January 17, 2020

EdAllies Names Josh Crosson Executive Director

By Daniel Sellers

On April 1, 2020, Josh Crosson will step up to serve as EdAllies’ next Executive Director. Over the past three years, Josh has served as EdAllies’ Senior Policy Director.

Josh brings a clear vision and a commitment to advance EdAllies’ mission. As a member of EdAllies’ senior team, Josh has helped our team craft goals over the past several years that are ambitious, bold, and grounded in the needs and opportunities of the local landscape.

“Building meaningful relationships with students, families, and policymakers, and making space for our most impacted to lead, has been at the center of my advocacy as Senior Policy Director,” Josh said. “Under my leadership, EdAllies will continue to work to improve our public education system, especially for our most underserved kids. Finding ways to create a just and fair system that allows children to meet their fullest potential keeps me up at night and gets me out of bed in the morning. I’m thrilled to be able to continue the effort and fortunate to be able to work alongside a smart, passionate, and committed team.”

Throughout Josh’s career, he’s been a dynamic and impactful advocate for high-quality educators in every school, access to academically rigorous and culturally engaging schools, and equitable distribution of resources. He has been working with MinnCAN and EdAllies for more than six years. Josh previously worked in D.C., where he transformed his passion for public policy into a fulfilling vocation—first at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and later on Capitol Hill. At HRC, Josh spearheaded student outreach operations and expanded the organization’s mission to incorporate LGBTQ+ students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He then spent four years advising Congressman Adam Smith on labor, healthcare, family, budget, and tax issues.

“After working alongside Josh for the last six years, I can say that there’s no better fit for EdAllies’ next leader. Josh’s commitment to partnerships in the community, his leadership at the Capitol, and the utmost respect from his teammates demonstrate that Josh is the right person to lead EdAllies into its next phase of serving children,” said Holly Kragthorpe, EdAllies’ Board Chair.

The time is right, for me and for the organization, to transition from my role as founder and leader of EdAllies and begin my next chapter as the Executive Director of the Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children. Over the past three years, our team has grown in size, scope, and impact, and Josh has solidified his role as a critical leader both within the walls of EdAllies and among our community more broadly. Josh exemplifies the expertise and invested partnership our board knew would not just keep EdAllies moving forward but would help the organization to blossom.

What Community Members Are Saying

“From teacher certification issues to school system governance and a whole set of other essential policy issues, Josh is both a wise thought leader and a committed doer. As a colleague and friend, I’ve long known EdAllies has been lucky to have his expertise and now is even luckier to see him take on this critical leadership role for Minnesota.”

— Landon Mascareñaz, Vice President of Community Partnership at The Colorado Education Initiative, Colleague to Josh in the Pahara-NextGen Fellowship

“I’m thrilled to see Josh Crosson become the next executive director of EdAllies. We worked closely during my time in the Minnesota Senate and he is perfect for the role. I also want to thank Daniel Sellers for his hard work in building EdAllies as the founding executive director. He has always made sure that improving student outcomes is at the center of the organization’s work.”

— Terri Bonoff, Chief Executive Officer at Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta, Former Chair of the Minnesota Senate’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee

“Josh is a bold, creative visionary who has built trust and credibility among diverse cross-sections of Minnesotans. As an alumnus of the St. Paul Public School system, I know firsthand how important it is for students of color and poor students to have courageous champions in their corner, advancing ideas and policies that will transform the quality of their education. Without a doubt, Josh is that champion. This is an incredible win for families and students in Minnesota.”

— Charles McDonald, Founder and Executive Director of Community Engagement Partners

“I can’t think of a sharper, more informed, and dedicated person than Josh to lead EdAllies. We are in a tough fight to improve educational outcomes for students too often left behind, and we need people with Josh’s experience on the frontlines.”

— Chris Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of Education Post and former Minneapolis Public Schools Board member