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Executive Director, National Education Association

John C. Stocks

Our Leaders

John C. Stocks, a national leader in the fight to transform public education, is the Executive Director of the National Education Association (NEA) — the nation’s largest union.

NEA represents 3 million teachers, education support professionals, higher education faculty and staff, school administrators, retired educators, and students. For more than 160 years, the NEA has been a powerful advocate for opportunity and justice for all Americans and has given voice to some of the defining issues of our times.

As Executive Director, Stocks oversees the operations of NEA’s $350 million annual budget and 477 staff. Since his appointment in 2011, Stocks has been at the center of the union’s efforts to champion an Association-led movement to ensure great public schools for every student — one that empowers NEA’s members to lead the drive for educator excellence and fights for every child’s fundamental right to a quality public education. NEA’s ongoing efforts to demonstrate its unyielding commitment to students and the educators who serve them has earned it a place as a respected authority on what it takes to help students succeed.

As NEA’s Deputy Executive Director from 2004-2011, Stocks spearheaded NEA’s policy, political and membership priorities. Under his leadership, NEA charted a new course: mobilizing its ranks in support of improving the federal No Child Left Behind law, transforming its political organization, and building new strategic alliances to champion public education.

Stocks served as Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs at the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC), with oversight for the Association’s public relations, legislative, political action, and teaching and learning departments. Prior to joining WEAC, Stocks served as a state senator in Idaho — winning a seat that had been previously occupied by a four-term incumbent.

An unmatched drive for social justice and positive change in education has been the signature of John Stocks’ career. In 2014, Stocks received the Cecile Richards Progressive Leader Award from America Votes — a national network representing 300 state and national partner organizations that advance progressive agendas. The Campaign for America’s Future honored John Stocks with its Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award in 2011.

Stocks has also been recognized by other leading national organizations as an agent for progressive change, including the Midwest Academy, a grassroots training institute with a long tradition of preparing progressive leaders, and by the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center for his innovative work in ballot measure campaigns.

He currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the boards of the NEA Foundation and the NEA Health Information Network. He also serves as a board member of the Democracy Alliance and as an Advisory Board member of Organizing for America.

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Stocks is a graduate of Evergreen State