Robert T. Stephens is the Chief of State Operations for Democrats for Education Reform. In his current role, Robert manages executive directors in seven states and helps elect reform-minded Democrats nationwide.
Robert traces his activism back to his parents and his time spent teaching in the classroom. He has had a lifelong passion for policy, education, and social justice. As a first-generation college graduate, he witnessed education’s ability to lift one out of poverty.
Before joining DFER, Robert served as the Vice-President: Policy at Voices for Progress where he led the federal policy work and managed state-level policy in California. Additionally, Robert was the Political Director for the ACLU of North Carolina and the Director of Government Relations for the National Center for Learning Disabilities in Washington, DC. Before that, Robert cut his teeth in the legislative shop of Congressman John Lewis and as a teacher in Charlotte, NC. His passion for electoral politics inspired him to work on Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign and run for Durham City Council in 2015.
Robert graduated with a B.A. from Winston-Salem State University in 2008 and an MPP from George Mason University in 2013.