Meet the 2020 National Geographic Education Fellows!

Each year, the National Geographic Society selects outstanding individuals to serve as Education Fellows who have demonstrated leadership and excellence in the education space. Our fellowship program is instrumental in accelerating the education strategy at National Geographic.

Our fellows bring unique skills and expertise with a focus on innovative project development, project leadership, emerging issues, and idea incubation. The program provides an opportunity for fellows to develop and/or lead an impact-driven project that is strategically aligned with the Society’s mission: to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. The fellowship also provides a platform to communicate and share their important work more broadly as leaders in our growing community.

This year’s fellows are building knowledge, enriching curriculum and professional development, driving innovation, deepening engagement with educators and youth, and empowering young people to drive solutions to build a sustainable future and a thriving planet. 

It is with enthusiasm, admiration, and joy that we announce our 2020 cohort. 


Andrew Brennen

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Andrew Brennen is co-founder of the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, which helps to amplify and elevate students as partners in improving Kentucky schools. In that capacity, he has launched and led several initiatives, including a successful statewide, student-led public affairs campaign that resulted in the restoration of $14 million for low-income student scholarships. Today, the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team consists of over 150 young people from across Kentucky and serves as a national model for how young people can hold educational institutions accountable to them. Since founding the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team in 2012 as a junior in high school, Brennen has held communications and marketing positions in a number of organizations, from the Obama Foundation to McKinsey & Company. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Student Voice, The Next 50 PAC, and Seek Common Ground.

Follow Andrew on Twitter: @aebrennen 

Ashley Lamb-Sinclair

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Ashley Lamb-Sinclair most recently served as the director of advocacy and community empowerment at the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute, North America. She is also the founder and former CEO of Curio Learning, an edtech platform she built to support educator creativity and professional development. While leading the company, Lamb-Sinclair won several awards, including the grand prize in the Uber Girlboss pitch competition in 2018. She also engaged with the LearnLaunch Accelerator in Boston while spearheading Curio’s growth. As 2016 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, she served as Teacher in Residence for the Kentucky Department of Education. A contributing writer to The Atlantic and the Washington Post, Lamb-Sinclair also founded educator accelerator School Startup. She has received Fulbright and English-Speaking Union scholarships.

Follow Ashley on Twitter: @AshleyLambS

Anita Palmer

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Anita Palmer is a former middle and high school technology and social studies teacher who became a National Geographic teacher consultant in 1993. She and her husband, Roger, started their business, GISetc, in 1999 to provide geospatial professional development and curriculum support to K–12 and higher-education teachers and students. Over the past 25 years, she has taught hundreds of geospatial technology classes for K–12 and post-secondary teachers, focusing on integrating geospatial technologies across curricula both in the United States and globally. She is an award-winning author whose most recent book is GIS for Teachers: A Guide to Authentic K–12 Integration and Application. Palmer and her husband also run a nonprofit, Geoporter, which trains global communities on how to use geospatial technologies to examine local resources and solve local issues.

Follow GISetc on Twitter: @GISetc 

Dwayne Reed

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Educator and educational activist Dwayne Reed has been crisscrossing the globe, promoting his message of love and equity in education. After seeing viral success with the release of his educational music video, “Welcome to the 4th Grade,” and appearing on Good Morning America, CNN, and MTV’s TRL, Reed has been on a mission to convince the world that relationships mean everything in education, and that every child, no matter their race or social status, deserves a fair chance at receiving a quality education. 

Follow Dwayne on Twitter: @TeachMrReed

Kim Young

Photograph by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

Kim Young is a longtime public school social studies educator who is passionate about cultivating her students’ identities as explorers and global citizens. She draws most of her inspiration for classroom activities from firsthand experiences in the field.     

Young’s current focus on creating interdisciplinary, environmentally focused curricula started as a result of her experiences in Arctic Svalbard as a 2017 National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions Grosvenor Teacher Fellow and in Alaska as part of a 2018 PolarTREC expedition. When she can’t get into the field, Young  experiments with best practices related to virtual reality technology integration, and has organized a week-long takeover at her school by the Intel Tech Learning Lab.  

As a 2019 National Geographic Explorer, Young has been working to scale curricular innovation around the teaching of migration and student activism through design thinking.

Follow Kim on Twitter: @9thWorldHistory


For more information about National Geographic’s commitment to education and other opportunities to get involved, visit natgeo.org/education. Support National Geographic’s efforts to enable more inspiring educators, cutting-edge scientists, intrepid explorers, and powerful storytellers here.

Feature image by Rebecca Hale, National Geographic

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