For the last six years, the greatest minds in education technology have congregated in Boston for the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries Conference. Our sixth annual conference is no exception! We have an incredible speaker line-up this year—from entrepreneurs to educators and investors to luminaries, experts from every facet of the edtech sector join us to impart their wisdom and connect with fellow conference attendees. View speaker biographies below and check back as even more are added!
Beth Anderson, CEO and Founder, Phoenix Charter Academy Network
Beth Anderson, the CEO and founder of the Phoenix Charter Academy Network, began her career in education teaching bilingual kindergartners in Los Angeles in 1991 through Teach for America. Working with the mostly under-educated young parents of her students in South Central LA sparked a deep commitment to serving adolescents disconnected from traditional public education avenues, which eventually crystallized in the form of the Phoenix Charter Academy Network. Since Phoenix Chelsea was founded in 2006, Phoenix has grown into a network of three schools in Chelsea, Lawrence and Springfield, with more than 100 game-changing educators serving over 500 students. Over the past 10 years, more than 150 young people who were never expected to graduate have earned high school diplomas from Phoenix and gone on to college success. Building the Phoenix Charter Academy Network has transformed Anderson into a social entrepreneur focused on tackling poverty-generated social and economic issues that create barriers between older youth and the economic freedom that comes from educational achievement. Anderson is an alumna of Brandeis University, Harvard Graduate School of Education and Teach For America. Previously the Co-Chair of Governor Charlie Baker’s Education Transition Committee, Anderson was recently elected as Board President of the Massachusetts Public Charter School Association in addition to serving on multiple other education advisory boards.
Umar Arshad, Co-Founder and CEO, Way Point Labs
Christina Y Bai, Co-Founder, ColleMark, LLC
|Christina Y. Bai is an innovative entrepreneur in the field of education. She is the president of MeBo Consulting, a Boston based boutique education consulting firm specialized in
developing intercultural programs that bring together higher education institutions and students from diverse national and socioeconomic backgrounds.Her long experience servicing international students led Christina to realize that there is a communication gap between colleges and students looking for higher education, and that the current recruitment process is expensive and highly inefficient. To overcome this gap, she founded and is the CEOof CollegeFindMe, the most convenient and efficient platform for students to communicate with colleges and for colleges to find their best fit students. The mission is to connect students, counselors and colleges worldwide to enhance the educational experience. CollegeFindMe is bound to revolutionize the college search and recruitment process, saving colleges up to 90% of recruitment costs while exposing them to a larger pool of diverse students from around the world.Christina is the one of the youngest board members of Harvard Kennedy School Women and Public Policy Program. She is also the president and venture partner of NingDe Capital and JFX Corporation, Chinese -American venture capital firms focused on early stage Education Technology, Bio-Technology and Real Estate Assets.
Navjeet Bal, General Counsel, Social Finance
Navjeet K. Bal is Managing Director and General Counsel at Social Finance. She is responsible for working with the Social Finance team to develop and execute innovative financings that bring together the public, private and non-profit sectors to promote solutions to social needs. She brings over twenty five years of experience as a public finance attorney and a public official to Social Finance. As bond counsel to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and many public authorities throughout Massachusetts and New England, Navjeet was responsible for structuring innovative bond financings to address critical infrastructure needs, including the first issue of Green Bonds issued in the municipal market in 2013. In addition, she represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in negotiating and documenting its ground-breaking Pay for Success contracts addressing juvenile justice and chronic homelessness.
Navjeet served as the Commissioner of Revenue in Governor Deval Patrick’s administration from 2008 through 2011, where she was responsible for a 2000 person agency with three lines of business: Tax Administration, Child Support Enforcement and the Division of Local Services.
Navjeet has held many leadership positions in legal, community and professional organizations, including the Boston Bar Association, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Access to Justice Commission, the Boston Public Market and the Williams College Gaudino Fund. Navjeet graduated from Williams College and Northeastern University School of Law.
Suha Ballout, Professor, UMass Boston College of Nursing and Health Science
Dr. Suha Ballout is an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts Boston. Suha is interested in integrating innovative technologies in teaching large classes. She adopts an active learning approach in her classes and works with other faculty to integrate technology in courses.
Michelle Bata, Associate Dean and Director of the LEEP Center, Clark University
Michelle Bata serves as the Associate Dean and Executive Director of LEEP Center, Clark University’s center for advising, experiential learning, and careers. As the inaugural director, she is broadly responsible for efforts to engage students in opportunities outside the classroom and to prepare them for meaningful careers. At Clark, Michelle developed a nationally recognized, award-winning advising model that integrates best practices in academic advising, career counseling, and the learning sciences.
Michelle’s scholarly interests include the impact of advising and mentoring on student professional outcomes, and how engagement in experiential opportunities impacts student learning. She has published and presented widely and is regularly quoted in the media. She received both a master’s degree and a doctorate in sociology from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Hispanic studies from Boston College.
Mike Baur, Program Manager, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
Mike manages a portfolio of investments in the U.S. data-driven education practice focused on unlocking innovation by improving data interoperability through standardization initiatives. He works with state, district, and vendor organizations which execute projects to empower educators and students by providing the infrastructure to enable real-time access to accurate, actionable education data. Prior to joining the foundation, Mike was Managing Director at Academic Partnerships where he led efforts to promote the utilization of technology in delivering universal and affordable access to higher education institutes around the world. Earlier in his career, Mike was in higher education consulting and sales leadership for SunGard Higher Education and Ellucian where he was an Enterprise Architect and Senior Technical Consultant. Mike has a bachelor’s in computer science and a MBA from Harding University.
Ashley Beckner, Principal, Investments, Omidyar Network
Ashley is a principal at Omidyar Network where she is focused on US education investments, with an emphasis on early childhood and postsecondary credentials for parents. Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Ashley built and ran all non-instructional organizational functions of Bricolage Academy, an innovative, socioeconomically diverse, startup charter elementary school in New Orleans, Louisiana, as its founding director of finance, strategy, and operations. While in business school, Ashley spent a summer as an Education Pioneers fellow with the Silicon Schools Fund. She began her career at Morgan Stanley as an investment banking analyst focused on the real estate sector and as a special projects associate. Ashley received her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on entrepreneurial management and graduated from Marquette University with a B.S. in business administration.
Howard Bell, Senior Vice President of Higher Ed Student Success, Hobsons
Sheldon Berman, Superintendent, Andover Public Schools
Sujata Bhatt, Managing Partner, Innovation, Boston Public Schools
|Sujata Bhatt serves as Managing Partner of Innovation for Boston Public Schools, where she seeds, incubates, and accelerates new ways of thinking, problem-solving, and designing in the nation’s oldest school district. Working cross-functionally, she grows capacity towards what the system may become three to ten years out and develops pathways for equitable access to the innovation economy. She also blogs for EdWeek and serves on the Advisory Council for the Mastery Transcript Consortium. Previously, she was the founder of The Incubator School, a Los Angeles Unified school focused on equity and entrepreneurship. Her work draws upon her 14 years’ experience as a National Board Certified teacher. She has advised and been on the founding teams of edtech companies, served on the Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s Games and Learning Publishing Council, and written and spoken extensively on educational transformation. She has B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows at Harvard.|
Kathy Bodie, Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools
Lisa Bonacci, Engagement Manager of Sandbox ColLABorative, Southern New Hampshire University
Lisa Bonacci is the Engagement Manager at Sandbox ColLAborative. She manages communications and facilitates design-thinking sessions for SNHU faculty and staff. At the same time, Lisa is building relationships with community and external partners to establish Sandbox as a hub of innovation for the New England area. Before joining Sandbox, Lisa worked on the SNHU University College Marketing & Communications team. Lisa earned her B.S. degree in Marketing and Business Management from Daniel Webster College in Nashua and is currently pursuing an MBA at Southern New Hampshire University.
Leo Brehm, CTO, Central Massachusetts Collaborative
A career school CIO for public schools within Massachusetts, throughout his twenty-one year career, he has supported education in a variety of roles, including a technology support specialist, instructional technology specialist, network administrator, director of technology, and adjunct professor in four districts and a higher education institution. Currently he sits on the K12 advisory committee to IMS Global, the Board of Directors for The Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning and Creativity, and the Board of Directors for SustainEd. For several years, he served on the MassCUE Board of Directors also serving as its treasurer and president. He has a B.A. in Media and Public Relations, an Ed.M. in Instructional Technology and is working on an Ed.D in Education Leadership from Northeastern University. He is passionate and dedicated to the advancement of learning through a schooling model that is both student-centered and personalized.
Frank Britt, CEO, Penn Foster
Frank is the Chief Executive Officer of Penn Foster, a leading skills solution services provider focused on middle-skilled workers and employers. The organization operates as a for-purpose social enterprise premised on the belief that talent is fairly distributed, but opportunity and economic mobility are not. Penn Foster’s aim is to improve employment outcomes through an ed-tech enabled workforce development platform offering diplomas, degrees and credentials, and to create a movement of leaders and partners using contemporary training and education as a force for good. Today they engage more than 155,000 active students and hundreds of outcomes partners, including employers, youth organizations, non-profits, staffing firms and career schools.
