The right to learn is the most important promise we make to our nation’s children.  America’s future is dependent on keeping the promise of a great public education for every child in every community.  The investments we make today in weaving a strong tapestry of diverse, inclusive, and equitable public schools will create the fabric of our society and the world to come.

Our mission simply stated is to promote the opportunity for all children to receive an excellent education from birth through college and career.  This purpose is not the province of a singular organization, institution, or moment in time.  It requires many hands – and hearts and minds – working together across generations to continually regenerate the power of public education as the engine for our social progress and economic vitality.  It requires a dynamic ecosystem of community and parent leaders, educators, policymakers, advocates, and funding partners with a shared commitment to inclusive systems for schooling and supports that respect and engage students and families in all their diversity.  Our strategy is to nourish that ecosystem and harness the power of our collective experience and resources to strengthen and sustain the healthy learning environments that all children deserve and need to thrive.


The National Public Education Support Fund was created as part of the Leeds family of philanthropies. Board president Dan Leeds established the National Public Education Support Fund in 2008 to support the Alliance for Excellent Education and other projects working to build the leadership, policy innovations, and public engagement necessary to elevate the learning opportunities and outcomes for all students in America. In 2009, the Support Fund launched the Education Funder Strategy Group (EFSG) to provide foundation leaders with a learning community to exchange ideas on the intersections of philanthropy, policy, research and practice.  Building on this platform, the NPESF staff organized U.S. delegations of federal and state policymakers, funders, and education officials for study tours to learn from countries with the top-performing education systems around the world including Canada, Finland, Germany, Singapore, and Switzerland.

Today, NPESF is a national hub for convening and connecting influential leaders in education philanthropy, advocacy, research, policy, and practice. In addition to the Education Funder Strategy Group, the Support Fund actively organizes the Partnership for the Future of Learning (the Partnership) and sponsors Grantmakers for Thriving Youth. These collaborative networks of funders and thought partners are advancing an equity-centered vision for strengthening public schools that is informed by the science of learning and energized by the moral imperative of preparing each and every child with a world-class education.

Our Board & Staff

Daniel LeedsPresident

Daniel Leeds is the Founder and President of the National Public Education Support Fund. He is also the founder and chair of the Education Voters Institute and helped found the Alliance for Excellent Education, which he also chairs. In addition to these organizations, he and his extended family (the Leeds/Jobin-Leeds) have launched, funded and advocated on behalf of the Schott Foundation for Public Education and the Institute for Student Achievement. Dan joined the board of the PBS Foundation in 2013.

Along with his wife, Sunita, Dan co-chairs The Enfranchisement Foundation, which focuses on breaking the cycles of poverty and intolerance in the United States as well as on women’s issues. Mr. Leeds is the President of Fulcrum Investments LLC, a private investment firm. Until the sale of CMP Media in 1999, he was President of International Publishing and a member of the Office of the President. CMP, a leading media company, published titles such as InformationWeek, Computer Reseller News and Electronic Engineering Times. The company was cited as “One of the Best Companies to Work For” by Fortune Magazine and Working Women Magazine

Linda Darling-HammondBoard Secretary

Linda Darling-Hammond is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University, where she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped redesign. She is a former president of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of its award for Distinguished Contributions to Research, Lifetime Achievement, and Research-to-Policy.  She is also a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Education.

Linda’s research, teaching, and policy work focus on issues of school reform, teacher quality and educational equity. From 1994 to 2001, she served as Executive Director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, “What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future,” led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching across the United States. In 2006, this piece was named one of the most influential reports affecting U.S. education, and Darling-Hammond was named one of the nation’s ten most influential people affecting educational policy over the last decade.

Governor Bob WiseBoard Treasurer

Governor Bob Wise is President of the Alliance for Excellent Education, one of the public charities represented on the founding board of the National Public Education Support Fund. Under his leadership, the Alliance has continued to build its reputation as an authority on high school policy and to advocate for reform in American secondary education to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for college and career.

As governor of West Virginia from 2001 to 2005, he implemented the PROMISE Scholarship program, significantly increasing college attendance in the state. From 1983 to 2001, Governor Wise served in the U.S. House of Representatives, aggressively working to preserve financial aid for students to attend college. His Board and committee involvement includes America’s Promise, the National High School Center, the Digital Learning Council, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In 2011, Governor Wise was named to The NonProfit Times “Power and Influence Top 50,” an annual listing of the fifty most influential executives in the nonprofit sector.

