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IEL Appoints Eddie Koen as President

headshot: Eddie Koen

IEL Appoints Eddie Koen as President

Institute for Educational Leadership Appoints Eddie Koen as President

Koen to Drive Forward IEL’s Mission of Equitable Systems Change

Washington, DC – February 9, 2022 – The Board of Directors of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Eddie L. Koen as the organization’s newest president. Koen brings executive leadership experience from organizations across the country that work with communities to strengthen their positive impact on the education and workforce sectors. Koen comes to IEL from his position as President & CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. 

“We are so excited to bring on such a dynamic and visionary president with experience as a funder and community nonprofit leader to advance the work of our organization. Eddie has worked successfully to close gaps in access and achievement in education and workforce development across the country. He understands the sensitivity and the urgency of our work to catalyze community-driven leadership and inspire equitable futures for youth and families,” said Karen L. Mapp, IEL Board Chair.

At the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio, Koen expanded the organization’s impact to serve over 40,000 people and launched its new Center for Social Justice. Prior to the Urban League, Koen served as Chief Impact Officer at Mile High United Way in Denver, Chief of Staff of Denver Public Schools, and a founding Regional Executive Director of College Track Colorado. 

“I have dedicated my career to this work of building leadership within communities to create positive, equitable outcomes, and I am passionate about continuing this work on a national level with IEL especially as we continue to experience a heightened climate around issues of racial justice and community engagement,” said Koen. “As the first black or indigenous person of color and youngest person to lead IEL since its founding in 1964, I see a great opportunity to further the organization’s founding mission and strive for even greater impact in combating the impacts of racial inequity and systemic racism in the communities we serve across America.”

IEL supports and builds the capacity of community leaders, cultivating networks of grassroots movement builders that are advocating for transformation within the education, workforce, and accessibility systems to advance racial healing and justice, disability inclusion, and economic equity in over 400 communities. To do so, we partner with under-resourced communities to equip leaders to better prepare children, youth, adults, and families for postsecondary education and training, rewarding careers, and civic and community engagement. 

“The entire organization is thrilled to welcome Eddie’s passionate leadership, and I look forward to collaborating with Eddie as he sets forth his vision for IEL’s future,” said Sara A. Sneed, IEL Vice Board Chair. 

Koen begins at IEL on February 14. To learn more about IEL and its work, please visit


Eddie Koen