Learning First Alliance Staff & Leadership

Richard M. Long, Executive Director


Richard M. Long became Executive Director of the Learning First Alliance in February 2016.

Dr. Long is a nationally known advocate, writer and commentator on pre-K-12 issues and federal policy. Prior to joining LFA, he spent the past four decades working in education policy, including 37 years as the Government Relations Director for the International Reading Association. He also concurrently served as Executive Director/Government Relations Director for the National Title I Association from 1995 to 2014. He earned bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from George Washington University.

Anne O'Brien, Deputy Director


Anne O’Brien joined the Learning First Alliance in September 2007. Prior to joining the Alliance, she worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana, helping rebuild the agency after Hurricane Katrina. There she managed first the school-based mentoring program and then enrollment and matching for the agency. She has also consulted on the development of school-run mentoring programs. 

O'Brien brings a practitioner's lens to her work, having taught high school biology, physical science, and remedial math at East St. John High School in Reserve, LA, while serving as a Teach For America corps member in the Greater New Orleans region. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Grinnell College and a Master's degree from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and she is an alumna of the American Express Leadership Academy and the Education Policy Fellowship Program at the Institute for Educational Leadership. She currently serves as Chair of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, a county commission that advises the Arlington, VA, county and school boards. She also chairs APCYF's Early Childhood Committee and blogs on education issues for Edutopia.

Joetta Sack-Min, Communications Consultant


Joetta Sack-Min has spent more than 20 years working in K-12 education policy and communications, and she has seen the formation of policy up close as well as its impact on local schools. Most recently, she spent nearly eight years producing publications for school boards and guiding internal and external communications at the National School Boards Association. Prior to that, she was an award-winning journalist at Education Week, the nation’s K-12 newspaper of record, for nine years.

A graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism, Sack-Min began her career as a White House news aide for the Associated Press, and she also has worked with several other news services and associations. As a reporter, she has interviewed presidents, cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, and high-ranking Washington insiders. But her favorite experiences were visiting schools and meeting with teachers and school officials across the country. Outside of work, she can usually be found volunteering at her children’s schools in Arlington and Falls Church, VA.


Board of Directors

The Learning First Alliance Board is composed of chief executive officers and other senior staff of each Alliance member organization. The Board meets at least six times each year to determine Alliance policy and practice. Board members include:

2017-18 Board Chair:
JoAnn Bartoletti
National Association of Secondary School Principals