The National School Boards Association announces that Stuart “Chip” Slaven has joined the association as Chief Advocacy Officer. With more than two decades of experience advocating for public education, implementing national grassroots campaigns, and building bipartisan support, Slaven strengthens NSBA’s ability to generate policies that enhance public education and provide all schoolchildren with an opportunity to receive a quality and equitable education. Slaven has an extensive background in education policy and he comes from the Alliance for Excellent Education, where he served as Counsel to the President and Senior Advocacy Advisor.

Slaven will lead the Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which represents state school board associations and their members before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. The team of government relations professionals works on a range of financial, social and technical issues important to K-12 education. He will also head the efforts of the National School Boards Action Center, NSBA’s national grassroots organization, and the Center for Public Education, NSBA’s research tank, which examines issues impacting public education.

NSBA’s federal advocacy group develops policies and strategies to secure legislation and regulations that enhance public education and support more than 50 million students in public schools. The association’s priorities include bringing about policies that ensure equity in education; defend neighborhood public schools against privatization; expand opportunities to bring about more opportunities to achieve college, career and life readiness; and obtain needed federal investments to support underserved students and strengthen school security.

“Chip’s extensive advocacy experience and passion for public education will generate policies that provide schoolchildren with opportunities to achieve their full potential,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director and CEO. “Chip has made many contributions to enhance public education and his success at building support and consensus will help NSBA continue to fulfill its mission and realize a vision that will benefit millions of students.”

As one of the top advocacy organizations, NSBA was instrumental in securing passage of the landmark Every Student Succeeds Act, maintaining critical healthcare funding for the nation’s most vulnerable children, and securing federal funding for a range of needs including student and school safety and Title I, II and IV programs.

Earlier this year, NSBA launched its campaign – “It’s Time for a Great IDEA” – to modernize and secure full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The association also continues its efforts to address infrastructure, mental health, safety, the skills gap, substance abuse, taxation, and equity issues.

Slaven brings deep government relations experience having served as director of federal policy and intergovernmental affairs for Governor Robert E. Wise, Jr. of West Virginia and district director for former U.S. Representative Wise. He also was an attorney at Jackson Kelly PLLC and a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of West Virginia. Slaven is a proud product of the public schools in Taylor County, West Virginia where he graduated from Grafton High School before going on and receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University. 

At the Alliance for Excellent Education, Slaven worked to make digital and personalized learning more accessible so students would have access to educational tools that were not accessible in their community. He originated Digital Learning Day, which secured the participation of the U.S. Secretary of Education, Chair of the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Senators and Representatives, and White House officials. He also co-managed a successful campaign to close the digital divide for traditionally underserved students by advocating for expansion of the Schools and Libraries Program (E-Rate). Slaven also authored the Each Child Learns Act, which is model legislation for states on personalized and digital learning.

“NSBA is an association that I’ve admired for a long time and it’s an honor to lead the government relations team for the leading advocate for public education,” said Chip Slaven. “NSBA’s vision for public education will help schoolchildren succeed in life and I look forward to bringing my passion to help millions of children maximize their opportunities and prosper.”

Slaven will start in June and report to Executive Director and CEO Thomas J. Gentzel.

 Learn more about NSBA’s federal advocacy agenda.

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2020 State of the Association

Full of challenge and change, 2020 was like no other year. NSBA's State of the Association provides a snapshot of the association's advocacy and member services work as well as our ongoing transformation.