Joel Packer, Executive Director

The former director of educational policy and practice at the National Education Association, Joel Packer offers our clients his extensive knowledge of the issues and people involved in federal education policy. Joel has successfully represented educators, state universities and college students before Congress and the Administration for more than 34 years. He combines messaging, coalition building and direct advocacy on a broad range of education and budget issues.

Joel was at NEA for 25 years, most recently as director of educational policy and practice. At NEA, he was responsible for key issues, including school readiness, standards, testing and accountability, teaching and learning conditions, educator quality, parent involvement, funding, special education, high school reform, 21st century skills/STEM issues, English Language Learners, voucher programs and charter schools.

Joel also led NEA’s policy and advocacy work on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and was the organization’s lead liaison with the U.S. Department of Education. He previously was a NEA lobbyist, covering issues including higher education, family and medical leave, the Brady bill, school prayer, civil rights, judicial nominations, health care and environmental hazards in schools.

He has testified numerous times before congressional committees and spoken before a broad range of organizations. Joel is quoted in the media regularly, and he has appeared on many radio talk shows.

In 1993 Joel served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Labor. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Career Highlights:

  • Director of Educational Policy and Practice at the National Education Association
  • Respected and recognized commentator on national education issues
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs in the U.S. Department of Labor

Courtney R. Snowden

A Washington, DC native with a wealth of political and legislative experience, Courtney Snowden helps our clients achieve their public policy goals through direct lobbying, strategic planning and coalition building.

Prior to joining The Raben Group, Courtney served as a lobbyist for the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), directing their advocacy efforts on a variety of legislative issues, including budget and appropriations, vouchers, and No Child Left Behind. Courtney also served as the federal policy manager for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). At GLSEN, she developed proactive strategies to raise awareness among members of Congress and the public on the detrimental impact of bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

Courtney began her career in the office of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), where she was responsible for advising Congresswoman Baldwin on an array of legislative issues, including animal rights, small business, labor and Native American and women’s issues. She then joined the legislative staff of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay and lesbian political organization.

Courtney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. A highlight of her undergraduate career was her candidacy for the Beloit City Council. Although the youngest candidate in the nine-person field, Courtney garnered broad community support and was only five percent shy of winning a council seat.

Career Highlights:

  • Lobbyist for the National Parent Teacher Association
  • Federal Policy Manager for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Netword
  • Aide to Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin

Broderick D. Johnson

Broderick worked on Capitol Hill as a staff assistant for the Committee on Education and Labor Investigations staff. In that role, he helped senior staff analyze portions of legislation concerning health insurance reform and food safety in schools. Broderick also assisted investigative counsel with their efforts to collect documents from targeted mining companies during the Committee’s 2010 mine safety investigation. Before his employment on Capitol Hill, Broderick was an intern for Wells Fargo Advisors. He helped financial advisors with client portfolios, investments and marketing.

A native of California, Broderick graduated from California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Science degree in business marketing.


Anais Duran

Prior to joining CEF, Anais was a public affairs intern at Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara. During her two-year tenure she assisted the public affairs director with mobilizing reproductive health policy advocates through grassroots organizing, community outreach and fundraising activities. She further honed her advocacy skills through organizing events and rallies on her college campus as co-chair of VOX: Voices for Planned Parenthood.

Anais served as a research assistant for the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education where she surveyed participants and facilitated workshops to examine and evaluate mother-daughter interactions on the topic of sexuality. She is a proud sister of Lambda Theta Nu Sorority Inc., an organization that builds the rising generation of Latina leaders.

A native of Los Angeles County, Anais received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, triple majoring in feminist studies, sociology and Spanish.

When Our Students Succeed, Our Nation Succeeds.

Founded in 1969, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and its 80 member organizations have worked toward the common goal of achieving adequate federal support for our nation's education system. Nonpartisan and nonprofit, CEF is America's largest education coalition, reflecting the broad spectrum of the education community.