NAESP Welcomes Danny Carlson, New Director of Policy and Advocacy

NAESP Welcomes Danny Carlson, New Director of Policy and Advocacy


Alexandria, VA—December 11, 2017— The National Association of Elementary School Principals today announced that Danny Carlson will serve as the Association’s Assistant Executive Director, Policy, Advocacy, and Special Projects. Carlson’s 10 years of pre-K–12 policy experience at federal, state, and district levels will help reinforce NAESP’s mission to lead in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle-level principals and other education leaders in their commitment for all children. In this role, Carlson will guide NAESP’s advocacy and legislative initiatives and strategic alliances to advance the Association’s policy agenda.

“We are extremely excited to have a person of Danny Carlson’s experience and ability lead NAESP’s critically important policy and advocacy endeavors,” said NAESP’s executive director, Dr. L. Earl Franks, CAE. “His enthusiastic personality and vast experiences on Capitol Hill and in the educational policy and advocacy arena, coupled with NAESP’s commitment to aid our members in their quest to provide every child with a well-rounded, complete and world-class educational experience, will ensure that NAESP remains America’s premier association for elementary and middle-level school administrators.”

Prior to joining NAESP, Carlson was a policy analyst for the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices. In that role, he oversaw the Education Division’s K–12 human capital work, advancing policies to address principal challenges in their states.

“Principals are critical to building high-quality learning environments and promoting student achievement,” said Carlson. “I look forward to joining the NAESP team and advocating on behalf of elementary and middle-level principals nationwide.”

Before joining NGA, Carlson served for three years as an education advisor for a United States Senator and was responsible for advancing her K–12 education agenda. In that capacity, he developed provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) designed to improve principal and teacher recruitment and retention, address chronic absenteeism, and boost opportunities for STEM education.

Because principals are the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning, NAESP advocates for resources and training for every elementary and middle-level principal to create optimum conditions for a well-rounded and complete education for every student. For more information about NAESP’s advocacy program, visit



Since 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has been the leading advocate for elementary and middle-level principals in the United States and worldwide. NAESP advances the profession by developing policy, professional development, and resources for instructional leadership including specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K–3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and effective educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit