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January 11, 2023

The Board of Trustees of Education Law Center is proud to announce the appointment of Robert Kim as the organization’s new Executive Director as of March 1, 2023. Mr. Kim replaces noted civil rights attorney David Sciarra, who has led ELC since 1996.

“The Board is excited for Robert Kim to take the reins at ELC at a time when public school students across the country continue to face educational inequities as well as growing threats to their education rights,” said Gregory Little, ELC Board Chair. “Bob has the experience and skill to lead ELC to innovate and meet the 21st-century challenge of advancing equity and diversity in our public schools.”

Mr. Kim has engaged in civil and education rights law and policy for more than 25 years, including as staff counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, senior policy analyst at the National Education Association, and Senior Counsel and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama Administration. In 2020, he reviewed education and civil rights issues for the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition Team.

A leading expert and author in education law and policy, Mr. Kim has a written extensively on a wide range of legal and policy issues impacting public education, including as a regular columnist in Phi Delta Kappan.

“I had the opportunity to work with Bob during his tenure at OCR,” said Janel George, ELC Trustee and Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown Law. “He demonstrated an extraordinary ability to bring diverse stakeholders together to address discrimination impacting students of color and other vulnerable student populations.”

Mr. Kim, who grew up in Somerset County, New Jersey, and attended local public schools, is well positioned to advance ELC’s historic successes on school funding and other equity reforms in New Jersey through litigation, research, and coalition building.

“I’m honored to serve as the next Executive Director of ELC,” Mr. Kim said. “I look forward to working closely with the Board, staff and ELC’s many partners to build upon and expand ELC’s unparalleled record of advocacy for public school children across the nation.”

Mr. Kim takes the place of David Sciarra, a leading school finance litigator and expert on public school funding and education law and policy. Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Sciarra secured groundbreaking rulings from the New Jersey Supreme Court on school funding, preschool, and other reforms in the landmark Abbott v. Burke litigation. Under his leadership, ELC built on its successes in New Jersey to become a national leader in enforcing the education rights of low-income students and students of color.

“The Board applauds David for his stellar career, accomplishments, and commitment to public education,” said Mr. Little. “His aggressive leadership led to many court rulings that have broken new legal ground and fueled policy reforms improving educational opportunities and outcomes for students in New Jersey and across the country.”

“I’m proud of ELC’s many achievements during my tenure that have measurably improved the quality of education provided to our most vulnerable students,” said Mr. Sciarra. “While stepping down from ELC, I intend to remain engaged in the fight to protect and strengthen public education as the bulwark of our democracy. I also look forward to celebrating ELC’s milestone 50th anniversary this spring with our many supporters, allies, and friends.”

Join Education Law Center for a celebration of 50 years of advocacy, and as we salute David and Bob, on May 4, 2023, in Newark.

Press Contact:

Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x 240