Frank previously served as an Operating Partner at Bain Capital Ventures and CEO of Pri-Med – the largest medical education training company for primary care physicians. He is recognized among the ed-tech media as a new skills economy expert across media platforms such as Bloomberg TV, C-SPAN/ U.S. Congress, SXSWedu, TEDx, BMO and ASU/GSV events. Frank earned his B.S. from Syracuse University in Marketing and Operations Management.
Steve Brown, Deputy Director of Sandbox ColLABorative, Southern New Hampshire University
Steve Brown designs and facilitates experiences that support personal and organizational learning. Before joining the Sandbox Collaborative, Steve worked with SNHU’s College for America division on a hybrid delivery model that leveraged the expertise and resources of community-based organizations to support student success. Previously, Steve taught and coached in high schools for seventeen years. He left the classroom in 2009 to study design and resilience in complex adaptive systems. Steve has a BA from Harvard University and a MA in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University, Seattle.
William Bryan, Vice President of Leadership and Organization Development, Center for Secondary School Redesign
Bill Bryan, Ph.D. has had multiple careers to include the military, clinical psychologist with a specialty in child and family therapy, president of a national management consulting firm, teaching positions at five universities, and for the past dozen years a co-founder and VP at the Center for Secondary School Redesign (CSSR) which provides education consulting services. At CSSR his focus is on school and district leader development and performance improvement. One element of this practice is a focus on change leadership where districts and schools are assisted in managing major change processes when introducing new practices to deal with performance challenges and to meet student outcome goals.
Andy Calkins, Director, Next Generation Learning Challenges
As the Director of Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), Andrew (Andy) Calkins heads a leading national catalyst and accelerator in the re-imagining of K-12 education in the United States. An initiative of the non-profit organization EDUCAUSE, NGLC seeks to dramatically lift and transform student outcomes by helping to spur the development of next gen learning: student-centered, personalized, competency-based, blended, and experiential, organized around richer, deeper definitions of student success. Since its inception late in 2010, NGLC has invested more than $85 million in a range of innovations and whole-school models designed by educators and incorporating those principles. These grants have catalyzed many of the leading new models in postsecondary education (SNHU’s College for America and Northern Arizona’s Division of Personalized Learning, for example) and K-12 (Summit, Valor Collegiate, Design Tech, Brooklyn LAB, THRIVE, e3 Civic High, Intrinsic, Distinctive/West Belden, Metro Tech, and USC Hybrid High, for example). The NGLC Regional Funds, seven regional or city-based incubators, are using NGLC funds, supports, and modeling to catalyze 70 more personalized, competency-based, student-centered, blended schools – both charters and in-district schools. Together, these 100 or so breakthrough-model grantees constitute perhaps the nation’s foremost network of schools that are creating fundamentally new models of learning and institutional organization. NGLC serves as a catalyst; as an engineer; and as a storyteller and field-builder. Its theory of change holds that learning and school design around next gen learning principles needed to come first. Once the landscape of new school models has begun to demonstrate promise, NGLC’s role is to serve as a translator and converter, representing the voice and the work of the pioneers as adoption of their strategies broadens. Programs include NGLC’s MyWays project, a three-year effort to help early adopters move to next gen learning thoughtfully and effectively; and an initiative to generate new and more nuanced roles for assessment called the Assessment for Learning Project. Funding from the Gates, Hewlett, Broad, Dell, Oak, and Barr Foundations and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has supported NGLC’s work. Calkins brings three decades of experience in education reform in leadership positions at Scholastic Inc., Recruiting New Teachers Inc., Mass Insight Education and Research Institute, and the Stupski Foundation. He was the lead author of the influential Mass Insight report, The Turnaround Challenge, which helped to launch the nation’s focused efforts to turn around its most consistently under-performing schools. He lives on Boston’s north shore, where he and his wife have raised three daughters and where he has served two terms as an elected school committee member and as chair of the board of the Waring School.
Stephanie Carlson, Chief Science Officer, Reflection Sciences
Dr. Stephanie Carlson is a Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. She is a developmental psychologist and internationally recognized leader in the measurement of executive function in preschool children. She conducts research on ways to promote the healthy development of executive function in children and their caregivers. In 2014, she and Dr. Phil Zelazo co-founded Reflection Sciences, which provides the Minnesota Executive Function Scale, a nationally normed tablet-based assessment software app, as well as professional development and support for educators. Stephanie serves as Chief Science Officer of Reflection Sciences.
Jon Carson, CEO, CollegeVine
Other than brief stints at Boeing (sales), McKinsey & Co. (junior analyst), and two years at the Yale School of Management, Jon has always worked on his own ventures which for the last 20 years have always emphasized a social impact mission.
To date, he has started, built, and sold four companies, the largest of which was Family Education Network which became the largest K-12 website on the Internet ultimately acquired by Pearson.
His most recent company was BiddingForGood, a $60m marketplace for charity auctions. In 1999 Jon was profiled by e-School News as one of the 25 most influential people in education technology and in 2008 Jon was an initial inductee into the Babson College Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. In 2009 Jon was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award (New England Region). In 2015 Jon was featured in Insights—Reflections From 101 Of Yale’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs. He has served on the boards of the National School Boards Foundation, The National PTA, Net Impact, Trinity Boston Foundation, and Americas Charities.
Christian Catalini, Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management, MIT
Christian’s main areas of interest are the economics of digitization, entrepreneurship, and science. His research focuses on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, the economics of equity crowdfunding and startup growth, and the economics of scientific collaboration. Christian is one of the principal investigators of the MIT Digital Currencies Research Study, which gave access to all MIT undergraduate students to Bitcoin in the Fall of 2014. He is also part of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and the recently launched Digital Currency Initiative. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management), and MSc (summa cum laude) in Economics and Management of New Technologies from Bocconi University, Milan. In 2009-10 he was a visiting student at Harvard University. His work has been featured in Nature, Science, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, WIRED, NPR, Forbes, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, the Chicago Tribute, the Boston Globe, and VICE news among others. He has presented his research at a variety of institutions including Harvard University, MIT, Yale University, London Business School, New York University, UC Berkeley, the Federal Reserve Bank, the US Treasury, the World Bank, and the White House OSTP.
Tonika Cheek Clayton, Managing Partner, New Schools Venture Fund
Tonika leads NewSchools’ Tools & Services team who invests in promising for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs developing digital tools and services that support teaching and learning in PreK-12 schools. Prior to joining NewSchools, Tonika spent eight years at Amplify and Wireless Generation where she led teams to develop, sell and deliver digital products and services to the K-12 education market. Before Amplify, Tonika worked as a researcher on Harvard University’s Public Education Leadership Project (PELP) where she consulted the first cohort of urban public school district leaders and co-authored several case studies seeking to identify more effective ways to drive student achievement by strengthening school district management and leadership. Tonika started her career in marketing and public relations at the National Basketball Association (NBA) before later transitioning to the team who launched the NBA’s D-League in eight cities for its inaugural season. Tonika graduated from Harvard College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Elizabeth Chou, Partner, New Markets Venture Partners
Elizabeth Chou joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2010 and is a Partner. She is a board director for Kickboard and a board observer for BetterLesson, PresenceLearning, Graduation Alliance and previously for Questar Assessment, Moodlerooms, Think Through Learning and Three Ring.
Prior to New Markets, Elizabeth was a Senior Associate at The Gladstone Companies, a family of public funds (NASDAQ: GLAD, GAIN, GOOD) providing private equity, debt and real estate financing based in McLean, VA. At Gladstone she invested in and managed equity control and mezzanine debt investments in middle market companies in specialty manufacturing and healthcare services. Prior to Gladstone, Elizabeth was an Account Executive with M&T Bank’s Middle Market Commercial and Industrial Lending Group in Philadelphia, PA.
Elizabeth graduated with Honors from Mount Holyoke College, with a major in Politics and received a MBA from Columbia Business School.
Betsy Corcoran, CEO, Edsurge
Elizabeth “Betsy” Corcoran is co-founder and CEO of EdSurge, an award-winning news and information site on education technology. EdSurge delivers news for educators and entrepreneurs, maintains a detailed catalogue of edtech product, lists top edtech jobs and runs a national conference for administrators called Fusion.
Betsy has received national recognition for her work as a journalist. She’s been a staff writer and editor for Scientific American magazine, the Washington Post and Forbes.
She has also been a Fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been a featured commentator on television programs including Forbes on Fox, CNBC, NBC’s “Press Here,” and other programs. She is a member of the strategic advisory board for the CPRE Knowledge Hub, at the University of Pennsylvania’s Consortium for Policy Research. Her probono work includes advising several charter schools and has served as a Trustee for a local library. She is also a Fellow with the Pahara Institute. She has a BA in economics and math from Georgetown University.
Paul Crockett, CEO, Authess
Paul is the CEO of Authess, an education-technology company applying machine learning and big data to higher levels of assessment. With more than twenty years’ experience in the educational publishing and technology industry, improving peoples’ lives through learning has been the common thread and of his career. Paul has held executive-level positions leading innovation, strategy, and product management. He spent 10+ years at Pearson Education conceptualizing, developing, and launching Internet and mobile applications. Paul is a socially-minded technologist focused on meaningful change for education, employment, and training. His current passion is working with the Authess team and partners in developing new learning and assessment experiences to expose and measure the in-demand skills (what someone can do, not just what they know) to thrive in today’s economy.
