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JNCL-NCLIS Partners with Jon Bernstein as Director of Government Relations



WASHINGTON, D.C, November 11, 2020 -- The Joint National Committee for Languages and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (JNCL-NCLIS), the premier advocacy organization for America’s Language Enterprise, has partnered with Jon Bernstein of Bernstein Strategy Group to serve as the organization’s Director of Government Relations.

Bernstein brings 25 years of Washington, DC experience to his new role as Director of Government Relations for JNCL-NCLIS. He began his Washington, DC tenure as a Legislative Fellow for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), working on immigration, crime, intellectual property and judiciary issues. His education advocacy career commenced when he became Legislative Counsel for The Lightspan Partnership, an educational software company. Bernstein went on to lobby for the National Education Association and the Federal Communications Commission. In 2005, Bernstein founded his own government relations firm, Bernstein Strategy Group, and has worked for high-profile clients like Apple, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).

“I am thrilled to partner with JNCL-NCLIS in an effort to continue the organization’s well-known and singularly successful efforts to gain federal support for world language study,” said Jon Bernstein. “As JNCL-NCLIS’s Director of Government Relations, I look forward to advancing the organization’s critical federal policy priorities as the nation transitions to the Biden Administration and a new Congress less than three months from now. There is much work to do here in Washington and I am eager to get started.”

Today, Bernstein works closely with many of the major K-12 education associations as co-chair of both the Education and Libraries Networks Coalition (EdLiNC) and the Homework Gap Big Tent Coalition, and as Executive Director of the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET). Since 2016, Bernstein and his firm have helped organize and run NAFSA: Association of International Educators’s Advocacy Day and he is working currently on developing NAFSA’s first Virtual Advocacy Day for 2021. He also helps lead the Principals Group, an informal coalition which focuses on professional development funding and related issues. Bernstein’s accomplishments include his work to help establish and expand funding for the federal E-Rate program, which provides schools and libraries with $4 billion in annual discounts on broadband and Wi-Fi services, and to preserve funding for the Every Student Succeeds Act’s Title II (professional development) and Title IV (flexible block grant) programs in the face of the Trump Administration’s efforts to eliminate them.

“This is an exciting next step for JNCL-NCLIS. We are well positioned to grow and prosper for the benefit of the language educators and professionals we serve,” said Rita A. Oleksak, President of JNCL-NCLIS. “Jon’s deep credibility and keen understanding of legislative proceedings, especially regarding education policy and the congressional appropriation and authorization process, will be great assets as JNCL-NCLIS continues to work to build a multilingual future. I am confident that Jon will be successful in strengthening the representation of the Language Enterprise on the Hill and ensure languages have a seat at the table.”



Established in 1972, the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) represent the Language Enterprise to the US government and business community. JNCL-NCLIS membership includes over 130 organizations, which employ more than 300,000 language professionals globally. Together, JNCL-NCLIS form an all-inclusive network and encompasses all areas of the language field: exchanges, research, technology, translation, interpretation, localization, publishing, testing and more. JNCL-NCLIS’ mission is to ensure that Americans have the opportunity to learn English and at least one other language.


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