Skip to Content

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond named NEA’s 2009 Friend of Education

Influential education policy writer and researcher honored by educators

SAN DIEGO - July 06, 2009 -

Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond received NEA’s 2009 Friend of Education Award today at the National Education Association’s Representative Assembly in San Diego. NEA’s president called Dr. Darling-Hammond America’s most influential education policy writer and researcher.

“Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond possesses a brilliant mind and a powerful moral compass,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of NEA. “That combination is what makes her such a remarkable force in the research, education and policy communities, here and around the world.”

Dr. Darling-Hammond was the education advisor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.  She has written more than 300 publications with her research, teaching, and policy work focusing on issues of school restructuring, teacher quality and educational equity. She is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, where she has launched the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. From 1994–2001, she served as executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, a blue-ribbon panel whose 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future, led to sweeping policy changes affecting teaching and teacher education.

“I began my career as a teacher, so this is a tremendous honor for me,” said Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond. “I greatly respect the work teachers do and realize how that work directly shapes America’s ability to maintain a vibrant democracy and to compete in a global society. We must be committed to excellence and equality, teacher preparation and professional accountability, and school transformation that will meet the needs of all students. I am pleased to be amongst friends who share those values.”

Since its inception in 1972, the Friend of Education Award has attained the status of NEA’s highest tribute.  Each year, NEA bestows this prestigious award on an individual or organization whose leadership, acts, and support have significantly benefited education, education employees, or students on a national scale.

Previous recipients of the award include U.S. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and William Jefferson Clinton; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; and U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley. The award has also been presented to U.S. senators and representatives, governors, educators, civil rights activists, authors, an athlete and an astronaut.

High resolution photos of Dr. Darling-Hammond accepting the award are available by contacting Ramona Parks-Kirby at (202) 368-0575 or emailing

# # #

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

CONTACT: Ramona Parks-Kirby  (202) 368-0575,