Michael Croft, CEO, Volute
Michael Croft is founder and CEO of Volute, a company turning ideas and teaching methods of thought leaders into tools for digital learning. Tools are shared among a global community of university members and assemble like LEGO® bricks to solve niche and widespread educational challenges.
Michael is dad to a beautiful five-year-old girl and loves Sea Rays and Harleys. He’s also a serial entrepreneur and software architect with a degree in computer science, a 40 Under Forty recipient, and has been published and cited in industry journals on education and technology topics.
Before launching Volute, Michael bootstrapped an enterprise software company developing custom solutions used by organizations including Fifth Third Bank, Merck, Columbia Business School and NASA. He discovered a gap in the market for packaging and delivering digital content and knowledge services and introduced Volute to the education industry.
Bill Cullen, Product Manager, Sphero
Bill Cullen leads the Education product line for Sphero, a robotics company in Boulder, Colorado. He builds products that support engaged learning, laughing, collaboration and computer programming skills. Bill has created engaging content and experiences for schools, tech companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google, and visited the White House for initiatives such as Computer Science 4 All. Before Sphero, Bill was a product manager developing mobile apps for collegiate sports teams and also worked in the Advertising and Finance industries. Bill earned a Bachelors degree in Finance and City Planning from Binghamton University.
Jim Daniell, Chief Transformation Officer, NetHope
After 20 years in tech, I moved to non-profit leadership in 2009 when I joined Oxfam America as their first COO. In 2017, I co-founded the Center for the Digital Nonprofit at NetHope where I hope to be able to assist over 50 of the world’s largest NGOs become ever more impactful with digital business transformation.
Michelle Dervan, Principal, Rethink Education
|Michelle Dervan is a Principal at ReThink Education, a venture capital firm focused on education technology. Prior to joining ReThink Education, Michelle was a Director of Strategic Partnerships at Pearson Education where she focused on sourcing and structuring partnership deals with large and small tech companies. She previously held a number of education, edtech and economic development roles at Irish government agency, Enterprise Ireland. She is actively interested in education policy and workforce development initiatives. Michelle has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in European Studies, Russian and French from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.|
Julia Dexter, Co-Founder & CMO, Squiggle Park
Kristen DiCerbo, Vice President of Education Research, Pearson
Dr. Kristen DiCerbo is the Vice-President of Education Research at Pearson. She leads a team of researchers conducting and translating research about learners and learning to influence the design of curricula and digital tools.
Dr. DiCerbo’s personal research program centers on interactive technologies, particularly the use of games and simulations to understand what learners know and can do. She is interested in how technology, teachers, and students interact to engage in practices that personalize learning. Prior to joining Pearson, Kristen was a researcher with the Networking Academies at Cisco and was a school psychologist in a local school district in Arizona. Kristen received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hamilton College and Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Arizona State University.
Jeff Dinski, Director, Tyton Partners
Jeff Dinski has had extensive career as an entrepreneur, operator and consultant in the in media and education sectors, having served in varied roles for both large conglomerates and startups. Currently, Jeff is a Director at Tyton Partners, a leading provider of investment banking and strategy consulting services to the global education sector.
Before joining Tyton Partners, Jeff spent nearly four years at Parchment, a mid-stage educational technology company that is bringing academic and professional credentials online, and empower people to store and share them digitally. He served as General Management of Consumer Services, overseeing all aspects of the consumer operation at Parchment.
Prior to Parchment, Jeff was the COO and co-founder of GaggleofChicks.com, an online e-commerce company that brought the best local deals to moms and their families. The company was sold in August of 2011. Jeff began his career in media and television, working as a researcher and writer for NBC Sports – where he won an EMMY for NBC’s coverage of the 2002 Olympics – as well as write and producer at ESPN. He later served in business development roles at CBS and Comcast.
Jeff holds a B.S.E in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with Honors.
John Duong, Managing Director, Lumina Impact Ventures
John serves as the Managing Director of Lumina Impact Ventures, the impact investing arm of Lumina Foundation. He sources, structures, underwrites and negotiates impact investments to support Lumina’s strategic priorities towards Goal 2025. John most recently served as program and portfolio officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, managing a $100+ million mission-driven and program-related investments portfolio and making grants to further the field of impact investing. He previously held positions at J.P. Morgan and Co., Citigroup and Merrill Lynch as an investment banker in various roles including mergers and acquisitions advisory, credit risk analysis, equity research, capital structure optimization and corporate finance in both debt and equity products. John is also the Founder of Potencity, a social venture diversity recruiting platform focused on mid-, senior- and board level positions.
John earned his BA from Yale University and an Executive MBA from Northwestern University. Born in Cambodia, John immigrated to the U.S. at a young age as a survivor of the Khmer Rouge concentration camp; he and his family were sponsored to the United States by the Catholic Sisters of St. Francis in Wisconsin where he grew up.
Pia Durkin, Superintendent New Bedford Public Schools
Pia Durkin became New Bedford’s Superintendent on July 1, 2013, overseeing an urban district with nearly 13,000 students. Since then, the district has implemented an ambitious reform agenda geared toward turning around the city’s schools. Dr. Durkin has overseen the implementation of a turnaround plan at New Bedford High School and is the only Superintendent in Massachusetts selected by the State Commissioner of elementary and secondary education to act as a receiver for a school under state control.
With a systematic focus on teaching and learning linked to intensive support for Principals to build their instructional leadership capacity, there is energy and momentum throughout New Bedford Public Schools based on the declaration, “We are building an excellent school system.” The district has made significant strides in the last several years, replacing outdated math and reading programs at the elementary level, investing in technology and science programs and serving the burgeoning population of English Language Learners with an ambitious internal training program for ESL teaching, the first of its kind in Massachusetts. Under the turnaround plan, New Bedford High School’s graduation rate is the highest in more than a decade. A school redesign has been implemented for New Bedford’s three middle schools and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has released the district from state monitoring which was implemented before Dr. Durkin’s tenure.
Among many recent awards, Dr. Durkin was recognized as SouthCoast Woman of the Year by The Standard-Times of New Bedford for her commitment to improving city schools.
She holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from New York University and has written several articles on special education and district reform practices.
Liya Escalera, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Bunker Hill Community College
Liya N. Escalera is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Bunker Hill Community College. Ms. Escalera brings over 15 years of experience as a community college teacher and administrator, with particular focus on issues of access and equity, culturally relevant teaching and learning, learning communities, outcomes assessment, strategic planning, and faculty professional development. Ms. Escalera holds a master of arts in English from Simmons College, a master of education in Higher Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is a current doctoral student in the UMASS Boston Higher Education Program.
Will Ethridge, Principal, Ethridge Advisors
Paul Fama, Global Learning Leader, GE
Paul C. Fama is based on GE’s Crotonville campus, and has responsibility for Business, Functional, Customer and Regional learning leaders as well as Crotonville operations and technology platform. He is focused on building GE’s learning community and ensuring that the learning strategy is aligned and integrated with global talent pipeline needs. He is part of the Executive Development and Learning team in Corporate Human Resources.
Aaron Feuer, CEO and Co-Founder, Panorama Education
Aaron Feuer is CEO and Co-Founder of Panorama Education, a Boston-based education and technology company. Panorama Education partners with schools and districts to collect and analyze data about social-emotional learning, school climate, family engagement, and more. With research-backed surveys and a leading technology platform, Panorama helps educators act on data and improve student outcomes. Panorama has supported more than 5 million students in 6,500 schools across 40 states, including those in the New York City Department of Education, Dallas Independent School District, Seattle Public Schools, and San Francisco Unified School District. As a high school student, Aaron was President of the California Association of Student Councils (CASC), the state-chartered student leadership and advocacy organization. In that role, Aaron led a campaign to pass legislation around student feedback in the classroom — and an initiative to seat a student on the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education. Following high school, Aaron came East and graduated from Yale University with a degree in Political Science.
Allan Fisher, Former VP Student Success, Laureate Universities
Allan Fisher recently concluded ten years at Laureate Education, most recently as leader of its global Student Success team, promoting retention, graduation, and career outcomes. Earlier, he served as Chief Academic Officer for Laureate’s AMEA region, residing in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, including a stint as Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of Laureate’s Malaysian university. Other assignments included leading the growth of program portfolios and product development capacity for Laureate’s online businesses, and leading corporate online strategy efforts.
Dr. Fisher previously was co-founder and CEO of iCarnegie Inc., an online higher education subsidiary of Carnegie Mellon University. Before launching iCarnegie, Dr. Fisher served as a faculty member and Associate Dean in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
Brian Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO, Tinkergarten
Brian has been developing high growth consumer digital product businesses since 1995 that have reached hundreds of millions of people worldwide. His passion and focus in on building services that help people learn. Before starting Tinkergarten, he was VP of Product Development at Knewton, a global leader in adaptive learning, and prior to that was the VP/Intrapreneur of Audible Education (acquired by Amazon.com) where he developed products and services for Higher Education, K-12, and Early Learning. Brian was on the start up team that developed Rocketmail (acquired by Yahoo), and he later launched 50+ Yahoo consumer apps in leadership roles at the Silicon Valley HQ and London. He earned a BA in Entrepreneurship at Babson College and an MA at Columbia Teacher’s College.
