Dr. Jacqueline Rodriguez serves as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, where she leads a team at the forefront of the learning disabilities rights movement. Her unwavering passion for promoting learning accessibility drives the center’s efforts in developing impactful strategies, forging partnerships, making policy recommendations, and conducting research to improve the lives of individuals with learning disabilities and attention issues. Under her exceptional leadership, the center continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible for individuals with these disabilities.
Jackie boasts a wealth of experience in education and advocacy, having held various leadership roles prior to joining NCLD. At the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), she served as the vice president for research, policy, & advocacy, overseeing the development of the association’s research, programs, professional learning, state and federal policy, and advocacy initiatives. As an esteemed educator and professor, Jackie has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and served as a special education faculty member at the School of Education at William & Mary. Her commitment to mentoring graduate students and serving on dissertation committees further demonstrates her dedication to fostering the next generation of educators and researchers. Jackie’s involvement as an alumna of the Holmes Scholars program, which she helped establish at William & Mary, and her co-direction of the Social Justice Graduate Research Fellowship, underscore her profound commitment to mentorship and advocacy. Her extensive background in education and passion for mentorship and advocacy make her an invaluable leader in the field.
As a dedicated advocate, Jackie’s research is centered on providing all students with 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 is a prolific writer and presenter on a wide range of 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 also contributed to the Special Education High Leverage Practices Writing team supported by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and the CEEDAR Center. Her research in education in emergencies and conflict zones specifically addresses the needs of displaced and refugee students with disabilities. Through her impactful work, Jackie makes significant contributions to the field of education, furthering the cause of inclusive and equitable education for all learners.
Active in state, national, and international professional organizations, Jackie passionately advocates for increased access to high-quality education and policies that support diverse and exceptional learners. Her service on various boards, including 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, further amplifies her dedication to creating positive change in the education landscape. Additionally, Jackie’s continued service on editorial boards underscores her commitment to furthering research and scholarship in the field.
Jackie holds 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. She also earned a M.A. in special education with a learning disabilities specialization from American University and a B.A. in international affairs and Latin American studies with a concentration in international development, culture, and society from The George Washington University. Her academic achievements reflect her dedication to advancing the field of education and her commitment to creating a more inclusive and equitable education system.