Invited Keynote Speaker
Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Senator Al Franken
As a United States Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken has been an outspoken advocate for safe schools, supports for at-risk youth, and positive school climates. As a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), he has worked to bring greater awareness to needs of students struggling in school and is a strong advocate for homeless children, those in foster care, and students with disabilities. In the Senate, he introduced the Student Nondiscrimination Act, which would work to protect students from discrimination, harassment, and bullying at school based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. He is also the lead sponsor or cosponsor on five additional bills that align with NASP’s legislative priorities.
Prior to his work in the Senate, he spent 37 years as a comedic writer, radio host, and actor. He wrote for and performed on Saturday Night Live from its inaugural season in 1975 to 1980; he returned in 1985 and served as one of the show’s producers until 1995. During this time, he won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy, Variety, or Music Series. As a Senator, he has brought to the HELP committee both humor and positive public policy ideas supporting education and services for children.