NCEA Announces Chief Leadership and Program Officer

Expanded leadership role to enhance support for Catholic schools

Arlington, VA — The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) announced today that Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson will be the chief leadership and program officer for the organization. This position expands the director of leadership role and encompasses the association’s professional development programs. Dr. Edmondson will join the NCEA team on July 24, 2017.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Barbara McGraw Edmondson to NCEA, and I’m eager to work with her to advance a comprehensive approach to leadership and professional development that will best serve our wonderful Catholic school teachers and leaders, as we together fulfill the mission of the Church,” said NCEA President/CEO Dr. Thomas Burnford. "The leadership development opening was an opportunity to expand and enhance NCEA’s services through this new senior role of chief leadership and program officer.”

Dr. Edmondson will be responsible for the oversight of NCEA’s leadership and professional development teams and programs, as well as associated core products, events, assessments, special programs and consulting services. This is a new senior executive position in the organization, but one that includes the position of director of leadership development.

Dr. Edmondson said of her new role at NCEA, “I am honored and most excited to join the NCEA team and to have the opportunity to work with Catholic school educators from dioceses throughout the nation to advance the legacy of excellence in education and to make Christ present to those we serve.”

Since 2010, Dr. Edmondson has been the superintendent of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which serves nearly 25,000 elementary and secondary students in 68 schools. Dr. Edmondson implemented a blue ribbon strategic plan that directed more than 80 recommendations, including the development, execution and supervision of the Archdiocesan Collaborative School governance model, AdvancEd system accreditation, revision of the archdiocesan elementary curriculum and establishment of comprehensive teacher and administrator professional certification protocol.

At Dr. Edmondson’s invitation, three Catholic universities partnered with the Archdiocese of Baltimore to create site-based professional development and faculty-in-residence programs, in conjunction with the establishment of the Institute for Urban Catholic Education (Loyola University of Maryland), the Academy of Catholic Educators (Notre Dame of Maryland University), and Principals Leadership Institute for Advanced Study (Mount St. Mary’s University, Loyola and Notre Dame). In addition, Dr. Edmondson expanded the department of Catholic schools to include an enrollment management and marketing program that offers site-based consultation. The program was informed by research and data supported by electronic communication and social media. She also brought in new funding from corporate and non-profit organizations and foundations to sponsor new programmatic initiatives and tuition scholarships.

Before her current position as superintendent, Dr. Edmondson was the founding principal at the School of the Incarnation in Gambrills, MD from 2000 – 2010, a school that currently educates more than 750 students in grades PreK - 8. She also was principal at St. Ambrose School in Cheverly, MD and was a primary teacher at Holy Family School in Hillcrest Heights, MD. Dr. Edmondson has enjoyed teaching as an adjunct professor at three universities, most recently Loyola University of Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University and previously at The George Washington University where she earned her doctorate in education while serving as the associate director of residence life. Her higher education experience, coupled with 25 years serving Catholic schools have prepared her to assume this new senior role.

NCEA is the largest private professional education organization in the world, representing more than 150,000 Catholic educators serving nearly 2 million students in Catholic preschool, elementary and secondary schools. NCEA provides leadership and professional development to fulfill the evangelizing, catechizing and teaching mission of the church and to lead, learn and proclaim the good news of Catholic school education.


Rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is a professional membership organization that assists its members to fulfill their teaching mission of the Church and to lead, learn and proclaim the good news of Catholic school education. For more information, visit