Derek Turner

Vice President

Derek Turner is a strategist with 20 years of experience working at the intersection of communications, equity and innovation.  At The Hatcher Group, he supports clients working to advance equity and opportunity through advocacy, marketing, and smart communications. 

Prior to joining The Hatcher Group, Derek served as the Chief of Engagement, Innovation and Operations for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Maryland’s largest school district and one of the 20 largest school districts in the nation. He led the school system’s strategic communications and stakeholder outreach efforts; managed crisis response; acted as the primary spokesperson to the media; and served as a key advisor to the Superintendent and the Board of Education. During his tenure, Derek oversaw the redevelopment of the school system’s brand and website; crafted editorials on diversity, equity, and inclusion; enhanced multilingual engagement tactics; and oversaw the development of the system’s virtual learning academy.  

Before MCPS, Derek served as Director of Communications for the Kapor Center for Social Impact and the national NAACP, respectively. In these roles, he developed multi-pronged communications campaigns to highlight critical civil rights and social justice issues, including climate change, criminal justice reform, marriage equality, and unconscious bias in hiring. His strategies helped expose attacks on voting rights and disparities in hiring within the tech industry.  

Derek holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duke University, a juris doctor from Southwestern Law School, and studied film production at American University. He has also earned a change management certificate from Cornell University and a certificate focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace from the University of South Florida. He has lived in 9 states, and the District of Columbia. He currently lives in Wheaton, Maryland with his wife, daughter and son. Derek is a karaoke enthusiast and dabbles in woodworking.  


  • “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” – Albert Einstein  
  • “The humanity of all Americans is diminished when any group is denied rights granted to others.” – Julian Bond  
  • “There’s no good idea that can’t be improved on.”  – Michael Eisner  
  • “Karaoke is the great equalizer.”  – Aisha Tyler  

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