Dr. John Heim, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. John Heim is the Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of the National School Boards Association (NSBA). To advance the association’s mission and serve its members, Heim leads a team of policy, member services, legal, communications, and business experts.


Prior to joining NSBA, Heim served as the Executive Director of the Kansas Association of School Boards where, for 11 years, he worked closely with local boards of education on professional development, goal setting, financial stewardship, policy, advocacy, and other strategic issues to advance public education. Over his four-decade career in public education, Heim has worked as a teacher, principal, and superintendent to improve outcomes and opportunities of Kansas students and position Kansas schools for success. 


Heim has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Kansas State University and has served as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer and speaker. His passion for supporting the next generation of educational leaders has inspired many to pursue careers in educational leadership.


Heim has received multiple accolades for his work in public education, including the 2022 University of Kansas School of Education and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni; 2019 Kansas State University College of Education Alumni Fellow; 2008 Kansas Superintendent of the Year by the Kansas Association of School Administrators; the 2006 Outstanding Service Award from the United School Administrators of Kansas; and the 2001 Communicator of the Year Award from the Kansas School Public Relations Association.


Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs, Deputy Executive Director

Verjeana M. Jacobs, was named NSBA’s Deputy Executive Director in August 2022. Previously, she served as NSBA’s Chief Transformation Officer, leading the organization’s change around member engagement, as well as building upon the progress in member services and equity. For three years she served as NSBA’s Chief Equity & Member Services Officer where she took action toward equity, equality, and social justice to identify discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs in education policy.

Under her leadership the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) has experienced triple digit growth. Prior to joining NSBA, McCotter-Jacobs served as Chair of the Board of Education in one of the nation’s largest school districts. During her ten-year tenure as a school board member, she served as president of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education and Chair of the National School Boards’ Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE). McCotter-Jacobs retired as the Division Chief of the Office of Professional Responsibility and Legal Affairs at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, from the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections.  She is a licensed attorney in Maryland and the District of Columbia.


Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., Chief Legal Officer

Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. is the Chief Legal Officer of NSBA. A proud product of our public schools, Negrón is a leading national advocate for public schools, directing NSBA’s nationally recognized Legal Advocacy Program, which files more amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court and in federal and state appellate courts across the country each year than all national education associations combined. Negrón also leads the 3,200-member Council of School Attorneys, the national network of lawyers representing K-12 public schools.


This council hosts two signature conferences annually for its participants. He is also a member of the Bars of the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia, Florida, and all federal circuit courts of appeals. Negrón regularly appears in national media outlets as a spokesperson for public schools. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law and holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of West Florida.


Renée B. Joe, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Named as NSBA’s first Chief Marketing & Communications Officer in August 2022, Renée Joe guides teams focused on strengthening organizational brand voice, enhancing experience, and generating revenue. Joe joined NSBA in 2017 to transform the association’s strategic marketing and creative teams, later seeing her role expanded to oversee the Public Advocacy and Communications Departments. In 2021, her role was augmented again to also oversee business development, meetings, and leadership teams as interim Transformation Officer. Since 2020, she has also served as publisher of NSBA’s award-winning American School Board Journal (ASBJ).


Before joining NSBA, Joe worked as as Vice President, Global Membership, Marketing and Services for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. Under her leadership, the organization saw record worldwide membership levels not achieved in 17 previous years. Previously, Joe served more than 10,000 CEOs in 46 countries as Vice President, Marketing & Communications, of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, launching global branding, translation, magazine, and highly successful social media initiatives. Similarly, as Managing Director, Marketing, for the Association for Financial Professionals, her customer engagement strategy drove double-digit revenue increases in conference and product sales. Her private sector work includes LexisNexis, The Mead Corporation, and The Eveready Battery Company. Joe earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from Tulane University and a Master of Business Administration from Boston University.