David Pickler

Co-Founder and President of the American Public Education Foundation (APEF) and Past President of the National School Boards Association.

As an attorney, wealth advisor and financial planner, Pickler has grown several firms into highly successful businesses in Memphis, Tenn. However, his greatest passion lies in promoting high-quality public education for every child to "help ensure America’s economic well-being and safety and security interests.” A nationally recognized education expert and former school board leader for the Tennessee School Boards Association, in 2013 Pickler was elected as NSBA president, advocating on behalf of America's 90,000 school board members. During his tenure, Pickler led the fight to stop the privatization of public schools and originated NSBA's "Army of Advocates," a national movement that gained more than five million members within a year. Under his guidance, Pickler also established the “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” national campaign, featuring celebrity advocates that include basketball legend and business icon Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr; founder of the not-for-profit Khan Academy Sal Khan; actor and former talk show host Montel Williams; and former NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan. As a community leader, Pickler has helped shape his city through philanthropic work and foundation developments by helping to raise millions of dollars for organizations that include: Memphis Oral School for the Deaf, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Chickasaw Council Boy Scouts of America and Kiwanis International. Pickler was recently named among the “Top 25 People Who Shaped Memphis” for helping his city and community to grow and prosper. In July of 2012, David was honored by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences as a recipient of the Educators Voice Award, and in September of 2013 he received the acclaimed Bammy Award as “School Board Member of the Year”. Twice honored as Tennessee School Board Member of the Year, Pickler received the Distinguished Service Award a record four times from NSBA. He also is a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Congress of the Parent Teacher Association.