Mary Gwen Wheeler is the executive director of 55,000 Degrees, a multi-sector partnership focused on improving education attainment. Previously, she served as the mayor’s senior advisor for education and youth for Louisville Metro Government, leading policy development and implementation of education and youth initiatives. In Jerry Abramson’s first term as Metro Mayor, she served as secretary of the cabinet for health and family services. In June 2010, Ms. Wheeler was also appointed by Governor Beshear to the Kentucky Board of Education.
With a B.A. in American Studies and a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale University, Ms. Wheeler also has experience in family literacy, workforce development, non-profit management, strategic planning, and international development. This included 10 years with the National Center for Family Literacy as a project manager and vice president of planning and development.