Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell, J.D. began her service as the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education on December 13, 2010. She provides leadership to help meet the goal of engaging community-based organizations, both faith-based and secular in building a culture of high expectations and support for education. Rev. Girton-Mitchell also works as part of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to implement its mission in cooperation with the Centers for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at 12 other federal agencies.
Her professional life includes working as an elementary school teacher and serving as the President of the Indianapolis Education Association in her hometown, Indianapolis, Indiana; legislative assistant in the United States Senate, legislative counsel for Sears, assistant executive director for Dr. Dorothy Height at the National Council of Negro Women, and director of diversity for Mitsubishi Motors of America. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Rev. Girton-Mitchell served the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA as Associate General Secretary for Justice and Advocacy.
Rev. Girton-Mitchell received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ball State University, a Master of Science from Indiana/Purdue University in Indianapolis, a law degree from Chicago Kent College of Law and a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary. She is an advocate of lifelong learning.
Rev. Girton-Mitchell is an ordained Baptist minister and is actively involved in the ecumenical and community organizations. She serves as Minister for Stewardship and Missions at Metropolitan Baptist Church.
A recipient of numerous awards, she has received the National Council of Negro Women Bethune Recognition Award for an Outstanding Woman in Ministry, the National Bar Association’s Presidential Award, and the Sagamore of the Wabash Award—the highest award given by the state of Indiana—and was inducted into the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr., International Board of Preachers. She has also received the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Service Award. In 2008, Rev. Girton-Mitchell received The John Wesley Award of Merit, the highest award presented by Wesley Theological Seminary.
Rev. Girton-Mitchell and her husband James Mitchell reside in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Anna Leach is a Special Assistant at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Anna holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hope College where she majored in secondary education. Anna previously interned with the Center in the spring of 2011, supporting the launch of the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge and other key outreach efforts undertaken by the Center to promote engagement of faith-based and community organizations in education. Anna has served as a teacher of 7th grade World History and Geography. Her classroom experience has provided her with essential skills and perspectives to further the work of the Center and its impact at the local level. Anna is currently pursuing her Masters in Higher Education Administration at The George Washington University.