Former U.S. Department of Education Official Joseph Walsh Joins Collaborative Communications

Joe Walsh named Senior Vice President for Innovation at the education-focused strategic communications firm

Washington, D.C. – Collaborative Communications, the nation’s premier communications firm focused solely on education and learning, announced today that Joseph Walsh, who most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education for State and Local Engagement in the Office of Communication and Outreach, has joined the firm as Senior Vice President for Innovation.

“Joe’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge has already made him a key addition to the Collaborative team and network,” said Kris Kurtenbach, founding partner. “We view his appointment as a sign of our commitment to being the leading communications firm in the education space. Our dedication to finding innovative solutions to education and workforce issues, coupled with an increasing demand from our clients and network to understand how to best navigate the evolving policy landscape of ESSA, led us to look for an addition to our team who will fit in with our ethos of innovation and exceptional service. And we are fortunate to find someone of Joe’s caliber to fulfill this role. I’m confident that Joe will play a key role in providing and implementing high-quality communications and strategy solutions for our clients.”

Walsh is a communications and political strategist and adviser with senior leadership experience at the national, state and local levels. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Education, Walsh was an adviser to Secretary Arne Duncan on political and strategic communications issues, helped develop the Department’s communication strategy and led their engagement efforts with governors, mayors, legislators, chief state school officers and with the advocacy community.

“Collaborative has worked for more than 15 years with leaders in the education community to improve outcomes for all students,” said Walsh. “I’m excited to join the great team at Collaborative, and look forward to what’s next as a firm and in our work in education and learning.”

Walsh has worked at the intersection of policy, politics and communications throughout his career, in senior leadership roles in government and as a consultant leading political campaigns and issue advocacy efforts. Before joining the Obama Administration, he was Deputy Director, U.S. Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading teams working to help build the public and political will to support the Foundation’s efforts to improve educational outcomes in the United States. He served as a member of Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian Fenty’s cabinet as Director of the Department of Employment Services, and in Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration as Director of Policy and Planning at the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. Under President Bill Clinton, Walsh was education director of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. He began his career in civic education teaching government, history and civic engagement to high school students at the Close Up Foundation.

About Collaborative
Collaborative Communications Group, Inc. is the nation’s premier communications firm focused solely on education and learning.We are dedicated to improving learning systems, in and out of school, for students and adults, through better communications, collaboration and engagement.

Our Clients’ Work Shines: Collaborative Wins Six Honors at 22nd Annual Communicator Awards



At Collaborative we are committed to excellence. This is evidenced by our clients, who we are honored to work with, and the incredible work our clients produce. And while we believe good work speaks for itself, there is also something to be said for outside recognition of such work.

For the past three years Collaborative has participated in The Communicator Awards to highlight the work our clients do and to pay tribute to our shared commitment to excellence. Each year we’ve entered, our clients’ work has been honored..






We are thrilled to announced that for the 22nd Annual Communicator Awards, six of our clients received an award, and we hope you will join us in congratulating them and celebrating this tremendous achievement.


Penguin Young Readers Group and Baltimore’s Summer Reading Program

Everyday Hereos Poster

Every Hero Has a Story: Read to Unlock Them!
Winner, Award of Excellence for Print & Design


This poster represents a collaboration between Penguin Young Readers Group and the Baltimore Grade Level Reading Campaign that got young people excited about reading and writing across Baltimore. As part of our work promoting Brad Meltzer’s Real Heroes children’s book series, we reached out to the Baltimore Grade Level Reading Campaign to see if we could help their mission of engaging youth in reading over the summer. A few weeks later, we developed this poster promoting Baltimore’s summer reading campaign, Every Hero Has a Story, which encouraged children to write their own hero stories. Christopher Eliopoulos designed the poster and designed book covers for the five winning stories. When you work with people that are passionate about youth, amazing things happen.


The World Bank Group, a collaborative effort with Social Driver

World Bank STEP Video
Winner, Award of Distinction for Video & Commercial


Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement, or STEP, is an online planning and tracking system for World Bank projects. It transforms data into knowledge, speeds up the procurement process, and improves accountability and transparency–driving results for better development. Watch the video above to learn more.


The George W. Bush Institute

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 3.51.57 PM (2)

The North America Competitiveness Scorecard
Winner, Award of Distinction for Interactive Media


The George W. Bush Institute created The North America Competitiveness Scorecard as a tool to compare the competitive position of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as a region, relative to other major economic regions and countries with large economies. The Scorecard provides the opportunity to see at a glance how well North America—country by country and altogether—is performing in the global economy. The Scorecard enables users to compare any countries they wish, look at economic data over time, and examine the economic performance of entire regions.


The QED Group, LLC.


Our Children, Our Future: Ensuring Child Well-Being in Uganda
Winner, Award of Distinction for Print & Design


Developed in support of the National Forum on the State of the Ugandan Child, held in Kampala in October 2015, Our Children, Our Future: Ensuring Child Well-Being in Uganda is a major report and call to action that lays out the National Action Plan for Child Well-Being, as well as the numerous challenges facing children in Uganda. The report also articulates strong goals for addressing those challenges to improving outcomes for children in the country.


College Success Arizona


Doubling Arizona’s Economic Growth: The Potential Fiscal and Social Gains From Increasing Postsecondary Attainment
Winner, Award of Distinction for Print & Design


College Success Arizona released this report in January 2016. The report shows that raising the post-secondary attainment rate has the potential to double Arizona’s economic growth, equating to $660,000 per additional college graduate. The report was the second in their series of publications that highlight the economic and social importance of increasing the number of students that enroll and stay in post-secondary education, and graduate with a degree or certificate.


National Afterschool Association Convention

MyAfterschoolStory Template


View the Twitter campaign here.

Winner, Award of Distinction for Content & Marketing

For the 2015 National AfterSchool Association Convention, we chose a theme of Passionate Professionals, Powerful Stories to help our audience of 1,500 afterschool professionals tell their stories. As part of this, we designed a template for users to print, customize and share their story with the hashtag #MyAfterschoolStroy. By asking them to share their stories, they had to think about themselves: why they do what they do, what drew them to afterschool, what afterschool programs did they do as a kid and why it all matters. Hundreds responded with their stories, ranging from personal growth after tragedy to their goals for the future of afterschool. By digging a little deeper and having these dedicated educators think about themselves, we connected them to a larger community of like-minded peers, highlighted what they have in common in their personal histories and beliefs, helped them to refine their stories and encouraged them to keep telling their stories.

We are honored to participate in The Communicator Awards, and we extend our congratulations to our partners and collaborators who have helped make our work and their work shine.

The Communicator Awards are presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts (AIVA), and serve to honor achievements in marketing and communication across a range of mediums and platforms.