The Hon. Kristen Amundson brings more than two decades of experience as a policymaker to NASBE. She represented the 44th District in the Virginia General Assembly from 1999 to 2009. During that time, she was a member of Virginia’s P–16 Council and the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). Before her election to the General Assembly, Amundson—a former teacher—served for nearly a decade on the Fairfax County, Va., School Board, including two years as its chairwoman. Most recently, she was the senior vice president for external affairs at Education Sector, an independent think tank. She writes frequently on education issues and has been published in The Washington Post
and the Richmond Times-Dispatch
, among others.
Manager of Special Projects
Sharon Cannon is manager of special projects. Most recently she was a project specialist in the education program at the American Institutes for Research. Prior to her stint at AIR, Cannon was the business manager at Education Sector, where she oversaw human resources, accounting, and managed the organization’s events, while also serving as liaison to the board of directors. Before joining Education Sector, she was membership manager at the Consortium for School Networking (COSN). Her first job in the field of education policy was manager of member services for the American Association of School Administrators, overseeing all aspects of the member services award and recognition programs. A native of Washington, D.C., Cannon is a graduate of San Diego State University. She and her husband Carl live in Arlington, Va., where all three of their children attended public schools.
Director of School Climate, Discipline, and Equity
Kimberly Charis is director of school climate, discipline, and equity. She provides strategic direction for the organization’s advocacy work to ensure that all students receive equal educational opportunities. This includes designing initiatives that strengthen the capacity of state boards to promote student achievement, providing technical assistance to various groups on how to leverage state policy to support local education initiatives, and building collaborative partnerships to improve policy and practice on promoting equity. Charis is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania School of Public Policy & Practice and Spelman College.
Jared Costanzo joined NASBE in 2012 and is the Fellow for the Center for College, Career, and Civic Readiness. Before joining NASBE, Costanzo served on the Washington State Board of Education for a two-year term representing students as a non-voting member. He is currently attending American University where he will obtain his B.A. in Political Science in May 2016. He has been accepted and will be attending law school in fall 2016.
Erima Fobbs, health consultant, directs NASBE’s work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is also the principal of Collective Health Impact, LLC, a population health strategy company. Fobbs has worked across sectors for public health impact. Her skills include strategic planning, facilitation, and policy and program research, development, training, management, and evaluation. Her past work at the local, state, and national levels included child and adolescent health promotion and prevention of chronic disease, substance abuse, injury, suicide, and violence.
Winona Hao, project manager, manages multiple projects, with a focus on science standards, early childhood education, and school epinephrine policies. Hao brings extensive research and management experience to NASBE. Previously, Hao taught pre-K and worked at Save the Children and the Institute of Public Policy at the George Washington University, from which she also earned a master's degree in international education policy.
Project Director for College, Career, and Civic Readiness
Robert Hull directs NASBE's Center for College, Career, and Civic Readiness. He has been involved in education reform, mostly in West Virginia, for nearly 40 years. Hull started his career as an elementary school teacher in West Virginia’s Putnam County Public School District and served as a principal for eight years prior to moving to district administrative positions. Hull served as assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction and directed early childhood education, federal programs, and community outreach for the school district during his tenure there.
In 2010, Hull joined the West Virginia Department of Education as assistant superintendent of schools in the division of teaching and learning. Quickly promoted to associate state superintendent of schools, Hull oversaw state programs on educator quality, early learning, career and technical innovation, federal programs, and policy development and deployment for Common Core State Standards and Smarter Balanced assessments. Hull has a background in fine arts and is an advocate for integrating all things creative and innovative in classrooms everywhere. He resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife and fellow-educator, Rachel, and his four-legged stress reliever, Emert the miniature schnauzer.
One of NASBE's veteran team members, LeeNaura (Lee) King provides administrative support to the accounting department. She also acts as liaison to NASBE's IT support staff and maintains infrastructure and office equipment. In addition, King assists the publications team with requests and mailings, the events team with NASBE conference logistics, and maintains the organization's growing database.
