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Education Advocate and Former Legislative Leader to Assume Administrative Helm of State’s Largest Teacher Organization

The CEA Board of Directors has appointed accomplished policymaker and education advocate Donald E. Williams Jr., as the organization’s new executive director. The position is currently held by Mark Waxenberg, who is retiring after serving as CEA’s executive director for five years. After a distinguished career in public service, law, and journalism, Williams joined CEA in 2014 as the Association’s Director of Professional Policy, Research, and Reform.

“In three years at CEA, Don has done an excellent job addressing the issues that teachers value, and that improve public education in Connecticut,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “He is a strong advocate for public education and teachers, and understands the extraordinary challenges facing public education.”

Williams said, “As a former legislator and CEA Policy and Research Director, I am honored to be given this important opportunity to continue the vital work that supports students, teachers and public education.”

Williams continued, “This is a critical time for public education, with challenges that include threats from corporate groups seeking to privatize and profit from our public schools. I look forward to working with our members to strengthen and protect public education for all students and all teachers.”

CEA Executive Director Mark Waxenberg said, “Don combines strong legislative and education policy experience, and knowledge of the depth of our organization with a vision for the future—a vision that will be a crucial part of our continued success moving forward. Don has proven to be both an accomplished CEA manager and a strong champion for students and teachers. We are confident that he will handle his new responsibilities well and are fortunate to have an executive director of his caliber at CEA who can lead the Association forward in the years to come.”

Williams earned a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law and a B.S. in journalism from Syracuse University. His decades of experience include association, development, legal, community, and government work. Williams assumes his position as executive director on July 1, 2017.

“I am excited about my new position and look forward to working with CEA President Sheila Cohen, Vice President Jeff Leake, the Board of Directors, and our association’s distinguished staff as well as teachers across the state,” Williams said.

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