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Published: Saturday, 1/11/2014 - Updated: 2 years ago

Johns heads up initiative for educational excellence


David Johns is the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans.

Mr. Johns, 31, obtained a master’s degree in sociology and education policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude while simultaneously teaching elementary school in New York City.

He graduated with honors for his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in 2004 with a triple major in English, creative writing, and African-American studies.

He was appointed by President Obama to his current position after serving as senior education policy adviser for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

He also was on the staff of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D., Mass.) and is a former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Fellow.

Mr. Johns’ 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.

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