Brian Fleming, Interim Executive Director, SandBox Collaborative at SNHU
Brian oversees the direction and research agenda of the Sandbox ColLABorative, the strategy and innovation lab of Southern New Hampshire University. His work covers strategic initiatives for the university as a whole as well as education technology, market trends, and organizational change.
Maria Flynn, President and CEO, Jobs for the Future
As President and CEO of Jobs for the Future, Maria Flynn leads JFF’s overall growth strategy, including funding diversification, strategic planning, partnership building, system deployment, change management, and talent development. She is responsible for all of JFF’s programs and operations in a highly collaborative environment across its education and workforce development sectors. Ms. Flynn is a member of JFF’s Board of Directors.
Previously, as Jobs for the Future’s Senior Vice President, Ms. Flynn led JFF’s Building Economic
Opportunity Group, working to help entry-level workers advance to family-supporting careers while enabling employers to build and sustain a productive workforce. She also led JFF’s federal policy and advocacy strategies, which are focused on advancing the educational needs of underserved Americans and developing a skilled workforce. Ms. Flynn is a leading national expert on issues such as career pathways, employer engagement, sector strategies, and place-based initiatives. This team provides technical assistance, coaching, documentation, labor market analysis, and evaluation support to a wide range of projects around the country, supported by public and private funders. In the nine years that she led the Building Economic Opportunity Group at JFF, Ms. Flynn significantly increased the size and impact of the cluster, growing it from a budget of $5 million in FY08 to over $10 million in FY17, and 12
employees to almost 40 employees over that same time period.
Ms. Flynn has 25 years of experience in the workforce development and education fields. Prior to joining JFF in 2007, she was a member of the federal government’s Senior Executive Service and served as the administrator of the Office of Policy Development and Research in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. In that role, she oversaw development of policies for all of the agency’s programs serving both young people and adults, and managed the agency’s research and evaluation strategy, as well as the agency’s annual budget and appropriations activities, totaling $12 billion and 1,200 employees. Ms. Flynn also coordinated the ETA’s extensive legislative, regulatory, and international affairs agendas and outreach to other federal agencies and philanthropic organizations.
Within the Employment and Training Administration, Ms. Flynn previously led the Division of One-Stop Operations, where she developed the policy and technical assistance framework necessary to enable states and local communities to establish comprehensive one-stop delivery systems designed to provide quality services to jobseekers, workers, and employers. She also served as the team leader of the interagency group charged with implementing the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. In the 1990s, she played key leadership roles in the National School-to-Work initiative and in the launch of the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills initiative.
Ms. Flynn earned her bachelor of arts in international relations and economics at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a master’s in government administration at the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Mike, reside in Weymouth, Massachusetts. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Amelia and Caroline.
Renee Foster, President, Curriculum Associates
Aubrey Francisco, Chief Research Officer, Digital Promise
Aubrey Francisco is Chief Research Officer at Digital Promise, where she led the development of the Digital Promise Research Map, a visualization of learning science findings from over 180 journals. She also leads several projects focused on increasing research use in the design, implementation, and selection of educational programs and products. Prior to joining Digital Promise, Aubrey worked in research and development in academic, industry, and government settings. She earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, and holds a B.A. in Bioengineering from Syracuse University.
Deborah Lang Froggatt, Director of Library Services, Boston Public Schools
Joseph Fuller, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School
|Joseph B. Fuller is a Professor of Management Practice in General Management at the Harvard Business School and a founder and former CEO of Monitor Group, now Monitor-Deloitte, the global management consultancy. He currently teaches a course on general management decision making and formerly led the required course on entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurial Manager. Joe is the co-director of the school’s recently launched project, Managing the Future of Work. He has spent the last five years studying issues related to employment and income polarization. Specifically, he has focused on the ‘skills gap’—the phenomenon that employers find it hard to fill open positions at the same time the nation suffers from high levels of underemployment and falling workforce participation. Earlier this month, he co-authored Room to Grow: Identifying New Frontiers in Apprenticeships in collaboration with Matt Sigelman, CEO of Burning Glass Technologies. He recently published Dismissed by Degrees: How Degree Inflation is undermining U.S. Competitiveness and hurting America’s Middle class, an extensive examination of the impact of rising academic requirements on employers and job seekers. He is also the principal author of Bridge the Gap: Rebuilding America’s Middle Skills and a co-author of Managing the Talent Pipeline, two widely cited papers on potential means for addressing the skills gap. His current research focuses on the future of work more broadly.|
Vincent Fung, Partner, IBIS Capital
Vincent has 17+ years of experience in global finance and corporate strategy. At IBIS, he leads financial advisory and investments activities in the Media, Gaming, and Edtech sectors. Previously, Vincent was the investment Director at NetDragon who orchestrated the acquisitions of Promethean World and Jumpstart Games, launching NetDragon’s EdTech business in the USA and in other countries. Vincent was also a co-founder of a proposed charter school in Massachusetts, a global training manager and solution sales leader at IBM.
Chris Gabrieli, Chairman, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
Chris Gabrieli is the Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education (MA BHE), the CEO of Empower Schools and a lecturer at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. He has served as Chair of the MA BHE since being appointed by Governor Charlie Baker in 2015. The BHE is responsible for setting policy and strategic direction for the public higher education system in the state which includes 29 community college, state university and UMass campuses and serves over 200,000 full-time students. As Chair, he has spearheaded the Early College High School initiative leading to the creation of a new category of public entity in Massachusetts with designation by a Joint Committee of the Boards of Higher and Elementary & Secondary Education. He lives in Boston, MA.
Kerry Gallagher, Digital Learning Specialist, St. Johns Prep
Kerry Gallagher is a Digital Learning Specialist at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Massachusetts. She’s also the Director of K-12 Education for ConnectSafely.org, an EdSurge Columnist, and an active blogger. Her multi-award winning blog can be found at www.KerryHawk02.com. Kerry’s passions and the focus of her work include empowering teachers, students and parents to learn with digital tools and resources; educating school communities about both the positive power and privacy concerns that come with social media use; and diving headfirst into learning more about new and effective practices in education. Kerry received the 2014 Yale-Lynn Hall Teacher Action Research Prize for her submission on the use of mobile devices for a paperless public school classroom. In 2015, she was a PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator, the Family Online Safety Institute recognized her with the Outstanding Achievement Award, and she was a MassCUE Featured Educator. In 2016, she was an ASCD Emerging Leader and received the MassCUE Pathfinder Award. In 2017, Kerry was selected as a Future Ready Instructional Coaches Thought Leader. Kerry is a TEDx and keynote speaker and also shares her expertise by designing professional learning for school districts around the country. She presents often at conference locations that have included Harvard Law School, Yale School of Management, and Stanford University. Kerry holds a B.A. in Politics from Saint Anselm College and a J.D. from Massachusetts School of Law. She is on social media at @KerryHawk02.
Laura Gardner, Teacher Librarian, Dartmouth Public Schools
Laura Gardner, a National Board Certified Teacher in Library Media, is Teacher Librarian at Dartmouth Middle School in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Laura was awarded the School Library Journal (SLJ) School Librarian of the Year Co-Finalist Award in 2016 and is a 2017 Star Touchcast Ambassador. She is on Twitter, Instagram and Musical.ly as @LibrarianMsG and Snapchat as @DMSLibrary366
Marty Geoghagen, Principal, JT Nichols Middle School
Martin R. Geoghegan is the Principal of the John T. Nichols, Jr. Middle School in Middleborough, Massachusetts. Since Marty started at the Nichols, it has gone from little technology to a 1:1 Chromebook environment, where he’s always searching for ways for greater student success. He is currently the Middle Level Chair on the MSAA Board and the President of the Massachusetts ASCD Board of Directors. He founded and moderates the #MSAAchat on the second Tuesday of each month for all educators. Last year, the Nichols Middle School was chosen as one of 35 Model Schools from across the country and he presented at their national conference in Nashville. Marty was a MassCUE Pathfinder Award winner for 2016, and a Featured Speaker at MassCUE 2017. He tries to make as much time as possible for his wife and two high school sons in Scituate, when he’s not Tweeting at @MGeoghegan22.
Bob Giannino, CEO, uAspire
Since 2005, Bob Giannino has served as the Chief Executive Officer of uAspire. uAspire is a national leader in providing college affordability services to young people, families and college access and success practitioners. Through local operations in Massachusetts (Boston, Lawrence, Fall River, Somerville, Malden and Cambridge) and the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward), training partnerships reaching 25+ states, and a national virtual advising effort, this year, uAspire will impact the lives of more than 350,000 young people. Since 2010, uAspire has received the Organization of Excellence Award by the National College Access Network, was named a Social Innovator by the Social Innovation Forum, was recognized by Opportunity Knocks as one of nation’s “Best Non-Profits to Work For” and the Boston Foundation for “exceptional non-profit leadership”, and was recipient of Year Up’s Urban Empowerment Award.
