Hager Sharp Expands Education, Labor, and Economy Leadership Team

WASHINGTON (August 8, 2022)—Today, Hager Sharp announced the addition of Erik Robelen as a vice president in its industry-leading education, labor, and economy (ELE) practice. Robelen brings more than two decades of experience at the intersection of education, journalism, and communications to Hager Sharp, including 15 years covering the nation’s schools for Education Week and eight years as deputy director of the Education Writers Association, the premier professional membership organization for working journalists covering education in America.

“Erik will bring a valuable perspective to our client service, having both worked in a newsroom on breaking news and enterprise reporting and also, while at EWA, working collaboratively with journalists as they reported on critical issues facing schools, parents, and the country,” said Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, executive vice president and head of the agency’s ELE practice. “We are excited that Erik is joining our extraordinary education, labor, and economy leadership team, and cannot wait to leverage his rich experience to achieve new levels of success in the years ahead.”

“I am delighted to join Hager Sharp and am eager to help expand on the important work in the firm’s education, labor, and economy portfolio,” said Robelen. “I have dedicated my career to telling the important stories of how education and opportunity can change the life trajectories of so many children, families, and communities. I know my colleagues at Hager Sharp share this commitment, which is reflected in the results their work has achieved for the clients the practice has had the privilege to serve.”

During Robelen’s time at Education Week, the country’s leading trade publication for pre-K-12 education news, he covered a wide range of education issues at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as two presidential campaigns. His areas of focus at the paper ranged from state and federal education policy, the U.S. Supreme Court, school choice and charter schools, to education philanthropy and private education. Robelen also wrote extensively on student assessment and instruction in math, science, literacy, and social studies. As the outlet’s senior Washington reporter, he covered the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, and Congress, including leading the newspaper’s early coverage of the No Child Left Behind Act, from the initial debate and passage in Congress to implementation by states and school districts.

As the deputy director of the Education Writers Association, he supported the nation’s reporters and editors on the education beat and played a key role in the organization’s strategic leadership and communications efforts, including conceptualizing and executing conferences and other events, leading programs and projects, and writing and editing on a vast array of issues in education. He has produced in-depth programming and editorial content on issues in education, including the pandemic disruption and education recovery, standards and assessments, school accountability, curriculum and instruction, charters and school choice, federal and state policy and politics, social and emotional learning, school funding, and educational equity.

Hager Sharp is a full-service integrated marketing and communications firm with in-house research and evaluation; strategic planning; creative; digital, paid, earned, and owned media; partner and stakeholder engagement; event management; and campaign development and implementation expertise. Over the past five decades, Hager Sharp has exclusively partnered with clients working in the public interest on critical issues like fighting for equity in education, improving public health, empowering vulnerable populations, and transforming communities. Founded by Susan Hager and Marcia Sharp with $600 in cash and a bank loan guaranteed by Hager’s husband, the firm will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023. Some of the firm’s ongoing client engagements include ACT, Inc.; Arizona State University; Joyce Foundation; Lumina Foundation; Scholastic, Inc.; and the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as The Nation’s Report Card. Visit us at www.hagersharp.com.

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