Heather Dean, Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer

Heather Dean is the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at NSBA where she oversees the areas of finance, human resources, conference and meetings, information technologies, office services and facilities and business development. Prior to joining NSBA, Dean was the deputy executive director of programs and operations for the National Parent Teacher Association. She also worked as a Sarbanes Oxley officer and senior financial analyst at Siemens Energy, manager of financial planning and reporting at the National Rifle Association, and auditor at a Big Four accounting firm. A certified public accountant, Dean has more than 20 years of experience working with and/or in non-profit management.  She has a proven track record of helping non-profits with financial turn arounds and streamlining operations. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting from Gettysburg College.

Rory Davenport, Chief Communications Officer

Rory Davenport is Chief Communications Officer and a member of NSBA’s executive team. Since joining the association, Davenport has helped the association define its strategic direction in pursuit of its mission. Davenport leads an integrated communications and marketing group that defines, promotes and protects NSBA’s brand and reputation. He is responsible for content, design, executive communications, media relations, marketing, public affairs and publications. His team also contributes to business development, events and membership services. He also leads internal communications strategies that align NSBA’s staff to the association’s strategy, and helps manage relationships with key stakeholders, industry associations, businesses and community organizations. Davenport joined NSBA following management roles at several of the leading global communications firms and senior positions for political candidates. He graduated from Florida State University with a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in Mass Communications. He is married to Anne Davenport, the senior coordinating producer for arts and culture for the PBS NewsHour.

Verjeana Jacobs, Chief Equity & Member Services Officer

Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq., serves as the Chief Equity and Member Services Officer for NSBA where she provides leadership, management and oversight of educational equity programming, content and research. The equity program at NSBA is designed to identify discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs in education policy. In this role, she also engages state association members in cooperative, ongoing partnerships to create programs and resources for state associations and through them, their member school districts, ensuring quality service, as well as a strong revenue return for NSBA and state association members. Prior to joining NSBA, Jacobs served as Chair of the Board of Education in one of the nation’s largest school districts. During her ten-year tenure as a school board member, she held several leadership roles as President of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, and as Chair of the National School Boards’ Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE). She retired as the Division Chief of the Office of Professional Responsibility and Legal Affairs in Prince George’s County government. She maintains her licensed attorney status in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., Chief Legal Officer

Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. is the Chief Legal Officer of NSBA. A proud product of our public schools, Negrón is a leading national advocate for public schools, directing NSBA’s nationally recognized Legal Advocacy Program, which files more amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court and in federal and state appellate courts across the country each year than all national education associations combined. Negrón also leads the 3,200-member Council of School Attorneys, the national network of lawyers representing K-12 public schools. He is also a member of the Bars of the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia, Florida, and all federal circuit courts of appeals. Negrón regularly appears in national media outlets as a spokesperson for public schools. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of West Florida.

Chip Slaven, Chief Advocacy Officer

Chip Slaven is the Chief Advocacy Officer for NSBA, where he leads 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 he leads works on a range of financial, social, and technical issues important to K-12 education. He also heads 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. 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. Prior to NSBA Slaven served as Counsel to the President and Senior Advocacy Advisor at the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed). Slaven is a proud product of the public schools and received his undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and State of West Virginia.