Prior to joining uAspire, Bob served in numerous roles at Jumpstart for Young Children, including serving on the National Management Team, most recently in the role as Vice President of Business Development and Government Relations. During Bob’s tenure, uAspire has been featured in numerous media outlets for their expertise on issues of college affordability, including NPR, Time Magazine, the New York Times, Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education and National Journal. Bob is on the Faculty of the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and serves on numerous Boards including Idealist.org, the world’s largest non-profit internet job site, Root Cause and Harvard’s Phillips Brooks House Association, as well as the Advisory Boards of Excel Academy Charter Schools and Noonan Scholars. In 2015, Bob was awarded the prestigious Barr Fellowship for his “outstanding contribution to the Boston community and potential to drive positive change for years to come.” Over the years, Bob has also been recognized by New Profit, Freedom House, Social Capital Inc, the Boston Business Journal, the Harvard Club of Boston, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. The first in his family to attend college, a product of the Somerville (MA) Public Schools, and a graduate of Harvard College, Bob knows the vital role that strong financial guidance and minimizing debt plays in ensuring a strong economic future. Bob resides in Dorchester, Massachusetts and his son, Connor, is a Second Year City Year Corps Member.
Amanda Gould, Chief Administrative Officer, Bay Path University
Amanda Gould, Chief Administrative Officer for The American Women’s College at Bay Path University, oversees the division delivering accelerated undergraduate degree programs for adult women online and across campus sites in Massachusetts. Amanda serves as the Project Director for a $3.5M FITW FIPSE grant that was awarded by the US Department of Education to The American Women’s College in 2014. The grant makes possible the implementation of SOUL (Social Online Universal Learning), a data-driven approach to personalization and support, which includes a research study on the impact of adaptive learning and data-driven outreach on degree completion. In this capacity she was invited in April 2016 to present at the White House Complex to advocate for new models in higher education, especially for under-represented populations, and to publish a case study in the US Department of Education’s National Education Technology Plan – Reimagining the Role of Technology in Higher Education. Under her leadership, The American Women’s College received a Digital Learning Innovation Award from the Online Learning Consortium in November 2016 and the Lumina Foundation’s LIFTed Prize in May 2017.
Having received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston College, Amanda has worked in higher education administration throughout her career holding positions at Boston College and Mount Holyoke College before joining the Bay Path community in 2011 as Director of Institutional Research and then as Director of Data & Analytics. Amanda has a passion for implementing technology and data-driven approaches in both the operational and learning arenas of higher education to help impact student success.
Matt Greenfield, Managing Partner, Rethink Education
Matt Greenfield is a managing partner of Rethink Education, a venture capital firm that invests in education technology businesses. He previously helped start Rethink Autism and worked for ABS Ventures. He holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from Yale University and has taught at Columbia University, the City University of New York, and Bowdoin College.
Karen Greenleaf, Head of Content, Google for Education
Karen Greenleaf heads up the teaching and learning experience on the Chrome OS product team at Google. She works with educators, channel partners, and the app developer ecosystem to bring innovative tools to schools globally. Prior to Google, Karen led product for various stage technology companies and was a consultant at Bain & Company, where she advised Fortune 500 companies. Karen volunteers for Cambridge Public Schools and mentors numerous technology startups around the globe.
Matt Gross, Founder and CEO, Newsela
Matthew Gross is the CEO and founder of Newsela. Named one of the Most Innovative Companies in America by Fast Company in 2016, Newsela is an Instructional Content Platform with over 100 employees and 14 million users. Backed by Kleiner Perkins and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Newsela has been featured on CNN.com, NBC News, Business Insider, The Washington Post and Fortune among others. In recent years the company’s growth under the leadership of Matthew Gross has made it a preeminent edtech company.
Matthew has a nineteen-year career in the education sector, for profit and non-profit entrepreneurship, and product development and distribution. Matthew was the Executive Director of the Regents Research Fund, a privately funded affiliate of the New York State Board of Regents and Education Department that helped lead the implementation of Race to the Top-driven education reforms. Matthew also played a leadership role in the development of the Regents Research Fellows, a team of nationally recognized thought leaders who help lead the implementation of the Common Core, next-generation assessments, and other education reforms by Race to the Top.
Matthew began his career as a Teach for America corps member, teaching music at C.S. 50 in the South Bronx. He serves on the School Leadership Team of P.S. 101 in Queens, which his three boys attend. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University.
Alix Guerrier, Co-Founder and President, LearnZillion
Alix is a former public school teacher who taught middle school and high school math. Before founding LearnZillion, Alix was a consultant in McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice. His previous work experience also includes directing an after-school program in one of Boston’s public housing projects and working on public housing finance in New York. He currently serves on the boards of Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, DC and the non-profit organization GuideStar USA.
Alix is a proud product of New Haven Public Schools, has a Masters in Education from the Stanford University School of Education and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. He graduated from Harvard University with an AB in physics. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two daughters.
Rajat Gupta, Investment Advisor, Invictus Capital
Nancy Gustafson, Superintendent, Millis Public Schools
|Nancy Gustafson has been the Superintendent of the Millis Public Schools in Massachusetts for the past ten years. The district and schools have garnered awards as one of the top International Spanish Academies in North America, as an Apple Distinguished School, as a High Return on Investment district, as one of the top High Schools in the US, for the high quality Video Production & Media program, and for the integration of the engineering design process across subject areas K-8. Due to dynamic blended and personalized learning focused on using technology to increase student agency, the district has created a innovative, student-centered, project-based educational environment. Nancy sees a collaborative school culture as an essential foundation and has focused on building internal capacity for continuous improvement and the development of creative solutions.|
Virgel Hammonds, Chief Learning Officer, Knowledgeworks Foundation
As the Chief Learning Officer of competency-based education work at KnowledgeWorks, Virgel Hammonds partners with national policymakers and local learning communities throughout the country to redesign learning structures to become more learner-centered and based on proficiency, rather than seat time. He also works with KnowledgeWorks staff to build out competency education tools and services to help districts implement this personalized learning model. Hammonds previously served as the superintendent of RSU 2 School district in Maine. There, he collaborated with five communities to develop and implement a curriculum designed to ensure mastery of standards by all students. Before serving as superintendent, Virgel was a high school principal at Lindsay Unified School District in California. With 4,100 K-12 students in the district, 100 percent qualify for free and reduced lunch. There, Hammonds helped implement a personalized learning model where “learners” don’t earn letter grades, but rather are awarded mastery for subjects in which they’ve proven to be proficient.
Danielle Harvey, Chief Technology Officer, Pittsfield NH Schools
Danielle Harvey began her work in education in Colchester and Burlington, Vermont while earning her degree at Saint Michael’s College. In 2004, after graduation she worked at a small catholic school for a year but decided she could make a stronger impact in public education. She worked in special education at the Winooski Middle School in Vermont for a year while being a director for Essex Junction Parks and Recreation afterschool programs. In 2006 she moved to New Hampshire in started her work for Pittsfield School District. Danielle was a fifth grade teacher for three years while she completed her masters in reading and math. After those three years, Danielle spent the next five years coaching teachers in her district on math instruction, using data to change instruction and integrating technology to increase student achievement. While coaching, she also went back to school to work on her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership through Plymouth State University. Danielle served as a district coach while Pittsfield Middle High School was working on a massive school redesign through a partnership with the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Most recently, she has taken on one of the roles the district created when they redesigned their administrative structure. She is now the Dean of Instruction and handles all the principal responsibility for students K-12 in Pittsfield. Danielle has supported teachers in the development, instruction and assessment of competencies in a student-centered learning environment.
Kurt Heissenbuttel, Vice President of University Relations, Fidelity Investments
Kurt Heissenbuttel joined Fidelity Investments as Vice President and Head of University Relations in Fidelity’s Talent & Leadership group in March of 2016. Dr. Heissenbuttel leads the University Relations team, determining and executing the nationwide college recruiting strategy for the firm. With a focus on developing strategies for attracting the next generation of talent, Dr. Heissenbuttel directs the team in the areas of marketing and communications, university selection and relationship management, early engagement and internship programs, conversion planning, and executive engagement.
Prior to Fidelity, Dr. Heissenbuttel spent his career in academia most recently at Northeastern University in Boston. Having held a variety of roles from marketing and programming, to domestic and international recruitment, Dr. Heissenbuttel brought those experiences to his role as Director of Admissions at Northeastern. With eye towards creating highly personalized experiences for students and families, he led a team of admissions professionals that recruited, selected, and enrolled Northeastern’s undergraduate class.
Dr. Heissenbuttel earned his Doctor of Law & Policy from Northeastern University; a Master of Education in Higher Education from Suffolk University; and a Bachelor of Science in Sports & Event Management from Johnson & Wales University.
