Brenda Welburn Named 'Friend of Education' by National Association of State Boards of Education

Jul 29, 2013, 13:00 ET from National Association of State Boards of Education

ARLINGTON, Va., July 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Brenda Lilienthal Welburn, the National Association of State Boards of Education's (NASBE) long-time executive director, is being honored this year by the organizations Board of directors with the association's Friend of Education Award. The national award is given annually to an individual or organization whose contributions to education are significant and enduring.


Brenda Welburn retired as NASBE's leader in 2011 after nearly 30 years in leadership roles with the organization. In her first address to state board members as executive director she set out her enduring philosophy when she said, "I will challenge you to be visionary in your commitment to this nation's students. I will challenge you to provide the absolute best education available to every child in your state—the one with the fresh scrubbed, eager face and the one with the dreadlocks. The one with the correct answers and the one with the bad attitude."

"It is hard to imagine someone more deserving of this award than Brenda," said NASBE President Patrick Guida. "I know of no greater advocate for equity in education or for state boards than Brenda. Throughout her career, she has been a leader whose influence was exceeded only by her inspiration of us all."

"This is a tremendous and unexpected honor," Welburn said. "But the honor of working with those dedicated board members from across the country through the years was truly all mine."                                    

Brenda Welburn was executive director of NASBE from 1993 through January 2012. In the 1970s she became a research analyst with the U.S. House of Representatives' Select Committee on Assassinations, and in 1981 joined the legislative staff of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas (MA), covering a broad range of legislative issues including education, health and human services, child welfare services, and civil rights. Brenda first came to NASBE as the Director of Governmental Affairs in 1984, then served as Deputy Executive Director from 1988-93. 

The award is being presented July 30 at NASBE's national conference in Arlington, VA.

The National Association of State Boards of Education represents America's state and territorial boards of education. NASBE exists to strengthen State Boards as the preeminent educational policymaking bodies for citizens and students. For more, visit

SOURCE National Association of State Boards of Education