Sandra Ruppert – Director

As Director of the Arts Education Partnership, Sandra Ruppert brings more than 25 years of leadership experience working with non-profit organizations, principally in the areas of arts, education, culture and public policy. Prior to her appointment as AEP Director in June 2008, Sandra was the Senior Associate for Research and Policy at AEP. She is the author of numerous AEP publications, including the widely acclaimed, Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement as well as From Anecdote to Evidence: Assessing the Status and Condition of Arts Education at the State Level. Before joining the staff of AEP, Sandra was a Senior Policy Analyst and Program Director with the Education Commission of the States, a Denver-based national non-profit organization that advises state policymakers on education issues. While at ECS, she was responsible for the design and direction of ECS Chairman, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s, Arts in Education Initiative. Sandra holds a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. Sandra can be reached at

Laura Johnson – Senior Associate, Communications and Partnership

Laura Johnson is a seasoned executive who’s devoted a professional lifetime to organizations that inspire and improve the lives of children. With 20 years experience, she has led major press and community outreach campaigns, launched new products and exhibit openings and spearheaded fundraising initiatives for world class organizations including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, March of Dimes, McDonald’s Co-op of Greater Baltimore and the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Most recently, Laura served as the Director of Field Services for the March of Dimes Foundation in Georgia where she oversaw marketing communications and fundraising promotions for the nation’s nonprofit leader in pregnancy wellness and infant health. Prior to this, Laura held the role of Vice President of Public Relations and Community Affairs at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra where she coordinated international press relations for the BSO’s 2005 European Tour spanning seven countries and directed the historic press campaign announcing Maestra Marin Alsop as the nation’s first female director of a major symphony orchestra. Laura holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Hofstra University. She can be reached at

Scott Jones - Senior Associate, Research and Policy

Scott D. Jones joins AEP after four years with the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) where he served as the project coordinator, managing the development of one of the largest data sets on arts education outcomes. In addition to his work with SNAAP, Scott served as an Adjunct Instructor in the Arts Management Program, housed in the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) where he taught arts education policy and served as the chair of the Bloomington Community Arts Commission.  Before joining SNAAP, Scott worked as an arts administrator and educator with various arts organizations including Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, and the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington, Indiana. He holds an MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University, a BA in music education and vocal performance from Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and studied public affairs at Indiana University. Scott can be reached at

Emily Edens – Program Associate, Research and Policy

Before joining the AEP team, Emily Edens spent three years working for Congressman Tom Cole, first as a Legislative Correspondent and then as a Legislative Assistant. She focused primarily on education issues in her role as a Legislative Assistant, where she researched legislation, monitored policy updates, and met with school administrators, teachers, students, and others in the education field. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Emily interned with a small lobbying firm and for Congressman Cole. A native Oklahoman, Emily moved to Washington, D.C. to attend American University. She graduated from the School of Public Affairs with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a certificate in Women, Politics, and Political Leadership. Emily can be reached at

Mary Addie – Program Assistant

Mary Addie joined AEP in 2011 as the Administrative Assistant before becoming the Program Assistant in 2013. After graduating from James Madison University with her Bachelor of Music degree, she completed a Special Events internship at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. Mary also has experience in public radio, and volunteered regularly at WNRN in Charlottesville, Virginia. Mary is a classically trained pianist, and teaches private piano lessons on the weekends in northern Virginia. Mary can be reached at