Executive Vice President/Senior Partner
In my former life as a client, I could always tell when a consultant was truly listening and focused on my organization’s needs. That’s one big reason I came to Widmeyer: We understand each client’s goals and needs are unique, and make sure to listen carefully and recommend smart, cost-effective solutions. I also get to combine my two professional passions—education policy and strategic communications. I’m constantly looking for new education ideas and trends that add value to our work, and really enjoy figuring out how to fit together the right communications pieces into a coherent and creative plan of action. My personal passions? Reading, travel, Latin music and culture and spending lots of quality time with my wife and two daughters.
Currently serving as Widmeyer executive vice president, Dan has headed the firm’s PreK-12 education practice since arriving four years ago. Using his 20 years of experience in strategic communications, media relations, branding and message development for associations, unions, Capitol Hill offices and campaigns, Kaufman has served a range of clients including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, American Federation of Teachers, National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) and National Assessment Governing Board.
A Fulbright scholar with a Ph.D. in Political Science, Kaufman spent the previous seven years working on behalf of teachers. He was communications director at the Maryland State Education Association, where he led successful integrated campaigns to protect school funding and improve teacher pensions. Kaufman also worked for the National Education Association (NEA), where he was its key spokesperson on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), state and local budget issues, higher education access and affordability and Hispanic education issues, and served on its national ESEA advisory committee.
Earlier in his career he was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and legendary columnist Jack Anderson, served as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow and worked as an ESL/bilingual instructor in the Atlanta Public Schools.
Kaufman earned his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from Swarthmore College. He has taught college- and graduate-level courses at Georgetown University, the Catholic University of Chile, and most recently, at American University (education policy). He is fluent in Spanish.