Close this search box.

American Federation for Children Announces New Senior Fellows

The American Federation for Children is pleased to announce the elevation of three staff members, all of whom oversee vital aspects of our work, into new roles.

Denisha Allen, Shaka Mitchell, and Valeria Gurr have been named as Senior Fellows, joining Corey DeAngelis in our growing cohort for this important and unique role.

AFC Senior Fellows are individuals who have established themselves as leading advocates in the education reform field and are known throughout the movement for being magnetic leaders and creating new and innovative programs, projects, or tactics that become game-changers in the space. As spokespeople for the movement, Senior Fellows are frequently requested as speakers at events, on panels, by the news media and by elected officials. Senior Fellows have been published across many platforms.

Statement from Tommy Schultz, CEO of the American Federation for Children:

“AFC is proud to continue building out our world-class team that takes on – and defeats – powerful special interests to ensure a quality education for every child. We are thrilled to always be at the frontlines of expanding school choice, and our success is driven by the talented, relentless advocates who are on our team. I couldn’t be more excited to have Denisha, Shaka, and Valeria expand their roles and continue this fight.”

Read more about our Staff:


Marc LeBlond is joining AFC’s Government Affairs team as Director of State Advocacy. Marc will help oversee AFC’s state work and lead efforts to streamline AFC’s policy, advocacy, and grassroots work in order to maximize team effectiveness. Most recently working with our friends at EdChoice, Marc previously spent time in the financial services industry before moving to Pennsylvania to work in school choice policy for the Commonwealth Foundation.

Bruce Hermie is being promoted to Senior Fellow. Bruce will work nationally with school personnel and families to support the establishment, expansion, and defense of school choice programs. He founded and directs AFC’s School Leader Fellowship, which provides training to school leaders to help them advocate on behalf of their students and families. In his new role, he will continue to help lead AFC’s critical work to ensure every family, especially lower-income families, can access and thrive in school choice programs.

Nathan Cunneen is being promoted to Director of Strategic Analysis. In this new leadership role, Nathan will work closely with the CEO and Executive team to push AFC closer to our strategic goals. Nathan is a school choice beneficiary from Florida who was a member of the 2020 Future Leaders Fellowship cohort and continues to grow as a leader in the school choice policy and advocacy space.


Hera Varmah is being promoted to External Relations Associate. Hera will represent AFC at public events, engaging with supporters and managing media interactions while providing support for state-level initiatives. Hera is a school choice beneficiary from Florida and was a member of the 2020 Future Leaders Fellowship cohort. A compelling leader, Hera has honed professional skills and quickly become a prominent voice in the movement since joining AFC full-time in 2022.


Natalie Bell is taking on a newly created role as AFC’s Strategic Initiatives Assistant. As a critical part of AFC’s growing team, Natalie will assist with AFC’s strategic initiatives, including Black Minds Matter, Federación Americana Para Los Niños, and the Future Leaders Fellowship.


Thank you for signing up! An email has been sent to your inbox.

Request a Fellow to Speak at Your Event