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Alyson Nielson, COO
Alyson Nielson

Alyson Nielson, COO

Alyson is the Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of EdLeader21 and is responsible for overseeing the daily activities of the organization.

Alyson is a veteran public school leader with a deep understanding of the leadership challenges faced by superintendents today. She spent nine years as a central office leader in the Tucson Unified School District, developing the human resources capacity of the entire organization. In her role as Director of Employment Services, she worked closely with the Superintendent, CEO and Board in developing and managing the district’s $360 million budget. She led all recruitment, negotiations and employee relations for the second largest school district in Arizona with 57,000 students and 8,000 employees. Notably, this included several challenging years overseeing reductions that affected over 800 employees, negotiating compensation packages and launching the district’s first national recruitment program focused on hard-to-fill positions and workforce diversity.

In 2009, she began her leadership work in developing 21st century schools. Alyson served as the Chief Operations Officer for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) and oversaw the operation of a 40-member board from national education organizations.  

Alyson has an MBA from Western New Mexico University. She enjoys life in Tucson with her husband as they spend time on softball fields with their three daughters.