Contact Information

Riki Rafner

The Commonwealth Club Names Dr. Lauren Silver Education Director

Nation’s Premier Public Affairs Forum Launches Education Program

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA., Nov. 12, 2019)—The Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s largest public affairs forum, has named Dr. Lauren Silver as its first education director. Dr. Silver will take the helm of a new education initiative at The Commonwealth Club to develop positive civic engagement with the K–12 community. The program is made possible by a generous grant from the Koret Foundation.

“Dr. Lauren Silver brings a unique background in developing educational programs, with a strong track-record of project development and project management experience. We are delighted she will be leading our new education program, and grateful to the Koret Foundation for its vision and support to make the education program possible,” says Dr. Gloria Duffy president and CEO of The Commonwealth Club.

Notes Dr. Silver, “I am excited and honored for this opportunity to establish The Commonwealth Club’s civic education initiative from the ground-up. I look forward to contributing to the Club’s 116-year-old mission of respectful public dialogue and introducing it to young people. My hope is that all children can grow up with a sense of social responsibility and passion for civic engagement and dialogue.”

Dr. Silver, who officially begins her role with the Club on December 3rd, will work closely with Dr. Duffy and Interim Director of Development Brooke Bedingfield. She will be charged with researching and developing the initial phase of this new project to establish a strategic plan for a formal K–12 education department, expanding and deepening the public policy and community work of the Club, while observing the Club’s core values and engaging younger audiences.

About Dr. Lauren Silver:

Dr. Silver has been the vice president of education at the Computer History Museum, based in Mountain View, California, since 2011. Prior to this she was the organization’s director of education. At the museum, she helped decode the history and impact of technology for individuals, communities and the public at large, creating STEM learning opportunities and translating complex concepts into accessible curriculum and hands-on activities. She oversaw the museum’s programs for K−12 students and educators, families, community outreach partners, teen interns, adult learners and volunteers. As the founding director of the museum’s education department, she led organizational strategy, programming and communications. She also worked with its education advisory board, executive staff and trustees. In addition, she targeted efforts to increase accessibility of STEM education for underserved populations, including low-income communities and girls. She also led a museum-wide initiative to design and build a 3,000-square-foot, $2.5 million interactive learning center.

Previously, Dr. Silver worked as the associate curator for education at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University. She collaborated with collections curators on all aspects of exhibition and program development and implementation. She also worked as the education specialist for family audiences at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where she developed, supervised and taught programs and workshops for children and families and managed interactive exhibits and programs.

Dr. Silver has also lectured at both Stanford and the University of California Berkeley in art education and psychology and has been a teacher for students in pre-K through 8th grade in San Francisco and in the East Bay.

She has received numerous accolades during her varied career. In 2013 her programs won the Annual Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education from the California Association of Museums and California state superintendent of public instruction. She also received the STEM Innovation Award for Engineering Education from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation in 2012.

Dr. Silver holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UC Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Studio Art from Smith College in Massachusetts. 

About the Commonwealth Club of California:

Founded in 1903, The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s premier public affairs forum, with more than 20,000 members. For the past 11 decades, the Club has fostered free speech and civic dialogue on a wide range of topics, addressing key issues in society, culture, politics, the economy and more, in about 500 live programs each year. Based in San Francisco with a second office in the South Bay, the Club presents speeches, debates and discussions each year on issues of regional, national and international significance. The Club continues to host its guests—from presidents and activists to scientists and chefs—at its headquarters on The Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco as well as at venues around San Francisco, Silicon Valley, the East Bay and Marin County. In addition to its traditional forums, the Club hosts the Climate One project on climate change, and Inforum, a division oriented to younger community members. It has sponsored public policy projects over the years, ranging from early 1900s studies and reports leading to environmental and social legislative and policy innovations, to more recent efforts to improve state governance in California. The Club has produced a PBS film, published books and publishes a bimonthly magazine, The Commonwealth.

About 1 million people listen to The Commonwealth Club’s weekly radio broadcast—the oldest continuous radio program in the country—on more than 230 public and commercial stations across the country. The Club’s podcasts are downloaded about 5 million times each year. The Club’s videos also appear on KAXT/KTLN TV, C-SPAN and YouTube, where they have been viewed millions of times. For more information, visit