Barbara ChowBoard Member

Barbara Chow is the director of the Education program at the Heising-Simons Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she completed an eight-year term as the director of the Education program for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Before that, Barbara was the policy director of the House Budget Committee and the executive director of the National Geographic Education Foundation. During the Clinton administration, she served as deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, associate director for Education, Income Maintenance, and Labor programs at the Office of Management and Budget, and special assistant to the president for White House Legislative Affairs. Previously, she also worked for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the Senate Budget Committee. Barbara earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in government from Pomona College.

Terri ShuckSenior Fellow

Terri Shuck is NPESF’s first Executive Director who helped launch and develop the Education Funder Strategy Group in 2009. She has over 30 years of experience in organizational development for non-profit and public interest organizations, including senior leadership roles with the Institute for America’s Future, League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and the LCV Education Fund, People For the American Way, the Government Accountability Project, and the Forum Institute.

In her early career, Terri held staff positions with the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, the ACTION Agency/VISTA volunteer program, and The Youth Project, which encouraged the participation of young people in public interest advocacy and community organizing.

Cyrus DriverInterim Executive Director

Cyrus Driver joined the National Public Education Support Fund in April 2015 as Senior Director of Strategy and Program to lead their growing partnership strategies and is currently Interim Executive Director. Most recently, Cyrus was Vice-President for Strategy at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, launching their efforts to become a pro-active, visible leader on issues of regional inequality. Cyrus worked at the Ford Foundation from 1998-2011, principally as a key architect of education strategies. Trained as an Alinsky-style community organizer, he co-directed coalition-building and parent-organizing strategies at Designs for Change, which led the movement to decentralize Chicago’s public schools during 1985-1991. Cyrus holds a Ph.D. in the economics of education, and M.A. in economics, both from Stanford, an M.P.P. from UC Berkeley, and a B.A. from the University of Chicago. He has authored or co-authored published works on education, and worked as a policy analyst for the Oakland and Berkeley, CA school districts.

Scott NineDeputy Director For Strategy And Program

Scott Nine joined NPESF in July 2017 as Deputy Director of Strategy and Program after serving as a lead consultant with the Partnership for the Future of Learning. Scott previously served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA) where he spend five years traveling, listening, organizing, and learning about the state of education across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. His work focuses on the intersections of place and community-based education, movement building, systems entrepreneurship, action research, and public narrative. Scott was featured in the American Education Research Association’s “Lead the Change” series in 2014. He earned his MSW from Arizona State University in 2002.

Jenni KottingCommunications Director

Jenni Kotting, PhD joined the National Public Education Support Fund as Communications Director in November 2018, bringing a decade of Communications strategy and advocacy experience in collaboratively producing strategic messaging, branding, and innovative media. She defended her PhD in Cultural Geography in 2012, and her academic background grounds her larger commitment for racial, reproductive, and youth justice with a focus on amplifying the voices of those who have been oppressed. She has served as Communications Director for the University YMCA – UIUC, a nonprofit that connects a variety of student groups to social justice activism around environmentalism, immigration, labor, sustainability, and interfaith alliance, and more recently as Communications Director for the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health with an emphasis on youth-adult communication and comprehensive sex education in K-12 schools, and most recently as Communications Director for the National Network of Abortion Funds working to change the conversation and shift cultural narratives through strategic communications and heart-to-heart conversations. Follow @jkotting on Twitter.

Anthony TellishOperations And Special Projects Manager

Anthony Tellish joined the National Public Education Support Fund in January 2014, overseeing operations and the coordination of the international program. Previously, Anthony was a middle school social studies teacher in Maryland. Prior to teaching, he worked for the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC and more recently at The Doe Fund, a major homeless services organization in New York City. While at the Doe Fund, he spearheaded their major gifts program, which resulted in a significant increase to the organization’s overall annual fundraising capability. In addition to earning a Master’s Degree from New York University in Sociology of Education and Education Policy he earned a B.A. from American University in Political Science and his teaching certification from DePaul University.

Taylor MooreMembership Support Coordinator

Taylor Moore joined the National Public Education Support Fund in November 2015. Prior to joining NPESF, Taylor worked with the University of Connecticut School of Business’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a program offering small business training to disabled veterans of post-9/11 combat. As an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, Taylor worked as an assistant teacher in the University’s Child Development Laboratories infant center. Most recently, Taylor interned with U.S. Representative Jim Himes (CT-04) on Capitol Hill. Taylor graduated magna cum laude from the University of Connecticut’s Honors Program in May 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science and French.

Board & Staff

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