Meet the Staff

Executive Director

On December 4, 2018, John Eisenberg assumed the role of Executive Director of the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE). Before this new role, Mr. Eisenberg worked in the Office of Special Education and Student Services at the Virginia Department of Education for fifteen years, seven of those as the State Director of Special Education. Throughout his career in special education, he worked in a variety of other roles including Director of the Virginia Deaf-Blind Project, Technical Assistance Specialist with the National Technical Assistance Consortium for Deaf-Blindness and a classroom teacher for students with developmental disabilities and Deaf-Blindness. Mr. Eisenberg proudly served on the NASDSE Board of Directors for over four years and became President in 2015. Mr. Eisenberg earned his M.Ed in severe disabilities from Hunter College at the City University of New York and his B.A. from New York University. He is also a proud graduate of the Virginia LEND program from Virginia Commonwealth University. He comes from a family of teachers and special educators and is very passionate about improving the educational outcomes of children and families across the United States.



Director of Government Relations

Valerie.Williams@nasdse.org
 

Valerie Williams is the Director of Government Relations for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. She previously worked on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, advancing disability policy and civil rights.

In a professional capacity, Ms. Williams has served in many organizations including:

  • Vice President for the Committee for Education Funding, a coalition of over 100 national organizations focused on increasing the federal investment in education, and
  • Board member for the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, the largest coalition of national organizations working together to support and enact federal public policy that ensures the education, self-determination, independence, and empowerment of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society.

She holds a Bachelors degree in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Masters degree in Public Management from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, Ms. Williams has held numerous Board memberships in local and nationwide organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities, such as The Arc and the National Down Syndrome Congress.

Prior to her work in policy, Ms. Williams had nearly 20 years of experience in finance with the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. She and her husband reside in Maryland, and have a son who happens to have Down syndrome.

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Executive Assistant

 

In January of 2000, Nancy began her tenure at NASDSE, and since then she has worked on various projects.


Nancy served as a Recruitment Coordinator, for Phoebe Gillespie, on the Personnel Improvement Center; Program Coordinator and CSPD Conference Coordinator for Karl Murray; on the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Services (NEC*TAS) with Luzanne Pierce, and Administrative Support for Joanne Cashman, of the IDEA Partnership.


Currently, Nancy serves as Executive Assistant to John Eisenburg, Executive Director at NASDSE, NASDSEs Office & Publications Manager, and Liaison Coordinator for the NASDSE Annual Conference Sponsors.

 

 

Joanne joined the NASDSE staff in 1998 to assume the leadership of the IDEA Partnership. Before coming to NASDSE, Joanne held roles  at the local level and in higher education. She came to NASDSE from the George Washington University where  she served as Director of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program, Leadership for Full Participation. Prior to that role, she served for 26 years as the Director of Special Education, Dropout Prevention, Alternative Education and a Building Principal in the Shikellamy School District, Sunbury PA.

During her tenure at NASDSE, she led the IDEA Partnership, an affiliation of 50 national organizations united to promote cross-stakeholder collaboration and build ally relationships between state education agencies and professional and family  networks. Most recently, Joanne also served on NASDSEs staff to the National Center for Systemic Improvement(NCSI) and was instrumental in organizing the NCSIs service team on communication and collaboration.

Joanne has deep cross-agency experiences and continues to work on projects, advisories and  contracts in adaptive leadership, school-based mental health, communities of practice, military connected students  and cradle-to-college and career systems.