Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has announced the appointment of David J. Johns as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
The initiative will work to identify best practices for improving African American student achievement, and partner with communities and a variety of federal agencies to produce effective programs for black youth.
“David’s expertise will be critical in helping to address the academic challenges that many African American students face, and I am delighted to have him on our team,” Duncan said.
Prior to joining the Department, Johns was a senior education policy advisor to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) under the leadership of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Before working for the Senate HELP committee, under Chairman Harkin, Johns served under the leadership of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass. Johns also was a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow in the office of Congressman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. Johns has worked on issues affecting low-income and minority students, neglected youth and early childhood education, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). His research as an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow served as a catalyst to identify, disrupt and supplant negative perceptions of black males, both within academia and society. Johns is committed to volunteer services and maintains an active commitment to improve literacy among adolescent minority males.
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