George Mason's Board of Visitors

Kathleen M. deLaski

Kathleen M. deLaski

Kathleen deLaski is president of The deLaski Family Foundation, a leading Washington area grant-maker in education and the arts.

Ms. deLaski has spent 10 years in various roles working on education reform, most recently on the senior founding team for StudentsFirst, a 1.3 million member national advocacy movement to create better school options, particularly for low-income families. She has also served as senior program officer for education at the Walton Family Foundation, where she managed a $130 million portfolio of non- profit investments to grow advocacy capacity for education reform and quality public charter school seats across the U.S.

Previously, Ms. deLaski was founding president of The Sallie Mae Fund, the non-profit arm of student lending leader, Sallie Mae, where she built a national education platform for low-income families to learn about financial aid and a $15-20m annual scholarship fund to support college access. She has also served as Sallie Mae’s Chief Communications Officer, where her portfolio included government relations, communications, consumer marketing, and investor relations.

Spending five years at America Online, she developed the first interactive tools to engage the public electronically in elections and the political process. She and her boss, Steve Case, were named by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics among "25 People Changing the World."

Prior to AOL, Ms. deLaski was named by President Clinton as Chief Spokesman for the Pentagon, where she oversaw the military’s worldwide public information team. She also spent 13 years as a TV journalist, including 5 years as an ABC News Washington correspondent, mostly covering politics and foreign policy.

Ms. deLaski earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science and English at Duke University and her master's degree in Public Administration at Harvard University's J.F. Kennedy School of Government. She sits on the George Mason Board of Visitors.

Ms. deLaski is married with two mostly-grown children in McLean, Virginia. She enjoys ballet, cooking, knitting, classic novels, and good movies.