seamless, collaborative leadership system.

A Kansas native, Hammond earned his bachelor’s degree from Baker University, Baldwin City, and his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas, Lawrence.