Joseph Walsh

Senior Strategist

Joe Walsh is a communications and political strategist and adviser with senior leadership experience at the national, state and local level.

Joe recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education, where he was an advisor to Secretary Arne Duncan on political and strategic communications issues, helped develop the Department’s communication strategy, and led their engagement efforts with governors, mayors, legislators, chief state school officers and the advocacy community. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, he was Deputy Director, U.S. Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, developing strategy and working with grantees to help build the public and political will to support the Foundation’s efforts to improve educational outcomes in the United States. In those roles Joe worked intensively with policymakers, state education agencies and coalitions in several states on complex policy issues in a challenging political environment.

Joe has worked throughout his career at the intersection of policy, politics and communications, in senior leadership roles in government, as a consultant, and leading political campaigns and issue advocacy efforts. He previously served as a member of Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty’s cabinet as Director of the Department of Employment Services, and in Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s administration as Director of Policy and Planning at the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. He was chief of staff to the Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts, and later city planner. Under President Bill Clinton, he was education director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Joe began his professional career in civic education, teaching government, history and civic engagement to high school students from across the country at the Close Up Foundation. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA from the College of the Holy Cross.