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West Virginia native named National School Boards Association Interim Executive Director and CEO

Alexandria, Va.­­—The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently announced that Chief Advocacy Officer Chip Slaven has assumed leadership of NSBA as interim Executive Director and CEO.

“I am pleased to announce Chip Slaven as NSBA’s interim Executive Director and CEO,” said Dr. Viola M. Garcia, NSBA President. “Chip has more than two decades of experience as a passionate advocate for public education and our nation’s students. He’s a trusted voice who our state associations know and respect.”

As NSBA’s Chief Advocacy Officer, Chip led a federal advocacy team that secured approximately $200 billion for K-12 public schools in the COVID-19 recovery packages Congress passed in 2020 and 2021. He also launched NSBA’s Public School Transformation Now! initiative and a major grassroots campaign to close the ‘Homework Gap,’ which affects as many as 17 million students who lack internet access in their homes.

“I’m honored to take the helm of the National School Boards Association during such an important moment for education,” said Slaven. “America’s public schools and the nearly 51 million students who attend them are going through an extremely turbulent time. As the dark clouds of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to clear, I’m focused on ensuring that students, schools, and school districts receive the support and resources they need to ensure a safe return to classrooms this fall. I’m also committed to supporting NSBA’s Board of Directors, NSBA staff, and our state association members during this transition period.”

Slaven hit the ground running as he began his new leadership role. Earlier this week, he spoke to the Southern Legislative Conference in Nashville, participated in NSBA’s Equity Symposium, and will be joining other major education leaders in an important collaboration meeting focused on the future of student success in public schools.

“I promise this is the just the beginning of an aggressive advocacy effort on behalf of our members and public schools,” Slaven said.

Prior to joining NSBA, Slaven was Counsel to the President at the Alliance for Excellent Education. He originated Digital Learning Day, a national grassroots education campaign; managed campaigns to close the digital divide for traditionally underserved students; and authored the Each Child Learns Act, which is model legislation on personalized and digital learning–key components for school transformation. Slaven is active in numerous education organizations, including as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training, the Remake Learning Council, and the West Virginia Public Education Collaborative. He also serves as an advisor to digiLEARN, a nonprofit dedicated to accelerating digital learning for students.

Slaven has extensive government relations and legal experience having served as director of federal policy and intergovernmental affairs for former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise 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. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and state of West Virginia.

A proud product of West Virginia public schools, Slaven graduated from Grafton High School and received his undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University.

Slaven is replacing departing CEO Anna Maria Chávez who resigned to enter the private sector.

“The NSBA Board of Directors thanks Anna Maria Chávez for the hard work and dedication she’s shown toward NSBA and its members during her time as Executive Director and CEO,” said Garcia.

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