Terris Todd

Terris E. Todd brings a wealth of experience to Project 21, having served in the federal government, as an advisor for a leading think tank, as a member of the clergy, as an author, as a podcast host and in local politics.

Terris recently served as the advisor of coalitions engagement at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

In 2020, Terris was appointed by The White House to be the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in the U.S. Department of Education, where he focused on working with educational professionals in the public and private sectors to elevate and bring awareness to the challenges faced by African-American students in the country, and on leveraging resources to help ensure students are prepared for college and productive careers that contribute to the well-being of society.

Prior to his federal appointment, Terris served as Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party, where he provided leadership and outreach efforts to the expansion of conservative thought and values throughout the state from 2017 to 2020. In 2015, he served as Director of District Relations in the Michigan House of Representatives (District 62) and, later in the same year, Director of Education and Children Services for Community Action of South Central Michigan until May 2020.

He has served on numerous boards, and currently provides leadership to the Norfolk State University Foundation Board, Frederick Douglass Foundation, Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, Right to Life of Michigan, SW Michigan Urban League, the Project 21 black leadership network and the Fatherhood Initiative Advisory Board.

He is an ordained pastor, serving under the leadership of Bishop Hugh Smith, Jr., presiding prelate of Jabula International Network.

Terris is the author of Just Being There: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Children and the creator of The God Class Series Apparel.

He hosts the “In the Classroom” with Mr. Todd podcast on Anchor/Spotify.

Terris was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan. He earned his B.S. in Elementary Education and M.A. in Educational Leadership both from Western Michigan University. He has worked as a public school teacher, administrator and college instructor.

He currently resides in Woodbridge, Virginia. Terris and his wife Karen have three daughters.


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