Nicole Neily is the president and founder of Parents Defending Education (PDE), a nonpartisan, nonprofit, national organization giving parents the resources and support they need to advocate for their children’s education.
Since its launch in March 2021, PDE has broken dozens of education-related stories from coast to coast including the National School Board Association’s pretextual letter vilifying American parents. They have filed over 300 public records requests with districts around the country, submitted eight OCR complaints to the federal Department of Education, helped more than 22,000 people submit comments to the Federal Register, and turned to the courts in two open lawsuits – one open case in New York state court, and one just-settled case in federal court.
Prior to launching PDE, Nicole created Speech First, a nationwide membership organization that defends college students’ free speech rights through litigation and other means. Neily has also worked at Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, Independent Women’s Forum, and Cato Institute. In addition, she has worked in the private sector at a crisis communications firm and a public opinion firm.
Nicole holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois, and a master’s of public policy from Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.