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Panelist Bio


Andy Kopplin
Senior Advisor to the Founder and CEO of Teach For America

Andy Kopplin currently serves as senior advisor to the Founder & CEO of Teach For America. In this role he also leads Teach For America’s initiative to dramatically grow the organization’s state funding base across the country, helping Teach For America more than double the amount of state funding it will receive between 2009 and 2010. Kopplin joined Teach For America in April 2008 to head the Growth Strategy and Development team, which manages the organization’s national fundraising and expansion efforts, successfully leading the organization’s $115M 2008-09 annual operating campaign and opening five new sites.

In early 2008, he also competed in a special election to fill Louisiana’s sixth congressional district seat after serving for more than two years as founding executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), the agency charged with leading the state’s recovery efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Under Kopplin's leadership, the LRA developed the strategy and built the bipartisan coalitions that more than doubled congressional appropriations for Louisiana's rebuilding, from $13 billion to $28 billion. The LRA also produced visionary community and regional rebuilding plans and led the charge for important political reforms like the state takeover of the failing New Orleans school system.

Before heading the LRA, Kopplin was chief of staff to two consecutive Louisiana governors, Democrat Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and Republican M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr. He joined Foster's staff in 1996 as policy director, and in that role led the pioneering effort to create the state's community college system by building a coalition of Republicans, Democrats, business, labor, educators, and students. Kopplin holds a bachelor’s from Rice University; a masters in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and is a 1986 Harry S. Truman Scholarship winner.

Current Topic


09/14 - Varsity, Inc.: The Business of College Sports

How big a business is college sports in Louisiana?

Special Presentation


Breaking Away:  A Louisiana Public Square Special Presentation

Would the breakaway City of St. George quash Baton Rouge’s school desegregation progress?

Coming Soon!


10/14 - Louisiana’s Congressional Priorities

Should the focus be on job creation or tax relief?

Recent Topics


08/14 - Down the Road: Our Transportation Future

What should the state’s transportation priorities be?


07/14 - Defining “Dangerous”

How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others?


06/14 - Pot or Not? The Decriminalization Debate (Encore Presentation)

Would a reduction in penalties encourage more usage and lead the state down a path to legalization?


05/14 - Job Market 2014

What does Louisiana’s employment market look like for job hunters in 2014?

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