Chip Slaven, Interim Executive Director & CEO
Chip Slaven is the Interim Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and is an ex-officio director on its Board of Directors. NSBA, the leading advocate for public education, represents state school boards associations and the U.S. territory of the Virgin Islands, and their locally elected school board members. To advance the association’s mission, serve its members, and champion educational equity, Slaven leads a team of policy, member services, legal, communications, and business experts.
Slaven joined NSBA in 2019 as the Chief Advocacy Officer, where he led the Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which represents state school board associations and their members before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. He also headed the efforts of the National School Boards Action Center, NSBA’s national grassroots organization, and the Center for Public Education, NSBA’s research tank, which examines issues impacting public education.
Slaven has deep government relations experience having served as director of federal policy and intergovernmental affairs for Governor Robert E. Wise, Jr. of West Virginia, and district director for former U.S. Representative Wise. Slaven also served as Counsel to the President and Senior Advocacy Advisor at the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed). A proud product of public education, Slaven received his undergraduate and law degrees from West Virginia University. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and State of West Virginia.
Verjeana McCotter-Jacobs, Chief Transformation Officer
Verjeana M. Jacobs, Esq., serves as the Chief Transformation Officer of NSBA where she takes a lead role in executing the organization’s transformation around member engagement, as well as building upon the progress in member services and equity. She sets the tone, spurs enthusiasm, and challenges conventional wisdom to drive transformational change. McCotter-Jacobs previously served for three years as NSBA’s Chief Equity & Member Services Officer where she took action toward equity, equality, and social justice. The equity program at NSBA is designed to identify discriminatory practices, prejudices, and beliefs in education policy. McCotter-Jacobs expands on NSBA work while overseeing staff development and improving upon the effectiveness of the organization’s mission. Prior to joining NSBA, 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 held several leadership roles as President of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education, and as Chair of the National School Boards’ Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE). She retired as the Division Chief of the Office of Professional Responsibility and Legal Affairs in Prince George’s County government. She maintains her licensed attorney status 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. 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.
Jane Mellow, Interim Chief Advocacy Officer
Jane Mellow is the Interim Chief Advocacy Officer for NSBA, where she leads the Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which represents state school board associations and their members before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. The team of government relations professionals she leads works on a range of financial, social, and technical issues important to K-12 education. She also heads the efforts of the National School Boards Action Center, NSBA’s national grassroots organization, and the Center for Public Education, NSBA’s research tank, which examines issues impacting public education. Mellow joined NSBA Oct. 2019 as the Managing Director, Federal Advocacy and Public Policy. Prior to NSBA, Mellow worked on Capitol Hill for 15 years as Legislative Director first for Rep. Bob Wise and then for Senator Robert C. Byrd. After leaving Capitol Hill she served as the Director of the Washington office for the State of Illinois for two governors. Mellow served as an appointee in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation where she was the Director of Public Affairs for the Federal Highway Administration. Mellow is a proud product of public schools and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from West Virginia University.