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WASHINGTON, D.C. 20005
Sara Watson, National Director
Sara Watson is the National Director for ReadyNation/America’s Edge, a project of the Council for a Strong America. Most recently, Sara was Executive Vice President for National Partnerships and Director of ReadyNation at America’s Promise Alliance. From 2001 – 2011, Sara was a senior officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she directed Pew’s national pre-kindergarten campaign, founded ReadyNation and advised three other children’s advocacy campaigns. She has worked at The Finance Project in Washington, D.C., the Family Policy Council in Olympia, Washington, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, D.C. Sara has a bachelor’s degree from Carleton College and master of public policy and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Tony Shivers, Deputy Director
Tony Shivers joined ReadyNation/America’s Edge in March 2013 with extensive experience in government affairs for education. Prior to joining ReadyNation/America’s Edge, Mr. Shivers was the director of government affairs for the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) where he promoted the organization’s policy work before Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, other appropriate federal agencies, and the education community. Mr. Shivers also oversaw membership services and state policy action initiatives for the organization. Prior to joining NASBE in April 2009, Mr. Shivers was the director of government affairs for the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools (NAFIS) based in Washington, DC. He lobbied Congress and the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of school districts that receive funding from the federal Impact Aid Program. While at NAFIS, he was successful in securing increased Impact Aid appropriations each fiscal year and an additional $100 million for Impact Aid school construction in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009. Prior to joining NAFIS, Mr. Shivers was the state legislative field representative for the American Psychiatric Association (APA). He provided on-site grassroots advocacy training and resource assistance to APA’s District Branches/State Associations on specific state legislative and regulatory issues, with emphasis on mental health issues.
Mr. Shivers received his B.S. in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University and completed his legal studies at Kaplan University Concord School of Law. He is also a former education policy fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership. Mr. Shivers hails from Wilmington, North Carolina and is married to Catherine, a national board certified teacher in the Fairfax County, Virginia school system.
Nicholas D. Alexander, Federal Policy Director(202) 776-5109 Nicholas D. Alexander directs the federal policy efforts of ReadyNation/America’s Edge. Prior to joining our organization in 2008, Mr. Alexander served as the criminal law counsel for the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) where he assisted attorneys general from around the country in criminal justice policy matters. Before joining NAAG, Mr. Alexander practiced law in Maryland, working with a firm specializing in the representation of police officers, where he handled criminal and civil litigation matters. He also has worked for the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, where he staffed the Prosecution Function Committee and assisted the section’s governing board in developing policy recommendations. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and a member of the Maryland State Bar, Mr. Alexander received his B.A. in political science from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Lisa Berry, Communications Associate (202) 464-5350
ReadyNation/America’s Edge operates under the umbrella of Council for a Strong America, a 501 (c)(3) organization.