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Tony Salazar

Tony Salazar

Chief Affiliate Officer for the National Education Association, Denver, CO

Tony is a Denver native and a graduate of North High School in Denver Public Schools. Tony stayed close to home and graduated with Honors from the University of Denver where he double majored in Political Science and English.

Tony began his professional career in 1994 working for the Colorado General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Council as a nonpartisan staff member responsible for staffing several legislative committees, writing research papers for state legislators, contributing to fiscal analyses of legislative bills, and authoring written analyses of state ballot measures for the Colorado Blue Book voter guide.

In 1999, Tony transitioned to the world of higher education to work for the University of Colorado System Office in Boulder. Tony ascended to the role of Associate Budget Director before leaving in 2001 to take a position as a legislative lobbyist for the Colorado Education Association (CEA). While at CEA, Tony was the lead lobbyist on important issues such as school finance, school choice, and social justice issues including tuition equity for undocumented students. Tony was chosen by CEA’s Board of Directors in 2008 as the Executive Director, the organization’s top staff position. In this role, Tony led CEA’s multi-year financial and advocacy support for the eventual passage of the Colorado ASSET bill in 2013 that finally provided tuition equity for all in-state students.

Since September 2014, Tony has served in an executive role as the Chief Affiliate Officer for the National Education Association’s (NEA) Member Benefits Corporation headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In this post, Tony is responsible for overseeing a field-based team that promotes products and services intended to enrich the personal and professional lives of NEA members across the world.

Tony finds time to give back to the Colorado community by serving as a gubernatorial appointee on the Board of Trustees at the University of Northern Colorado. Tony also volunteers his time as a board member for the Denver-based Latin American Educational Foundation.

Tony and his wife, Tonette, reside in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood with their three school-aged children. Tony spends most of his free time following his beloved Denver Broncos or transporting his very active children to their various activities that include baseball, tae kwon do and dance.