Veteran of Senate HELP Committee and U.S. Department of Education will Add Strength to Advance Federal and State Policy Agenda
October 17, 2016

WASHINGTON – The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the leading advocate for high-achieving and high-potential learners, has named long-time education policy expert William “Bill” Knudsen to be its new director of Government and Affiliate Relations.


Knudsen joins NAGC from Chairman Lamar Alexander’s staff on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

“NAGC is delighted to have an expert like Bill joining our team at this pivotal moment. Bill is key to launching the policy component our revised goals framework called Minds. Policies. Practices., which seeks to address longstanding impediments obstructing service for our gifted and talented students,” said NAGC Executive Director M. René Islas.

“Bill joins NAGC with an impressive resume including service as a senior staffer on the Senate’s education committee, where he helped write the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), as well as leadership positions in the Department of Education and within the District of Columbia’s Department of Education. This unique blend of legislative and administrative experience at the federal, state, and local levels makes him well-prepared to help move our new strategic framework,” Islas added.

Minds. Policies. Practices. is a focused agenda to organize all of NAGC’s assets and those of collaborating organizations to affect change in the perceptions, public policies, and educational practices that are needed to support identification and service for gifted children. The NAGC Board of Directors adopted the agenda in September 2016, and developed it in partnership with a body of external experts, the educational community, and members of the NAGC Corporate Council, which is chaired by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine.


The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is a membership organization whose leaders support and develop policies and practices that encourage and respond to the diverse expressions of gifts and talents in children and youth from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups. NAGC invests its resources to train teachers, encourage parents, and educate administrators and policy makers on how to develop and support gifted children. NAGC’s State of the Nation in Gifted Education provides a biennial analysis of state laws and policies to support high-ability and high-potential students. 

CONTACT:  Cathleen Healy,