Will Ragland is the research director in the Center for American Progress Action Fund War Room. He comes from the U.S. Department of Education, where he was the director of strategic outreach in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs. Ragland spent five years at the department leading efforts to build congressional coalitions behind the Obama administration’s education priorities, handling the office’s appropriations and budget portfolio, and managing relationships between members of Congress and senior leadership, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Before joining the department, he worked on the president’s first election bid in 2008, where he led regional research efforts in southern and northeastern battleground states such as North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and New Hampshire.
Previously, Ragland worked for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives under then-chair, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica, and taught high school English.
Born and raised in Kilmarnock, Virginia, Ragland graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a bachelor’s degree in English and writing.