Jonah Edelman

Committed Leadership in Education Reform


As the chief executive officer of educational reform group Stand for Children, Jonah Edelman has dedicated his career to the improvement of America’s public schools. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and Waltham, Massachusetts, Stand for Children carries out its mission through independent chapters across the United States. Chapter members advocate for educational policies and political leadership that best serves children living in disadvantaged areas, the children of immigrants, and children of color. Jonah Edelman works collaboratively with staff and members to define strategies that will maximize the organization’s impact on the educational system and reduce achievement inequalities. Recently, the organization’s “What We Stand For” initiative commissioned 15 education policy research reports and initiated a task force to guide organizational efforts.

A native of Washington, DC, Jonah Edelman attended Yale University and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University. In the mid-1990s, he organized the historic “Stand for Children Day” rally. This event, which brought together approximately 300,000 participants, stands as the largest children-focused rally event ever held in the United States. In 2011, recognized Jonah Edelman as one of America’s leading education activists.

His work with Stand for Children also honors his family’s civil rights background. Mr. Edelman’s father was a trusted aide to Robert F. Kennedy, and his mother, a longtime children’s advocate and former aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was the first African-American woman to earn admission to the Mississippi Bar.

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