Bradley Hesser, Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Digital Media, Monroe County Community College
Bradley Hesser is an Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Graphic Design at Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Michigan. He has been teaching Graphic Design and Technology courses in higher education since 2003 and has been developing and teaching online courses since 2004. He has presented at various technology conferences at the state, regional, and national level. Mr. Hesser is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Apple iOS Developer Program and is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop. He holds Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a Graduate Certificate in Learning Technologies from Augustana University.
Steven Hiersche, Superintendent, Beverly Public Schools
Dr. Steven Hiersche is the Superintendent of Schools in Beverly. He has been a Superintendent for over 20 years. With a background in mathematics and technology instruction his focus has been to help his districts provide teachers the digital tools they need to personalize learning. Beverly is presently building a state of the art Middle School with an emphasis on STEAM, project-based learning and Global education.
Liz Homan, Administrator of Educational Technology Integration, Waltham Public Schools
Dr. Homan currently oversees technology and library infrastructure, professional development, purchasing, and curriculum integration for Waltham Public Schools. Before that, she was a Digital Learning Specialist in Boston; an English teacher in Indiana, where she earned her MS in Education; and a writing teacher in Michigan, where she completed her PhD in English and Education and studied how and why educators engage in, learn about, and share innovative practice. Her passions include designing personalized approaches to teacher professional development, reading and writing as often as possible, frequenting libraries, inspiring and studying innovative practice, and spending time with her 2-year-old daughter.
Michael Horn, Co-founder, Christensen Institute, Chief Strategy Officer, Entangled Ventures
Michael Horn speaks and writes about the future of education and works with a portfolio of education organizations to improve the life of each and every student. He serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for Entangled Ventures, an education technology studio, and as a principal consultant for Entangled Solutions, which offers innovation services to higher education institutions. He is also the co-founder of and a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a non-profit think tank. Horn is the author and coauthor of multiple books, white papers, and articles on education, including the award-winning book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns and the Amazon-bestseller Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. An expert on disruptive innovation, online learning, blended learning, competency-based learning, and how to transform the education system into a student-centered one, he serves on the board and advisory boards of a range of education organizations, including the Clayton Christensen Institute, the Robin Hood Learning+Tech Fund, and the LearnLaunch Institute. He also serves as an executive editor at Education Next and is a venture partner at NextGen Venture Partners. Horn was selected as a 2014 Eisenhower Fellow to study innovation in education in Vietnam and Korea, and Tech&Learning magazine named him to its list of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education. Horn holds a BA in history from Yale University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Seiichi Hosotani, Executive Advisor, Edulab Inc
Seiichi Hosotani joined Edutech Lab when Edulab of Japan initiated US operations in 2015. He has deep operational and investment experience in the learning technologies sector. He currently invests in both EdTech startups and funds including LearnLaunch portfolio companies Authess and Listenwise, and LearnLaunch campus company Academic Merit. Prior to joining Edulab group, in 2004 Seiichi co-founded ASAP Tutor, an online tutoring business targeting college students in North America with facilities in India and Philippines. It was one of the first outsourced education services models based in the US. While serving students in North America, he also set up ASAP Tutor, Pvt. Ltd. in India to reach local K12 students on a one to one basis, one of the first personalized coaching models developed in India. This was acquired by Edulab and renamed Kyoshi Education Pvt. Ltd. where Seiichi now serves as a Managing Director. Prior to ASAP Tutor, Seiichi worked for International companies with executive positions at TriWall KK and Coilplus, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation. Seiichi holds an M.B.A. from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Ian Hoorneman, Fazheng Group
Judy Houle, Executive Director, Massachusetts Virtual Academy at Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual Schools
Nina Huntemann, Director of Academics and Research, EdX
Dr. Nina Huntemann is Director of Academics and Research at edX. In this role she leads the academic vision of edX, and oversees the teaching and learning team that enables edX partner institutions to create high quality online courses and programs at scale. Previously, Nina was a tenured professor of media studies at Suffolk University and Director of the Seminar for Freshmen program, a first-year curriculum serving over 900 students annually and taught by 35 interdisciplinary faculty. She is an accomplished author and co-editor of three anthologies: Joystick Soldiers: The Politics of Play in Military Video Games (Routledge, 2010), Gaming Globally: Production, Play and Place (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and How to Play Video Games (NYU Press, forthcoming).
Ross Jensen, Director Education Technology Portfolio, Emerson Collective
Ross Jensen is Director of the Education Technology Portfolio for Emerson Collective. Established and led by Laurene Powell Jobs, Emerson Collective uses a wide range of tools and strategies — partnering with entrepreneurs and experts, parents and policymakers, advocates and administrators — to develop and execute innovative solutions that will spur change and promote equality. Prior to joining Emerson Collective, Ross helped to grow Teach For America, leading the national rollout of its digital teacher support tools and serving on the start-up team for the organization’s expansion to Indianapolis, IN. He began his time with Teach For America as a fifth grade teacher in Newark, NJ, for which he was a national finalist for the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching award. He received his BA from the University of Michigan, his MA from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Frances & Arjay Miller Fellowship in Social Innovation and the Miller Social Change Leadership Award.
Patrick Johnson, Principal, Walsh Middle School (Framingham, MA)
Experienced Middle School Principal with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. Skilled in Personalized Learning, Secondary Education, Educational Consulting, Educational Technology, Scheduling and Calendar Planning. Strong education professional with a C.A.G.S. focused in Educational Leadership and Administration, General from Fitchburg State College.
Andrew Joseph, CEO, School By Design
Jennifer Kabaker, Director, Educator Micro- Credentials, Digital Promise
Jennifer Kabaker is the Director of Education Micro-credentials initiative at Digital Promise. Previously, she was at KIPP LA Schools, a high-performing charter management organization in Los Angeles, where she managed corporate and foundation relationships and led external engagement efforts to ensure the schools and students have the tools they need to succeed. Additionally, she worked at two Washington, D.C. think tanks, the New America Foundation and Urban Institute, researching and writing about federal education funding, policy, and reform. Jennifer received her master’s degree in policy, organizations, and leadership studies from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and graduated with honors from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in public policy with a focus in education.
Martin Keck, Managing Director, Needham & Company
Martin Keck leads Needham’s effort in the Education Technology sector where he has completed M&A, Private Placements and IPOs across many different sectors of the edtech market. Mr. Keck is also an active angel investor and limited partner in a number of edtech venture funds. Mr. Keck joined Needham from Expedia, Inc., the leading e-commerce travel site, where he was a Director of Corporate Development. Prior to Expedia, Mr. Keck worked for Bain & Company focusing on private equity, growth strategy and technology engagements. Earlier in his career Mr. Keck worked for Silver Lake Partners and began his career at Needham as an investment banking analyst. Mr. Keck received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he graduated as a Tuck Scholar with Distinction and received his BA from Amherst College.
John JH Kim, Senior Lecturer of General Management, Harvard Business School
John J-H Kim is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. John created and teaches the course Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovations in Education. John has also authored several cases and articles on EdTech.
John Co-Chairs the Public Education Leadership Project (PELP), a joint project of HBS and Harvard Graduate School of Education to strengthen the management and leadership capabilities of urban school districts.
John also founded and oversees District Management Group, an organization that helps school districts. John previously started and led a school management company with 20,000+ students. Previously, he was an Executive Vice President of Rakuten (JASDAQ: 4755), a global Internet services company, and was a consultant with McKinsey & Company.
John received an A.B. with Honors and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.
Annie Knickman Plancher, Director, Social Finance
Annie Knickman Plancher is a Director of Advisory Services at Social Finance, where she is doing a one-year Residency through the Doctorate of Education Leadership program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her doctorate studies, Annie has focused on: funding flows in U.S. K-12 education, connecting funding with outcomes, and thinking about how to better prepare secondary and post-secondary students for fruitful and fulfilling careers. At Social Finance, Annie is focused on exploring the role of Pay-for-Success in education, career and technical education, and workforce development. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Annie worked for McKinsey & Company as a management consultant working with education organizations in the public and private sectors, as well as healthcare companies. Her work focused on a range of topics, including organizational and product strategy, organization design, and operational effectiveness. In her last two years with McKinsey, Annie launched and led an independent nonprofit, McKinsey Social Initiative, focused on leveraging McKinsey’s resources to address global social issues. The nonprofit’s first effort, Generation, aimed to support unemployed young people in five countries in building workforce skills and securing jobs. Annie graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, where she studied psychology and economics.
Ryan Knight, Managing Director of Information and Analytics, UP Education Network
Ryan is passionate about data-driven decision making in the social sector. He unites data with strategy at UP Education Network, using custom-built analytics tools and rigorous planning processes to help UP scale from one school and 500 students in 2012 to seven schools and 3200 students in 2017. Ryan leverages his background in research and management to run randomized evaluations of new programs at UP and to seed innovations at the teacher level. Ryan is the host of The Education Conversation (@edconvo), a podcast about how individuals and organizations create change in education. Connect with Ryan on Twitter @rgknight
Stefan Kohler, CEO, Kickboard
Stefan Kohler joined Kickboard in 2016. Stefan has been in education for over 20 years in executive management positions successfully growing top and bottom line by providing curriculum, assessment, professional development and technology devices. Stefan has been on boards of numerous companies and has received the second highest level of Massachusetts Superintendent License. Stefan received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Boston University and a Master’s of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
David Kozhuk, CEO, UConnect
David Kozhuk is the Founder and CEO of uConnect based in South Boston, MA. After graduating from UMass Amherst in 2008, David began his career in finance working as an Analyst for Brook Venture Partners, an expansion stage venture capital fund. In 2010, he joined the Founding Team at Arctaris Capital, a private equity firm dedicated to providing royalty-based debt financing to lower-middle market companies operating in underserved credit markets. During his time at Arctaris, David participated directly in raising $80m+ in limited partnership interests and deploying growth capital into more than 15 companies.
