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Alice Johnson Cain

Executive Vice President of Policy and Partnerships

Alice Johnson Cain charts the policy and advocacy agenda for Teach Plus, establishing annual goals for the organization and working closely with Teach Plus staff and teachers to ensure that their advocacy yields tangible victories for students. Alice leads policy workshops for teachers across the country, connects teachers with leading policymakers, and builds effective partnerships between Teach Plus and other organizations that are also working on behalf of students.

Alice brings 25 years of policy and advocacy experience to Teach Plus. She joined the organization in 2011, after six years as Congressman George Miller's chief advisor for K-12 policy. During that time, she helped develop and secure passage of Race to the Top, the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), and the RENEWAAL Act to assist Gulf Coast schools after Hurricane Katrina. She led efforts to enact the Teacher Excellence for All Children (TEACH) Act of 2005 and the 2006 effort to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Alice served on the education committee that advised then-Senator Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, spent five years working for Senator Paul Simon on the HELP Committee, and served in the Clinton Administration for five years. Her advocacy work includes leading the Children's Defense Fund's national grassroots advocacy program, leading Hope Street's Group's initiative to engage teachers in Race to the Top implementation, and leading the National Institute for Literacy's successful campaign to double federal funding for literacy.  Alice previously taught GED classes to low-income and homeless adults in Washington, DC.

While at Teach Plus, Alice has focused on bringing perspectives of solutions-oriented teachers into the national policy conversation. In 2015, she brought Teach Plus teachers to the White House to meet with President Obama, and to the Department of Education to meet with then- Secretary Duncan. More recently she brought Secretary John King and Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell to meet with Teach Plus teachers in Memphis and Los Angeles. Alice has secured invitations from both Democratic and Republican committee chairs for Teach Plus teachers to testify in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate - and has brought top policymakers, including then-Congressman George Miller, to speak at Teach Plus forums. Alice has published numerous reports and articles on education policy, including a report published by Fulbright New Zealand that included policy recommendations later adopted by the New Zealand government. Alice was a Senior Congressional Staff Fellow with the Aspen Institute, and has acted as peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program. She has given speeches and presented on panels before numerous organizations, including the American Educational Research Association, American Enterprise Institute, Aspen Institute, Council of Chief State School Officers, Democrats for Education Reform, Education Trust, Education Writers Association, National Education Association, and National Governors' Association.
 

Alice earned a BA with honors in political science from Gettysburg College, and was set to complete an MA in policy management from Georgetown University when she was recruited by Representative Miller's office.  Alice lives with her husband and two sons in Maryland.