robert (dot) henderson (at) dc (dot) gov
Robert Henderson is a parent and education advocate who lives in Ward 5’s Fort Lincoln neighborhood with his wife and two children. He was elected to represent Ward 5 on the State Board of Education in November 2022.
Robert has been active in his kids’ school community since 2015, when his son entered pre-K4. In 2019, Robert worked with his SBOE predecessor Zachary Parker and other Ward 5 neighbors to establish the Ward 5 Education Equity Committee to give Ward 5 school communities a voice before the council and city agencies to advocate for what students need and deserve.
Robert grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina where he attended public schools. He earned a BA from Georgetown University and an MA in history at the University of Pittsburgh, writing a thesis on Freedpeoples’ education in Reconstruction North Carolina. He then served a year in the AmeriCorps program working for Habitat for Humanity, followed by two years as a carpenter in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, before returning to the DC area to continue graduate school at the University of Maryland.
Robert completed a Ph.D. in history at UMD in 2013, where he wrote a dissertation on the politics of housing finance and fair housing in the twentieth-century United States. Professionally, he researches and writes about housing policy — translating technical and scholarly literature for a broad audience to make it more accessible, practical, and actionable.