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Mary E. Kusler named Senior Director of NEA’s Center for Advocacy

Kusler to oversee NEA government relations, campaigns and elections and collective bargaining departments

WASHINGTON - November 30, 2016 -

National Education Association Executive Director John C. Stocks appointed Mary E. Kusler as Senior Director of the NEA Center for Advocacy, effective immediately. The Center for Advocacy houses the departments of Government Relations, Campaigns and Elections, and Collective Bargaining.

“Mary Kusler possesses the passion for public education and the proven track record of results to continue to advance our mission to create great public schools for all students regardless of the ZIP code in which they live,” said NEA Executive Director John C. Stocks. “With Mary leading the charge, the NEA Center for Advocacy work is well positioned to further advance the priorities of the NEA. Now more than ever students need a champion, and Mary is uniquely qualified to take our advocacy and activist work to the next level on behalf of our nation’s students, schools and communities.”

A native of New York, Mary Kusler joined NEA in 2010 as the manager for federal advocacy and earned a promotion to Director of Government Relations a year later. Kusler was instrumental in advocating to pass a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, to help craft a congressional deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, and to secure billions of dollars to save educator jobs during the economic recession.

“I am honored and humbled to have been appointed to lead the NEA Center for Advocacy,” said Mary E. Kusler. “Students are at the center of everything we do as an Association of nearly 3 million members. At the Center for Advocacy, we will continue to strive every day to make sure educators have the support and tools they need to reach, teach and inspire their students, and to make sure that they have a voice in creating the policies that affect our students, classrooms, and schools.”

Prior to joining NEA, Kusler served as the assistant director of policy and advocacy for the American Association of School Administrators for almost a decade. In her role there, she represented more than 13,000 school superintendents and local educational leaders before members of Congress.

Before entering the field of education policy, Kusler ran campaigns and field programs for targeted state house races in Virginia and Pennsylvania in coordination with the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

Mary Kusler graduated from Fairfield University with a bachelor’s degree in theatre and politics. She completed her master’s degree in public policy at George Mason University in Virginia.

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez, NEA Communications  202-822-7823,