Press Release

Back To News media contact
Cara Duckworth

Kelly L. Denson Promoted to Vice President, Education Policy and Programs

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today announced that Kelly L. Denson has been promoted to Vice President, Education Policy and Programs. She joined AAP in February of 2019 as a senior director focused on higher education initiatives.

In her newly expanded role Ms. Denson will assume primary responsibility for AAP’s PreK-12 portfolio, while continuing to lead higher education initiatives.

“It is my true pleasure to announce this promotion,” commented Maria Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers. “In a relatively short time at AAP, Kelly has displayed an unbeatable combination of leadership, creativity, collaboration, and service. She has guided important affordability discussions with higher education partners and led advocacy and coalition efforts to support stimulus funding for schools. As Kelly turns her attention to policymakers and stakeholders from all parts of the education landscape—and every level of learning—she will be a passionate and principled advocate, not only for AAP’s member companies, but also for the student empowerment and equity objectives that drive education publishing.

“Kelly steps into her leadership post at a time of unprecedented upheaval in school districts across the country, as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to trigger health, safety, and economic challenges for so many people. While experts work around the clock to construct new paradigms for both classroom and online instruction, publishers, too, are at the table, dedicated to delivering the high-quality content, innovative learning solutions, and public private partnerships that are so essential to achieving success for all students.”

Ms. Denson is both an experienced policy expert and a former teacher. She was Director of Education Policy and Government Affairs at Discovery Communications, where she spent nearly eight years. Before Discovery, she worked for seven years at the Educational Testing Service where she held both policy and public affairs positions. Earlier in her career she worked in student affairs at Boston University, and began her career as a middle school teacher at The Dalton School in New York City.

During her tenure at Discovery, Ms. Denson worked on education policies and partnerships with a variety of content and technology stakeholders at the federal, state and local levels, including Congressional Offices, the U.S. Department of Education, and The White House. She advised on key issues in education, developed signature company initiatives, and created thought leadership programs and advocacy campaigns on such issues as digital learning and STEM education.

Ms. Denson holds a BA in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania and an Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University.

About AAP

AAP | The Association of American Publishers represents the leading book, journal, and education publishers in the United States on matters of law and policy, advocating for outcomes that incentivize the publication of creative expression, professional content, and learning solutions. As essential participants in local markets and the global economy, our members invest in and inspire the exchange of ideas, transforming the world we live in one word at a time. Find us online at or on Twitter and Instagram at @AmericanPublish.