Finance and Human Resources Director
Laura Morrison, director of finance and human resources, is responsible for the accounting and human resources functions of NASBE. Morrison has 15 years of public finance experience, starting her career in fiscal management at Amtrak. Previously, Morrison was a fiscal officer for the City of Alexandria, structuring cash management and cost allocation, as well as forecasting grant policies. She also managed the accounting and budget structure for the city’s enterprise resource planning system. She managed the Prince William County Department of Social Services budget and reported regularly to the Board of Social Services on all budget and fiscal matters. Morrison has an MBA in business administration, is a Certified Public Finance Officer, Certified Treasury Management Professional, and is certified by IPMA-HR.
Valerie Norville, editorial director, manages NASBE publications, including its reports and The State Education Standard
. Norville commissions authors, edits, manages design and production, and coordinates on NASBE outreach efforts. She is an editor and publishing manager with 30 years’ experience producing content that makes cutting-edge research and technical expertise accessible to policy audiences. Previously, she was director of publications for the US Institute of Peace, where she produced reports and books and launched its eBook program. Before that, she was director of publications and web development at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. She received bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia and her master’s from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.
Project Director, Deeper Learning
Ace Parsi is project director for deeper learning. He builds partnership coalitions, researches and writes NASBE reports, provides technical assistance to state boards, and plans and conducts tailored in-state workshops for state board members. In addition, Parsi coordinates speakers and agendas for conference sessions and online seminars, and he promotes communications strategies for state board members. Prior to joining NASBE, Parsi was a policy and advocacy associate for the Alliance for Excellence in Education. He holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Stephen Prociw graduated in 2015 from UCLA with a Bachelors in Political Science and a minor in public affairs with honors. He works in the Center for College, Career, and Civic Readiness, and serves as the liaison between NASBE and the Government Affairs Committee, and Public Education Positions Committee. Stephen’s work has focused primarily on The Every Student Succeeds Act, Educational Leadership, and implementing standards based learning systems. Prociw is responsible for conducting scholarly research, collecting and compiling data, and developing and writing reports on these and various other NASBE projects.
Renée Rybak Lang
Renée Rybak Lang, communications director, oversees all of NASBE’s communications efforts. Lang has worked in education policy for more than 10 years and brings a wealth of strategic communications, online, and social media expertise to NASBE. Lang also regularly advises education nonprofits on social media and web strategy and has presented at NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference and the PIE-Network's annual conference, among others.
Most recently, Lang was communications manager of Education Sector, where she developed integrated communications strategies to reach policymakers and other key audiences and established the think tank’s award-winning social media and web presence. Prior to this, she was special projects coordinator for the 21st Century Schools Project at the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and served as an aide to New York State Senator George Maziarz, where she worked on constituent issues and legislation. Born and raised in western New York, Lang is a graduate of Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y., where she studied political science.
Eve Tilley-Coulson, policy analyst, is responsible for research and analysis of state and federal policies as they apply to changes in education and the work of state boards. Tilley-Coulson received her Juris Doctorate from George Mason University School of Law, where she was a notes editor for the National Security Law Journal
. Prior to attending law school, she taught in Washington, DC, for both special education and general education classrooms. She received her bachelor’s in political science and philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis, with minors in legal studies and painting.
Project Director, Education Data & Technology
Amelia Vance is director of education data and technology. She focuses on education data privacy, writing NASBE reports, working with other education and privacy organizations, and supporting state boards of education seeking to create or implement stronger state privacy policies. She previously served as NASBE's policy analyst, collaborating to produce analysis and materials relevant to education policy reforms, particularly state implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Vance is a member of the Virginia State Bar. She served as a legal fellow at the Family Equality Council and the Institute of Museum and Library Services; interned at the White House, the State Department, and the House of Representatives; and worked on the 2008 Obama campaign. Vance is a graduate of William & Mary Law School and McDaniel College. She can be followed on Twitter at @ameliaivance.