Karl Frisch (he/him) is an accomplished public policy advocate and non-profit executive with a record of delivering for parents, teachers, and students on the Fairfax County School Board.
He has earned a national reputation for his policy work on a host of issues ranging from land conservation, consumer financial protection, and corporate accountability to voting rights, student loan forgiveness, and comprehensive immigration reform.
Most recently, as executive director of consumer watchdog Allied Progress, Karl drove to Washington every morning to fight the former Trump administration over its refusal to help struggling Americans targeted by predatory payday lenders, unscrupulous student loan processors, and other financial scammers.
Earlier in his career, Karl served as staff for the Committee on Rules in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was instrumental in helping to expose a pattern of corruption by members of Congress, some of whom later resigned or faced criminal charges stemming from their ethical transgressions.
In 2019, Karl was elected to represent Providence District on the Fairfax County School Board, ultimately garnering more votes than any candidate for that office in the district’s history and becoming the first openly LGBTQIA+ person elected to local office in Virginia’s largest county.
On the School Board, Karl has championed efforts to address COVID learning loss, increase teacher and staff pay, expand access to advanced academics and other opportunities, teach accurate history, bring additional resources to local schools, protect school libraries from censorship, and center equity and inclusion.
Additionally, he has been at the forefront of efforts to eliminate literacy gaps, creatively address school overcrowding, prevent gun violence, protect LGBTQ+ students, keep immigrant families together, rename schools that honored the Confederacy, encourage energy conservation and reinvest the savings in our students, and give teachers and school staff a seat at the table through collective bargaining.
Karl is the School Board’s congressional liaison and serves on its Audit and Public Engagement Committees. In past years, he has been the City of Fairfax School Board and Virginia General Assembly liaison. Additionally, Karl has chaired the Board’s Public Engagement and Governance Committees and served as one of its two representatives on the Joint Environmental Task Force, which works with the Board of Supervisors to address climate and sustainability issues.
His policy work on the School Board has been recognized with awards from the ACLU, Capital Pride, FCPS Pride, Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, and the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers.
The son of a waitress and union cop, Karl and his three sisters grew up in a middle-class home in Los Angeles. He moved to the national capital region in 2004 and now lives in Tysons with his partner Evan, a product of local schools and a long-time teacher in Fairfax County. They are the proud dog dads of Dexter, an energetic twelve-year-old Wheaten Terrier mix.