One of the most compelling voices of our time, Byron V. Garrett is Chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance (NFEA); a nonprofit dedicated to transforming education through meaningful family engagement. Byron serves as the Director of Educational Leadership & Policy for Microsoft and a consulting author for Scholastic. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Board for The Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, is a trustee for The Guyana Foundation and the CeCe Peniston Youth Foundation and was recently named to The Root 100 which recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders under 45 who are making extraordinary contributions.
Throughout his career, he has been a visionary agent of change promoting the idea that everyone has an obligation and opportunity to serve the best interests of our nation’s most precious resource – children. Byron is a former columnist for Parenting, where he wrote “Parent University” monthly and served on their Editorial Advisory Board. Byron served as a lead strategist and planner for NBC News’ Education Nation and produced the 1st Annual Building a Grad Nation Summit for the America’s Promise Alliance which featured Vice President Joe Biden. The former CEO of the National PTA, Byron has a unique combination of experience from both the non-profit and governmental sectors, having served as the first Chief of Staff for the Office of Public Affairs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). Prior to this, Garrett served as National Program Leader for the National 4-H Headquarters at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the program’s seven million participants and 90,000 clubs. While at USDA he was appointed by The White House as co- convener of the Helping America’s Youth initiative, an interagency effort to address challenges facing youth and to promote successful solutions.
Earlier in his career, Garrett spent a decade in Phoenix as an education advocate and community leader. He served as Policy Advisor for Faith and Community Initiatives for then Governor Janet Napolitano (former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security); prior to that role, he was the Director of the Governor’s Division for Community and Youth Development, where he administered multiple boards and commissions. A former K-8 charter school principal, Byron has been a guest on the Today Show, MSNBC, Fox and the Dr. Phil Show, and featured in a number of publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and JET Magazine. Ebony named Garrett to its “Power 150,” an annual list of “The Most Influential Black Americans.”
An accomplished writer, Garrett is the author of several books including the highly popular, “The ABC’s of Life” (Scholastic 2013). An accomplished speaker, Garrett has delivered presentations all across the U.S., Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean.
Gina Warner is President and CEO of the National AfterSchool Association. NAA – the voice of the afterschool profession – has over 25,000 members across the country and hosts the most comprehensive program of professional development opportunities for afterschool professionals anywhere in the United States. Gina began her afterschool career as a teen – highly engaged in 4-H programs in rural Alabama – and has continued to work at the intersection of education, youth development, public policy and nonprofit leadership throughout her career. Gina relies on her experience as a classroom teacher, an attorney, a U.S. Senate Staffer and a citywide OST leader to guide her as she works to strengthen NAA to meet the needs of both emerging and experienced afterschool professionals through enhanced training and development, increased communication, outreach and membership engagement.