Stacey Pelika

Stacey Pelika is Director of Research at the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union and education advocacy organization.

Since 2012, Stacey has led the Research Department at the National Education Association (NEA), which represents three million educators working in public schools. In this role, she leads a team that conducts research to inform NEA strategy and lift up educators’ voices and experiences. She also oversees how NEA uses research to advocate for safe, just, and excellent public schools for all students, from pre-K through higher education.

Stacey was previously Director of Research at the Children’s Defense Fund and Assistant Professor of Government at the College of William & Mary. She holds a B.A. in American studies from Carleton College, an A.M. in education from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She looks forward to using her experience in strategic planning, grant writing, budget oversight, and program evaluation as a member of the WIT Board.

Stacey’s time at WIT started with a one-day Improv for Business workshop in 2019, during which she realized that improv scratched the same itch as teaching, only without having to grade papers. She has since completed the WIT curriculum and credits WIT online electives with helping her maintain her sanity during the pandemic. A native Minnesotan, Stacey is working on making her characters’ emotions explicit rather than burying them under layers of passive-aggressive niceness.