Board Member Since 2012
John A. Lawrence spent 38 years on Capitol Hill, the last eight as Chief of Staff to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He also was Chief of Staff to Congressman George Miller (CA) and staff director of both the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Natural Resources). He was heavily involved in legislation on special education, child and family policy, water and natural resources, energy and labor rights. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the University of California (from which he received a Ph.D. in history), teaching a seminar on Congress at the Washington, D.C. campus. He also lectures and writes on U.S. politics, including at his blog DOMEocracy.
Lawrence’s commitment to the Association comes from his son, Elijah, who was born with congenital hydrocephalus and has overcome numerous challenges. Today, he is a healthy, accomplished young man, a senior theatre major in Washington’s Duke Ellington performing arts high school who sings, dances and plays piano, and will enter Oberlin College in September, 2014. Elijah’s older brother, Sam, has been inspired by Elijah’s experiences and is working as a neurosurgery researcher at the University of California/San Francisco. He will enter medical school in the fall, 2014. Lawrence’s wife, Deborah served on the Board for six years, and is a Georgetown developmental psychologist who studies early childhood development, including special needs. Lawrence stated “I am hopeful my service on the Board can help build and strengthen this Association and in doing so, improve the lives of all those affected by hydrocephalus – children, seniors, veterans — and their families.”