Education Leader and Mental Health Professional Tony J. Walker Joins The Jed Foundation as First Senior Vice President of Academic Programs

Walker will lead efforts to scale JED’s high school and higher education programs and operations to protect emotional health and prevent suicide among the nation’s teens and young adults in the newly created senior leadership role

[November 7, 2022-New York, New York] – The Jed Foundation (JED) announces the appointment of Tony J. Walker, PhD, LPC-S, as Senior Vice President of Academic Programs, effective November 7. Dr. Walker will be responsible for the impact and growth of JED’s high school and higher education programs, which serve more than 400 schools representing more than 5 million students in the United States. He will report to President and Chief Operating Officer Rebecca Benghiat.

JED equips school communities across the country with expert guidance and evidence-based practices to create a culture of care in which all students feel seen and supported. Through the flagship JED Campus and JED High School programs, JED partners with schools to assess their community’s needs, develop a customized strategic plan to build on existing strengths, and implement tools, strategies, and techniques that lead to measurable improvements in student mental health and a more connected community. Dr. Walker will serve as a key organizational leader, spearheading JED’s strategic plan initiative to triple the number of students protected by JED’s Comprehensive Approach. 

“Dr. Walker is a seasoned leader with a remarkable track record delivering positive impact at the intersection of education and mental health, and we are excited by the knowledge and passion he brings to advancing our work to strengthen schools,” said Benghiat. “This is a time of incredible need for our nation’s youth and an urgent opportunity to support our schools in creating more healthy and connected communities. Dr. Walker is the ideal person to help lead us forward.” 

Dr. Walker comes to JED after working as a teacher, school counselor, and K-12 school district executive where he was at the forefront of designing and leading school mental health programs at Uplift Education. Most recently, he served as Vice President of Education Strategy and Innovation at the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute in Dallas, where he contributed to statewide public policy on issues of school-linked mental health for over 1,200 school districts and 200+ higher education institutions.

He is a licensed professional counselor, a certified school counselor, and a Teach for America Corps alumnus. Dr. Walker received his Bachelor of Education from the University of Missouri, his Master of Counseling from Missouri Baptist University, and his Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas Tech University.

“The Jed Foundation is driving sustainable systems change for schools and changing the trajectory of students’ lives,” said Dr. Walker. “I am honored and excited to be a part of expanding JED’s mission and significantly deepening the organization’s impact.”

About The Jed Foundation (JED)

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.

Connect with JED:  Email | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn

Media Contact
Justin Barbo
Director, Public Relations, The Jed Foundation

Get Help Now

If you or someone you know needs to talk to someone right now, text, call, or chat 988 for a free confidential conversation with a trained counselor 24/7. 

You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741-741.

If this is a medical emergency or if there is immediate danger of harm, call 911 and explain that you need support for a mental health crisis.