At its June 1 board meeting, DSEF’s Chairman John Parker (Amway), announced that, after a comprehensive national search, Gary Huggins has been named as the Foundation’s executive director. “I am so pleased we were able to introduce Gary as DSEF’s Executive Director,” John said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will equip him well in leading DSEF.”

For more than fifteen years, Gary has managed nonprofit organizations, working with various constituencies including educators, government officials, business executives and consumer advocacy groups. Most recently, he served as CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, a network hub for thousands of summer learning program providers and stakeholders across the country.

“Vision, leadership and action—as a new era begins for DSEF, these are the qualities that our volunteer leaders bring,” said Joe Mariano, DSEF President. “As Gary begins his tenure with the Foundation, we know he will share his vision, leadership and experience to turn our leaders’ great ideas into action.”

Gary also served as director of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on No Child Left Behind—a bipartisan, independent effort dedicated to improving the No Child Left Behind Act—and as executive director of the Education Leaders Council and the Education Leaders Action Council, organizations that represented governors, state education chiefs, state education boards and other officials focused on improving K-12 education.

Gary was the founding executive director of the Coalition for Safer, Cleaner Vehicles, an alliance of corporations, small businesses, and consumer and environmental groups that promoted market-based environmental solutions. He also served on George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign and Inaugural Committee.

Earlier this month, Gary attended DSA’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, providing him the opportunity to meet with many DSEF and DSA board members and other executives. “I am honored to be part of advancing public knowledge of our industry and the life-changing economic opportunities we provide to more than 16 million people,” he said.

Originally from Dallas, TX, Gary graduated from Texas Christian University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communication.  He lives in Laurel, MD, with his wife and four children.

After July 7, Gary can be reached at “If you did not have a chance to meet Gary in person in Orlando, I hope you do soon,” John said.


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