ALEXANDRIA, VA (WOWK) – A man from West Virginia has been named as the National School Boards Association’s new interim executive director and CEO.

Chip Slaven, who has worked for the association as Chief Advocacy Officer, has already “hit the ground running” in the new leadership role, the NSBA says. This week, Slaven spoke to the Southern Legislative Conference in Nashville and participated in the NSBA’s Equity Symposium. The association says he will also join other major education leaders for a collaborative effort to focus on student success in public schools.

Slaven replaces the departing CEO, Anna Maria Chávez, who the NSBA says resigned to enter the private sector.

“I am pleased to announce Chip Slaven as NSBA’s interim Executive Director and CEO,” said Dr. Viola M. Garcia, NSBA President. “Chip has more than two decades of experience as a passionate advocate for public education and our nation’s students. He’s a trusted voice who our state associations know and respect.”

According to the NSBA, Slaven graduated from Grafton High School in Taylor County, West Virginia, and then went on to study at West Virginia University, where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees.

“I’m honored to take the helm of the National School Boards Association during such an important moment for education,” said Slaven. “America’s public schools and the nearly 51 million students who attend them are going through an extremely turbulent time. As the dark clouds of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to clear, I’m focused on ensuring that students, schools, and school districts receive the support and resources they need to ensure a safe return to classrooms this fall. I’m also committed to supporting NSBA’s Board of Directors, NSBA staff, and our state association members during this transition period.”

Slaven also has experience in legal and government relations. He previously served as the director of federal policy and intergovernmental affairs under former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise and was a district director during Wise’s time as a U.S. Representative, the NSBA says. Slaven has also been both an attorney and a law clerk and is still licensed to practice law both in West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

During his tenure as the NSBA’s Chief Advocacy Officer, Slaven led a federal advocacy team to secure approximately $200 billion in the COVID-19 recovery packages passed by Congress in 2020 and 2021 for K-12 public schools and worked to launch initiatives to help students who do not have internet access in their homes, according to the association.

“I promise this is the just the beginning of an aggressive advocacy effort on behalf of our members and public schools,” Slaven said.

Before Slaven joined the NSBA, the organization says he was Counsel to the President at the Alliance for Excellent Education and also originated Digital Learning Day, a campaign to help close the digital divide for students. He remains active in numerous educational organizations.