The National School Boards Association (NSBA), the leading advocate for public education is happy to announce it has appointed Anna Maria Chávez as its Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Working with and through 49 state associations and the U.S. territory of the Virgin Islands, NSBA advocates for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership.

In her new role as the Executive Director and CEO, Chávez will be responsible for leading NSBA’s staff teams to advance the association’s mission and growing the value of the organization. Chávez will lead efforts to expand on NSBA’s strong federal, legal and public advocacy, reputation, and credible voice.   

Chávez brings 25 years of extensive experience in government and non-profit organizational leadership and management, including strategic planning, advocating for children and under-served populations with federal and state legislators, building new partnerships, and growing revenues. Currently, Chávez serves as the Interim President and CEO for the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Previously, she was NCOA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer. For five years, Chávez served as Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the USA.

“Anna’s distinguished public service and non-profit leadership career bring a wealth of experience in organizational transformation and working with state organizations, making her the perfect choice to lead NSBA at this stage in our history,” said Charlie Wilson, NSBA President. “We’re very excited to welcome Anna aboard.”

“As a product of public education and an advocate for children and under-served populations, I’m thrilled to join NSBA, the leading organization for public education,” said Chávez. “NSBA’s commitment to equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership mirrors my values. I look forward to upholding the organization’s strong priorities including shaping federal education policy and championing the right of every child to succeed in school and life.”

NSBA has been at the forefront of efforts to enhance public education. It was a leading organization in the charge to restore local authority of planning and evaluation of public schools in 2015. Today, the association is advocating for federal education policies – including securing full federal funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act – that would have a profound positive impact on millions of students.

Chávez will succeed Thomas J. Gentzel, who is retiring after more than 40 years of service on behalf of school boards. Gentzel has led NSBA for the past seven and a half years.

Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, NSBA represents more than 90,000 school board officials who govern over 13,600 local school districts serving more than 50 million public school students.

The search was conducted by association and non-profit search experts Vetted Solutions.

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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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