Pursuing a passion for career development and higher education, David launched uConnect in 2013 to help schools better serve their students by aligning the pursuit of higher education to meaningful career pathways and professional outcomes. uConnect is a graduate of the LearnLaunchX accelerator and has received numerous awards for technology and innovation. Today, uConnect is a leader in the education technology ecosystem, working with top Universities across the country to embed career education into the campus culture and daily student experience.
David lives in Roxbury, MA, loves hip hop music, NBA basketball and start-upping.
Matt Kramer, CEO, Wildflower Schools
Matthew Kramer (CEO, Board Member) Matt started his career with McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, where he became a partner and leader in the Firm’s work with financial institutions in North America, as well as with school districts and educational organizations, including the New York City Board of Education, Teach For America and TNTP. In 2005, Matt took an extended sabbatical from McKinsey to serve as Teach For America’s Chief Program Officer. In 2007, he made the move permanent and served as Teach For America’s president through 2013 and co-CEO through 2015. In 2016, Matt met MIT professor Sep Kamvar, founder of the Wildflower school model.Together they created The Wildflower Foundation as an independent organization to support the development of the Wildflower model and the spread of Wildflower schools, and to develop new technologies that support integration of data-driven and standards-oriented educational approaches with child-centered Montessori methods. Matt is currently the Board Chair of Bright Water Montessori, a Minneapolis-based charter school, and has previously served on the boards of Leadership for Educational Equity, Students For Education Reform and as the Board Chair of 50CAN. He sits on the advisory board of Montessori For All, and is a dedicated booster of the efforts to make the Montessori method work for all children. Matt received an undergraduate degree in economics from Harvard University and currently lives in the Twin Cities area with his wife, two daughters, and two dogs.
Mukul Kumar, Chief Innovation Officer, Hult International Business School
Mukul Kumar is Chief Innovation Officer at Hult International Business School. His previous leadership roles in education included President at United World College (USA), Chief Academic Officer at Hult, and Executive Director at University of Maryland. He began his professional career at McKinsey & Co., and led the IT Infrastructure Practice at CEB, now Gartner.
He is an active advisor and board member for edtech startups. He is also active in the classroom – teaching at Harvard and Hult. Mukul holds a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University, and bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and economics from MIT.
JD LaRock, President and CEO, Commonwealth Corporation
Dr. J.D. LaRock is President and CEO of the Commonwealth Corporation, Massachusetts’ public-private corporation dedicated to workforce development, youth development, and economic development. A $55 million organization with employees across the state, Commonwealth Corporation advances Massachusetts’ economic leadership through signature partnerships with employers, government agencies, educational institutions, and community-based organizations.
Previously, J.D. was a member of Northeastern University’s senior leadership team, where he was chief of staff to the university’s president, among other executive roles. A scholar of education policy, higher education, and the future of work, J.D. is a Professor of the Practice in Northeastern’s Doctor of Law and Policy program.
Prior to his academic and university management career, J.D. was senior education advisor to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, education policy director for Governor Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts, a senior manager at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and a television reporter in New York City. He is the co-editor of Special Education for a New Century (Harvard Education Press, 2005) and editor of the OECD publication Education at a Glance (2012).
J.D. is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and Chair of the Board of Trustees at North Shore Community College. He holds three degrees from Harvard, including a doctorate in education administration, policy, and social planning, and a law degree from Georgetown.
Gloria Cordes Larson, President of Bentley University and Author of PreparedU
Gloria Cordes Larson, Esq. was elected to the presidency of Bentley University after a prestigious career as an attorney, public policy expert, and business leader. She was drawn to Bentley because of its inventive approach to redefining business education—by fusing its core business curriculum with the arts and sciences, and its strong focus on ethics and social responsibility.
During her tenure, the institution has reached a number of milestones centered on the content and value of a business education in the 21st Century marketplace. President Larson is the author of PreparedU: How Innovative Colleges Drive Student Success, published by Jossey-Bass, a division of Wiley. She also launched the Center for Women and Business at Bentley in 2011, with a mission to advance shared leadership among women and men in the corporate world and to develop women as business leaders. Currently, she serves on the boards of directors of two public companies, Unum Group and Boston Private, as well as a number of non-profit boards.
Before joining Bentley, Larson was co-chair of the Government Strategies Group at Foley Hoag LLP. She led a business advisory cabinet for Massachusetts Democratic Governor Deval Patrick and served as Secretary of Economic Affairs under Massachusetts Republican Governor William Weld. Larson also oversaw business and regulatory issues as Deputy Director of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.
This fall, Larson was named to the Boston Business Journal’s “Power 50: The Newsmakers” and ranked #8 on The Commonwealth Institute’s and the Boston Globe Magazine’s Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in MA. She has also been named among Boston Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful People”; the Boston Business Journal’s “Power 50: Influential Bostonians;” Boston Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Boston;” and is the recipient of the International Women’s Forum “Women Who Make a Difference” Award and Associated Industries of MA “Next Century” Award, as well as the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural “Collaborative Leadership Award” and “Academy of Distinguished Bostonians Award.” She was also honored with the Region I “President’s Award” from NASPA, the leading association for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.
Mike Larsson, President, Match Beyond
Mike Larsson is President of Match Beyond. He and his colleague Bob Hill co-founded and launched Match Beyond in 2015. Match Beyond is a non-profit located in Boston that provides professional coaching, support, and career services to students enrolled in Southern New Hampshire University’s unique College for America program. College for America is a non-profit, accredited program that was designed to specifically give working adults access to Associates and Bachelor’s degrees. Before co-founding Match Beyond, Mike held a number of positions in the non-profit sector. He holds a BA from Boston College.
Dave Lash, Principal, Dave Lash and Company
Stephen Laster, Chief Digital Officer, McGraw Hill Education
Stephen J. Laster is a leader in harnessing technology and product innovation for business transformation. He is the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of McGraw-Hill Education (MHE) and has served as CIO for the Harvard Business School (HBS), and as a board member for IMS Global, Microsoft Higher Education Advisory Board, The Online Learning Consortium, Preserve, Inc., and Babson College. During his tenure at McGraw-Hill Education, Mr. Laster has led the transformation of MHE from old-line publisher to a technology driven, learning science company. Mr. Laster created, grew and continues to lead the MHE Digital Platform Group, a global team of 1,000 staff and contract technologists. He is the architect of the product and technology roadmap that has enhanced MHE’s digital revenue growth, which now accounts for approximately half of the company’s nearly $2 Billion of revenue. Mr. Laster is also responsible for an internal start-up (LSP) that is leading MHE’s drive to offer its adaptive technology to other content providers, corporate learning organizations and universities, further establishing MHE as an educational technology platform provider. Mr. Laster has led the acquisition and integration of four companies since 2013. He has driven the rationalization of the technology portfolio into a set of shared technology services in order to accelerate product development. Mr. Laster is a leader in the utilization of open interoperability standards that accelerate an educational technology ecosystem and is a frequent speaker and writer within this community. Prior to joining MHE, he served as the Chief Information and Technology Officer of the Harvard Business School and as a member of the HBS administrative leadership team. He oversaw the school’s academic, research and administrative computing teams. During his time at HBS, he replatformed key technologies and drove the use of technology in teaching and learning. During this same time period, Mr. Laster also founded and lead Intelligent Solutions, LLC a boutique consulting firm focused on technology transformation within education. Prior to HBS, Mr. Laster was responsible for curriculum and technology innovation at Babson College. During this time Mr. Laster lead the creation of Babson’s blended MBA program opening new markets for the College via technology enhanced learning. Mr. Laster also served on the faculty of Babson College teaching courses at the undergraduate, graduate and executive level and has served as a Trustee of the College. Earlier in his career Mr. Laster held critical positions at a number of companies including Art Technology Group, CrossCom Corporation, Advanced Business Technologies, Inc., and The Stride Rite Corporation. Mr. Laster holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.
Duncan Lennox, CEO, QStream
Shirley Leung, Columnist, The Boston Globe
Shirley Leung is a columnist at The Boston Globe, writing on everything from the cost of the Olympics, to gender issues in the workplace. She was a 2015 finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for commentary and a speaker at TedxAmherst. Leung also appears every Friday on Boston Public Radio at WGBH 89.7 FM. She is a regular contributor to New England Cable News, WGBHTV’s “Greater Boston,” and “Beat the Press.” Previously, Leung was the Globe’s business editor overseeing daily coverage and helped launch Top Places to Work magazine. On her watch, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers named the Globe’s business section one of the best in the country. Prior to the Globe, she was a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal and her hometown paper, The Baltimore Sun. A graduate of Princeton University, Leung is a working mom with two young sons.
