Nina Rees

lead image

Nina Rees is the president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, the leading national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. Since joining the National Alliance in 2013, Nina has enhanced the organization’s stature in Washington, D.C., deepening relationships with members of both parties in Congress, multiple presidential administrations, and across the nonprofit and advocacy spaces. Over the course of her tenure, annual funding for the federal Charter Schools Program has grown from $254 million to $440 million.

Nina has also strengthened the operational health of the National Alliance. She has reshaped the board of directors to better reflect the charter school movement and build important connections with state Charter Support Organizations, leaders of Charter Management Organizations, policymakers, and educational innovators. To ensure the National Alliance’s financial sustainability, Nina has expanded relationships with donors who are passionate about improving opportunities in public education. She also regularly speaks as an authoritative voice for the charter school movement and an education policy expert on news outlets including Bloomberg, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox News, and PBS’s NewsHour. Her articles and opinions have been published in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. In March 2021, Washingtonian Magazine named her one of Washington's most influential people. 

Prior to joining the National Alliance, Nina spent 25 years shaping education policy in the public and private sectors. She served as the first Deputy Under Secretary for Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education. In this capacity, she oversaw the administration of 28 grant programs totaling $2 billion and supporting 1,300 projects. She was also responsible for spearheading innovative federal programs and policies such as school choice, charter schools, and alternative routes to teacher certification and school leadership. Before moving to the Education Department, Nina worked in the White House as Deputy Assistant for Domestic Policy to the Vice President of the United States.

As Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Knowledge Universe, Nina guided the partnerships and expansion strategy for a leading global education company with investments in early childhood education, before- and after-school programs, and online instruction. In the 1990s, Nina was the Heritage Foundation’s senior education analyst and chief spokesperson on education. She began her career on Capitol Hill, where she worked for then-Congressman Porter Goss.

Rees serves on the board of directors of the PIE Network, the advisory committee of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the advisory boards of Honored and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. She is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

A native of Iran who immigrated to America at the age of 14, Nina earned her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech and a master’s degree at George Mason University. She now lives in McLean, Virginia, with her husband and daughter.


Articles, media appearances, and testimonials by Nina Rees

The Power of Education Can Change Lives, Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy

NCSC21: Nina Rees Opening Remarks, 2021 National Charter Schools Conference

Nina Rees on the 30th Anniversary of Charter Public Schools in America, The Learning Curve Podcast 

Taking Stock After 30 Years of Charter Schools, Education Week 

30 Years Strong: Charter Schools And America’s Education Landscape, redefinED 

Virtual learning is the right choice for some D.C. charters, The Washington Post

In America’s National Reckoning With Race, Equity in Education Is Still an Issue, Morning Consult 

Reimagining the future of public education after COVID, The Hill 

Nina Rees is named one of Washington’s Most Influential People 2021, Washingtonian 

Nina Rees on Choice Media's #StoryOfTheDay, Choice Media 

What should education issues for the next administration look like?, The Hill

How schools and policymakers can ensure success for remote learning, The Hill  

Millions of kids are at risk this fall if schools don't reopen. We must close the digital divide now, FOXBusiness

Nina Rees Welcome RemarksNational Charter Schools Conference Virtual 2020

The case for good schools as a state constitutional right, The Education Gadfly Show Podcast

A constitutional right to a high-quality public education, American Enterprise Institute

Chartered Territory, National Association of Elementary School Principals 

The Education Exchange: Will Charter Schools Open This Fall?, Education Next 

Charter school offers supplies and support to tornado victims, CBS

How charter schools are adapting amid the coronavirus outbreak, Yahoo Finance

Public charter schools show the rest of us how to go above and beyond, Washington Examiner

Congress Acted Quickly to Pass the Stimulus. Now It Needs to Make Sure the Education Funding Goes Where It’s Needed Most, The 74

This National Charter Schools Week, It’s More Important Than Ever to Celebrate the Success of 3.2 Million Charter Kids, The 74

The Union War on Charter School Philanthropists, The Wall Street Journal

Interview on Fox and Friends

The Charter School Movement Needs to Fight, Keynote Speech at 2019 National Charter Schools Conference

Testimony before the House Education and Workforce Committee at a Congressional hearing on charter schools

Blog posts by Nina Rees

Head shot of National Alliance for Public Charter Schools President & CEO Nina Rees

President & CEO