David grew up in a family of educators and followed them into the field. He went to public school in New York City before enrolling at Yale University. At Yale, he taught reading to high school students from low-income families and started Branch, an innovative community service program for inner-city students in New Haven, Conn. Based on the success of Branch, David received a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to study English literature at the University of Oxford and classical educational philosophy at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. He returned to the U.S. to work at McKinsey & Company for five years, where he led much of the firm’s pro bono work in education.
With a team of educators, David founded the Grow Network, an organization committed to making assessment results truly useful for teachers, parents and students. The Grow Network delivered breakthrough-quality reports for parents and teachers as well as individualized learning guides for students. McGraw-Hill acquired the Grow Network in 2005.
In 2007, David left McGraw-Hill and cofounded Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit that assembles educators and researchers to design actions based on evidence to improve student outcomes. Student Achievement Partners played a leading role in developing the Common Core State Standards in math and literacy. David left Student Achievement Partners in the fall of 2012 to become president of the College Board.
David was named to the 2013 Time 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. He has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s “11 Education Activists for 2011” and was one of the NewSchools Venture Fund Change Agents of the Year for 2012.