Office of the President


Dave Spence

David S. Spence is president of the Southern Regional Education Board, where he consults on education policy with governors, state legislators, state K-12 and higher education chiefs and other leaders. He oversees many initiatives designed to help the organization’s 16 member states lead the nation in educational progress, including the nation’s largest school improvement network.


Cheryl Blanco
Vice President, Postsecondary Education

Cheryl Blanco has served as vice president for postsecondary education at the Southern Regional Education Board since 2008. She leads SREB’s postsecondary policy initiatives, including the work of the Commission on College Affordability in the South and the Commission on Community Colleges. She has written and overseen publications on several postsecondary issues.


Mark Emblidge
Vice President, Special Projects

Mark E. Emblidge joined the Southern Regional Education Board in 2012 and is vice president for special projects. Prior to joining SREB, Mark served as an SREB board member from 2004 to 2008 and as vice chair from 2008 to 2012. He was also the director of the Literacy Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition, he served four terms on the Richmond County School Board in Virginia and was elected to three terms as chairman. In 1996, he was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the board of the National Institute for Literacy, where he served four years as chairman.