Dr. Jacqueline Rodriguez is Chief Executive Officer at the National Center for Learning Disabilities. As CEO, Jackie leads a team at the forefront of the learning disabilities rights movement. Her commitment to learning accessibility empowers strategy, partnerships, policy recommendations, and research that advance the lives of individuals with learning disabilities and attention issues.
Before joining NCLD, she served as the Vice President for Research, Policy, & Advocacy at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), where she led the strategy and content development for the association’s research, programs and professional learning, state and federal policy and advocacy initiatives. Jackie is an experienced teacher, teacher leader, and professor. Prior to her appointment with AACTE, Jackie served William & Mary as a special education faculty member in the School of Education. She continues to mentor graduate students and serve on dissertation committees. Jackie is a Holmes Scholars alumna, co-establishing the W&M Holmes Scholars Program and coordinating the program through her tenure at the University. Jackie also co-directed the W&M Social Justice Graduate Research Fellowship supporting graduate students in their pursuit to study social justice on campus and throughout the community. Jackie is a former special education teacher having supported elementary, middle, and high school students with disabilities in inclusive settings.
Jackie’s research focuses on providing all students equity and access to high-quality education and educators. Her book, Special Education Law and Policy: From Foundation to Application, focuses on ensuring educators and advocates are prepared to support students with disabilities in our nation’s schools. She’s written and presented on topics including culturally responsive education practices, simulation to support educator preparation, STEM education for diverse exceptional learners, inclusive education for displaced and refugee exceptional learners, and bridging education policy to practice. Jackie served on the Special Education High Leverage Practices Writing team supported by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and the CEEDAR Center. Jackie’s research in the area of education in emergencies and conflict is focused on displaced/refugee students with disabilities.
Jackie is active in state, national, and international professional organizations where she has supported increased access for students with exceptionalities and student veterans to institutes of higher education, high-quality teacher preparation, and meaningful policies to support diverse and exceptional learners. Jackie has served on the Boards of the Teacher Education Division of CEC, the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education, the State of Virginia’s Advisory Committee for Disability Access to Higher Education, and the Division for International Special Needs Education and Services. She continues to serve on several editorial boards.
Jackie has a Ph.D. in education with a focus on exceptional education from the University of Central Florida where she was a McKnight Doctoral Fellow and an Order of Pegasus Awardee. Jackie earned a M.A. in special education with a learning disabilities specialization from American University and her B.A. in international affairs and Latin American studies with a concentration in international development, culture, and society from The George Washington University.