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Press Release

NCAE Announces Next Executive Director

The NCAE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Aber-Towns as the Association’s next Executive Director.
Published: June 3, 2021

Raleigh, NC - The NCAE Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Aber-Towns as the Association’s next Executive Director. Aber-Towns has over a decade of experience in education association work, most recently as the Executive Director of Idaho Education Association. His previous experience includes working for affiliates of the Nation Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and with Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

“Matt is the perfect addition to the NCAE team, with organizing and leadership skills that will help us continue the amazing work we are doing for educators, students, and public education throughout North Carolina,” said Tamika Walker Kelly, President of the NCAE. “We are excited about the energy, passion, and experience he brings to the Association, and we cannot wait for him to start here in North Carolina.”

Aber-Towns has spent the last two years leading the NEA affiliate in Idaho. Previous to that, he spent eight years with AFT serving as Organizing Director for Early Childhood Education and Care, Deputy Director of the Southwest and Mountain Region, and National Representative for Organizing and Field Services. He was recognized two years in a row by President Obama’s White House Summit on Worker Voice for successfully elevating the role of women of color and creating an innovative bargaining model with employers. His resume also includes extensive experience in training, budgeting, and capacity-building.

“I am thrilled to be joining the NCAE family, and I look forward to working alongside a union board and staff that share my values and passion for justice, democracy, public education, education professionals, and the labor movement,” Aber-Towns said.

Aber-Towns succeeds NCAE Interim Executive Director John I. Wilson, who came back to NCAE last July to serve until a permanent replacement was named. Aber-Towns officially starts in his role as NCAE Executive Director June 14.


An equitable, quality public education for every child.

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), NC's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NCAE's members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NCAE has affiliate organizations in every county and student chapters in select colleges and universities throughout the state.