Wendell Pritchett was appointed to the School Reform Commission by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on Tuesday.
Nutter described Pritchett as a respected urban history scholar and an experienced government policymaker. Pritchett previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania's law school.
Pritchett replaces one of two commissioners who resigned Monday. The board had come under fire for its handling of the acrimonious departure of former Superintendent Arlene Ackerman.
The commission is composed of two mayoral and three gubernatorial appointees.
One gubernatorial nominee is awaiting confirmation by the state Senate. Nutter must name another appointee to fill out the membership.