Government Relations Veteran Kelly Pollitt Joins National School Boards Association as Chief Advocacy Officer

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Alexandria, Va. (October 2, 2017) – The National School Boards Association (NSBA) today announced that Kelly Pollitt was named Chief Advocacy Officer. With more than two decades of experience developing pre-K-12 education policy and leading successful advocacy initiatives, Pollitt strengthens NSBA’s ability to secure federal policies that ensure all children have access to a quality and equitable public education. NSBA represents state school board associations, and their more than 90,000 local school board members, before the U.S. Congress and the Administration.

Pollitt will oversee NSBA’s Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which is one of the top advocacy organizations in Washington, D.C. The association’s government relations efforts were instrumental in securing passage of the landmark Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and maintaining critical healthcare funding for the nation’s most vulnerable children.

As the leading advocacy group for 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- and career-readiness, and obtain needed federal investments to support underserved students.

Pollitt will also head the efforts of the National School Boards Action Center, NSBA’s national grass roots organization, and the Center for Public Education (CPE), NSBA’s research tank, which examines issues impacting public education. CPE recently released Busting the Myth of ‘One-Size-Fits All’ Public Education, which took a critical look at education choice, an issue that quickly moved to the top of the education agenda. Access the report at

For more than 75 years, NSBA has successfully led the effort to support and enhance public education,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association. “Kelly will build on NSBA’s successful advocacy work through new initiatives and approaches. Her ingenuity and commitment to public education will enable us to continue to make more progress on the issue of equity, underscore the importance of local governance, and achieve smart policies that serve students and the country well.”

Pollitt was most recently at the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) where she led the association’s advocacy and policy initiatives as Chief Strategist of Policy and Alliances. A nationally recognized expert on policy that supports effective teaching and school leadership, she was instrumental in securing provisions that are now a part of ESSA. She has led several high-impact advocacy efforts focused on supporting educators and building the capacity of schools to serve all students, including successfully launching the nation’s first blended-learning program for elementary school principals to develop instructional leadership skills to meet the needs of children from age three to age 8, known as Pre-K-3 education.

During her career, Pollitt held several committee positions on Capitol Hill working in the U.S. House of Representatives, including as a special assistant to the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and professional staff on the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Subcommittee on the Census. She has also worked in the private sector advising school districts, colleges and universities, and the business community directly to strengthen educational opportunities and outcomes for all students. 

“It is an honor to join NSBA’s leading voice in Washington to champion equity and excellence in public education as a matter of national priority,” said Kelly Pollitt. “Now, more than ever, local governance must be empowered to realize the shared commitment to provide every student with the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. Through strategic policy, advocacy, and research, I look forward to advancing the perspective of local leaders so that they can continue to steward student success, beginning in the earliest years through college and career.”        

Public education is a cornerstone of America. Public schools are educating the most diverse student population in history and have been helping students achieve more academic success despite significant societal challenges, mandates, and regulatory requirements that curbed school board members’ ability to devise even more innovative educational opportunities. NSBA is working with federal policy makers, legal scholars, opinion leaders, members of the education community, business leaders, and the media to shape public education so students graduating this year and in the future, are ready for college, career, and life.

More information about NSBA’s federal advocacy agenda can be found at


The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA believes education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential. The association represents 49 state school boards associations and one territory association and their more than 90,000 local school board members. For more information, please visit

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