A Welcome from My First Day as Executive Director

My New Year’s resolution was simple this year: Make 2020 a great year for CEC. And when I walked into headquarters this morning to start my new job as executive director, I came ready to make that happen!

If you’ve had the chance to read my background, connect with me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter, you know I started my professional career as a classroom teacher, teaching in both Kansas and Virginia. The last 9 years of my career have been dedicated to building strong professional associations.

So, when the CEC Board offered me the chance to combine my association leadership and management experiences with the chance to be fully involved with supporting those who help kids every day — it was a dream come true.

Since being hired in November, I’ve spent the last 7 weeks onboarding and learning about how CEC supports the work of our members. When I think back to my years in the classroom, my experiences co-teaching, and the amazing students I got to know, I’m reminded of how professional support and resources contributed to my growth and are paramount to helping our teachers succeed. I look forward to hearing from our members about how CEC can continue to help YOU be successful in your efforts to educate children with exceptionalities.

I’ve also met with our senior policy and advocacy advisors to discuss policy strategy and the momentum we are building on Capitol Hill through their many connections and outreach. CEC President Jennifer Lesh and I have meetings on our calendar already to meet with our colleagues in the Office of Special Education Programs in the U.S. Department of Education to continue expanding CEC’s policy footprint. I will be dedicating time in the coming months to building partnerships within the education association community to help our policy team and new Policy Steering Committee build our voice.

Finally, as I think about all that CEC is and can be, it is clear we need you!

Your support makes the work we do possible. Is there more we can do? You bet. And we will get there — together.

Whether you are engaged through our many divisions, units, caucuses, chapters, committees, or online communities, this is YOUR organization. If you have an idea that moves us forward, I’m here to listen.

I look forward to meeting many CEC members in Portland and at other events in the coming days. Let’s make 2020 a great year for CEC.


Chad Rummel, M.Ed., CAE joined CEC as executive director in January 2020. Chad has nearly 16 years of experience, including six years as an educator and nine years in professional membership associations. Prior to joining CEC, Chad served as the executive director of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) since 2013.

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