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Jonathan Briggs Biography

Board Member Briggs holds a politically appointed role as the Associate Director of Science & Policy and Public Engagement in the Office of the US Surgeon General. In this capacity, he is instrumental in advancing public health priorities for the nation's doctors, focusing on crucial areas such as mental health, fostering social connection, and navigating the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Before this, he served as the Policy Manager at America Forward, a New Profit policy initiative, where he contributed significantly to their 2020 Presidential engagement effort, the Whole-Learner Education Initiative and workforce policy, and their advocacy for evidence-based policies in education and workforce development.

His background includes a tenure as a Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) Fellow and Education Program Specialist at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). During this time, he co-managed a portfolio of discretionary grant awardees in the Office of Program and Grantee Support Services. His role extended to collaborating with various formula and discretionary grant program offices within the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. This involved designing qualitative and quantitative methods for assessing grant programs' effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity, employing analytical and evaluative techniques to identify challenges and enhance grant programs and processes.

Before joining ED, Jonathan's contributions extended to Capitol Hill, where he served as a Legislative Fellow and Acting Legislative Assistant in the Office of Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge. His focus encompassed various policies, including education, health, employment, higher education, labor, and civil rights. During this period, Jonathan played an integral part in the development of impactful bills such as the Strength in Diversity Act of 2019, aimed at improving diversity and reducing socioeconomic isolation in public schools and early education programs, and the Time for Completion Act of 2019, which redefined the way institutions calculate completion rates, providing essential information for students and families evaluating colleges and universities.

A Chicago Southsider by origin, Board Member Briggs’ unwavering commitment to social justice and education reform has defined his journey. Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, he contributed to enhancing safe travel experiences for students through the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education's Safe Passage initiative in DC. Back in his home state of Illinois, he championed the creation of the Governor's Children's Cabinet to empower and amplify youth voices.

Jonathan's dedication to education evolved during his experience as a 2013 Teach for America - Kansas City Corps member, where he taught 5th-grade “all subjects” and led Guided Reading sessions. He spearheaded family engagement initiatives to foster stronger family and school bonds. Furthermore, he was a 2011-2013 Corps member with City Year Chicago. He served as an Outreach Coordinator and Team Leader, providing targeted support in attendance, behavior, and course performance to cohorts of students most in need of academic intervention.

His educational journey includes a BA from National Louis University, a Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University, a graduate certificate in Urban Education and Leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and he is currently a candidate for a Master of Science in Law at Cornell Law School.