Nebraska Chief Matthew Blomstedt Assumes CCSSO Board Presidency, Carissa Moffat Miller’s Leadership Extended

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Washington, D.C. (November 10, 2020) – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced its 2020-21 Board of Directors and the extended tenure of leader Carissa Moffat Miller following a meeting at the 2020 Annual Policy Forum, held virtually.

Matthew Blomstedt, the Nebraska commissioner of education, assumed the presidency and South Carolina Superintendent Molly Spearman was chosen as president-elect.

CCSSO members also re-elected North Dakota Superintendent Kirsten Baesler and elected two new chiefs to join the Board: Virginia Superintendent James Lane and Colorado Commissioner Katy Anthes.

They will join President Blomstedt, President-Elect Spearman, Past President Jillian Balow of Wyoming and current board members to make up the 2020-21 CCSSO Board of Directors.

CCSSO’s Board of Directors manages the overall business affairs of the Council and is the governing body of the organization. The board is composed of the president, the president-elect, the past president, and six directors elected by members from the CCSSO membership.

“As Board Chair, I look forward to demonstrating how states are leading to serve all students and ensure CCSSO continues its invaluable work to lead, connect and influence on behalf of state education leaders,” Blomstedt said.

CCSSO’s Board of Directors for the upcoming year is:

  • President: Matthew Blomstedt, Nebraska
  • President-Elect: Molly Spearman, South Carolina
  • Past President: Jillian Balow, Wyoming
  • Board Member: Katy Anthes, Colorado 
  • Board Member: Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota 
  • Board Member: Sydnee Dickson, Utah 
  • Board Member: Michael Johnson, Alaska 
  • Board Member: Christina Kishimoto, Hawaii  
  • Board Member: James Lane, Virginia 

The Board has issued Miller a new contract to lead the organization until 2026. This continuity ensures stability in the organization as it builds on current successes and prepares to execute on a new strategic plan in mid-2021. 

“Carissa has strongly led our organization to continue improving education for all students,” Balow said. “Under her leadership, CCSSO has accomplished many things, including hiring its first Chief Equity Officer and launching the States Leading Campaign. Most recently, she and her team have supported every state in navigating the unprecedented challenges we face today as a result of the global pandemic. As Board President, I am honored to extend Carissa’s contract and look forward to continuing to work with her and the CCSSO team in the years to come.” 

Additionally, the full membership approved a change in title of the Council’s leader from executive director to chief executive officer to better reflect the role, responsibilities and skills expected of the head of CCSSO. Effective immediately, Miller’s title will change to Chief Executive Officer.

“I am grateful to the Board for this vote of confidence in my leadership,” Miller said. “The chiefs elected to the Board today will be key partners in guiding the support to all state members. I look forward to working with them to continue to navigate the impact of COVID-19 on schools, modernize our education system and address systemic racism and inequality so our schools serve all of our students.” 


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.

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