National Staff

Jonah Edelman

Chief Executive Officer

Jonah Edelman is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stand for Children.  Stand for Children’s eleven state affiliates (AZ, CO, IL, IN, LA, MA, OK, OR, TN, TX, and WA) empower families to effectively support and advocate for their children’s education, elect education champions to school boards and state legislature, and advocate for high academic standards, supporting and rewarding teaching excellence and strong school leadership, increased access to high quality early childhood education and public schools, strategies to ensure students read on grade level by fourth grade, and other policies and investments that increase the academic success of all students,  but particularly disadvantaged students.

Jonah’s personal stand for children began during college, when he taught a six year-old bilingual child to read.  He went on to found a mentorship program for middle school students and then served as an administrator of an enrichment program for children living in public housing.

Jonah is blessed to be continuing a long family line of service to community. His grandparents, Arthur Jerome Wright and Maggie Leola Bowen Wright, led a vibrant congregational community, started their town's first home for the aged, and took in more than a dozen foster children.  Jonah’s parents, Marian Wright Edelman and Peter Edelman, have stood up for civil rights, equal opportunity, and children's well-being their whole careers. Jonah was born and raised in Washington, D.C., graduated from Yale University in 1992, and attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, where in three years (1992-1995) he earned masters and doctor of philosophy degrees in politics. In 1996, Jonah organized Stand for Children's historic founding rally in Washington, D.C., which was attended by more than 300,000 people.

Jonah lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Charese, and their twin sons, Elijah and Levi, who attend their neighborhood public school. 


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