Adrianne Level, Math Educator and Instructional Leader, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Adrianne Level joined the math department at BDEA in 2011 and transitioned into the role of an Instructional Leader in 2016. She completed the Boston Teacher Residency Program, teaching 7th grade mathematics at Dever-McCormick K-8 school in Boston. Adrianne has volunteered for many organizations including the Steppingstone Foundation, and various Amateur Athletic Union clubs where she focused on building relationships with youth, providing enriching experiences, and helping them learn how to make healthy decisions to build successful lives for themselves. She continues to volunteer with numerous community organizations. Adrianne holds a B.S. in Business Management from Bentley University, a M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a certificate in Creative Educational Leadership from Boston University.
Cheryl Lewis, Director of Technology, Duxbury Public Schools
Phil Long, CiNO, Associate Vice Provost, University of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Austin
Phil is the Chief Innovation Officer for Project 20201 & the Associate Vice Provost at the University of Texas, Austin. Current work focuses on blockchains and badges in the context of documenting competencies & higher ed credentialing, learning analytics, emerging technologies and the design of physical learning spaces.
He is also a Foundation Honorary Professor at the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
He is a lapsed biologist now learning scientist focused on emerging technologies, the cognitive interactions with them, & the spaces, physical and virtual wherein they occur.
Marissa Lowman, Education Practice Lead, Village Capital
Marissa Lowman leads the Education Practice at Village Capital. Most recently she was a Senior Fellow at Learn Capital, where she focused on product development and investment due diligence. Marissa was also a co-founder of LearnLaunch, an edtech accelerator, community, and co-working space in Boston. While there, she served as the Executive Director of LearnLaunch Institute, LearnLaunch’s non-profit arm, where she grew the edtech community across New England, developed and scaled the Across Boundaries conference, and helped select incoming cohorts for the LearnLaunch Accelerator. She began her career as a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Germany and has worked at leading educational non-profits. Marissa graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University and received her MBA from Cornell Tech.
Howard Lurie, Principal Analyst, Online and Continuing Education, Eduventures
Howard has extensive experience in developing and implementing online education technology solutions for higher education, corporate learning and K-12 education. At Eduventures, Howard manages research studies investigating the adult learner market, alternative credentials, and Online Program Management (OPM) services. He provides advisory services to a broad range of Eduventures clients, including higher ed institutions and technology vendors. He co-authored Eduventures’ 2016 groundbreaking report on competency-based education, Deconstructing CBE: An Assessment of Institutional Activity, Goals and Challenges in Higher Ed. Previously, Howard served as Managing Director for Academic Partnerships at Acrobatiq, where he led efforts to secure new partnerships, grants, and business opportunities. Howard has also served as a Vice President for External Affairs at edX, and was a founder and Managing Director of PBS LearningMedia. Howard has degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Jack Lynch, CEO, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rob Lytle, Managing Director and Co- Head of Education, Parthenon EY
|Robert is a managing director of EY-Parthenon based in the Boston office and is the head of EY’s-Parthenon Education practice. Robert was with Parthenon for 15 years before its combination with EY in August 2014. For more than 15 years, he has led client engagements on general strategy, performance improvement and investment due diligence across a broad spectrum of educational organizations. His clients include high-growth companies, publicly listed global 100 companies, nonprofit institutions, financial investors and international governments. In addition, Robert has participated in numerous high-profile corporate turnarounds, mergers, divestitures and privatizations in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. Robert is a frequent speaker at leading global forums in the education sector. Prior to joining Parthenon, Robert was with Bain & Company and served as a US Army aviator. He holds a BSE in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and an MBA with high distinction from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth|
Eduardo Mace, President, 18Moons
Entrepreneur since young, has founded several digital ventures. From 1989 on pioneered the multimedia software industry, gaining extensive experience in education, publishing and media. Has driven software and media companies to leadership positions in their respective markets, building relationships with key technology and content providers. Has developed key software in areas like 3D rendering, AI, UX and streaming. Helped develop the interactive publishing market, in channels like mobile, internet, direct to consumer, retail and education.
Since late 2015 has led the launch of the 18moons early childhood platform and helped several companies succeed in mobile customer acquisition and engagement. Over the past year has been an advocate for blockchain in many areas and the use of cryptographic tokens for facilitating exchanges.
Is very passionate about education and development in young people.
Grace Magley, Director of Digital Learning, Natick Public Schools
Grace is an enthusiastic, educational leader who for over ten years has helped hundreds of educators in the New England area design and build blended learning programs for their classrooms using research-based instructional practices to help personalize student learning. Grace sits on the board of directors for MassCUE, the Massachusetts ISTE affiliate, and TEC Connections Academy Virtual School (TECCA). As an adjunct professor at Framingham State College, Grace facilitates blended and online graduate courses. Recently Grace was appointed the program manager for MassCUE’s Leadership in Blended and Digital Learning graduate program for principals and school leaders and she leads a Blended Learning PLN for MassCUE (blendinmass.org)
Andrew Magliozzi, Co-Founder, AdmitHub
Diana Marcus, Mobile Learning Coach, Burlington Public Schools
Diana Marcus is currently a Districtwide Mobile Learning Coach for Burlington Public Schools, responsible for helping students and educators harness the power of digital resources for teaching and learning. In this role and as the Burlington Educators’ Association president, she works to promote labor/management collaboration on curriculum and instructional initiatives, with and without an EdTech component. A public education teacher for the past 18 years, she previously taught 5th grade and was an Elementary Special Education teacher.
Silver McDonald, General Manager, LEGO Education
Silver is responsible for LEGO Education’s North America business to deliver STEM learning and to empower teachers and students with LEGO Education solutions. She has been in the technology industry for more than 20 years with the large majority of those focused on education and sustainability.
Silver began her career as a Managing Producer with Razorfish, working with McKinsey and Company, Sega of America and many other clients as they embraced the digital space. She was an early employee with Schoolnet, an Instructional Improvement System company, and remained with Schoolnet for 10 years, first building its enterprise client consulting team and then leading Sales and Marketing, working with hundreds of districts across the United States. Pearson later acquired Schoolnet, where Silver served as Senior Vice President of K12 Solution Sales, focused on the largest school district and state engagements in the United States. Silver was also Chief Commercial Officer at BrightBytes, an educational research analytics organization focused on improving how the world learns.
She has an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, a BA from San Francisco State University in Technical and Professional Writing and a certification from Presidio Graduate School in Sustainable Management.
Silver is passionate about student achievement, sustainability issues and having a global impact. Having led both Client Service and Sales teams, she believes in strong teams, delighted customers, and impactful educational solutions. You can find Silver outside of work enjoying cooking, documentaries, travelling, and volunteering
Donald McKendrick, Co-Founder, Quill
Jordan Meranus, CEO and Co-Founder, Ellevation Ed
|Jordan Meranus is an entrepreneur who has helped start and lead a number of high-impact education organizations. Currently, Jordan serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevation, a web-based software platform that supports K-12 education professionals serving English Language Learners. Prior to Ellevation, Jordan was a Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, a firm that helps entrepreneurs develop innovative organizations that help address some of the most intractable challenges in public education. At NewSchools Jordan has worked extensively with technology organizations, and has helped to incubate new education organizations on a number of occasions. Prior to NewSchools, Jordan was a Managing Director at Imagitas, where he launched an e-government business to help federal agencies provide better services to citizens. Jordan is also a co-founder of Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization that provides intensive early literacy services to low-income children in Head Start in dozens of cities across the country. Jordan received his bachelor’s degree in history from Duke University and earned a master’s degree in both Education and Public Administration from Harvard.|
Karen Miller, CEO, DoInk
Karen D. Miller is the co-founder of DoInk, a leading education app company. The Green Screen by Do Ink app was featured in iTunes as a “Best New App” in Education two weeks after its release and is now a top education app downloaded in over 120 countries. The Animation and Drawing by Do Ink app was selected an “App Store Essential” and is featured in iTunes under “Middle School” apps. Karen is a serial entrepreneur whose previous company, DOME Imaging Systems, Inc. was sold successfully to Planar Systems.
Mark Miller, Managing Partner, Good Harbor Partners
Tony Miller, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer and Partner, The Vistria Group
Tony Miller is a founding partner and Chief Operating Officer of The Vistria Group, a Chicago-based private equity firm that invests in leading education, healthcare, and financial services companies. Vistria’s portfolio of education investments includes Penn Foster, the University of Phoenix, and HigherEducation.com. From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Miller was the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at the U.S. Department of Education where he oversaw day-to-day operations and was responsible for overseeing ~$100 billion in one-time education program funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included a number of signature reform efforts including Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and School Improvement Grant/School Turnaround Programs. In addition to his operational responsibilities, Mr. Miller led the Department’s education and workforce development missions to China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, Brazil and Russia. Prior to his Presidential Appointment, Mr. Miller was a Director with Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing. Before joining Silver Lake, Mr. Miller was Executive Vice President Operations at LRN, a leading provider of governance, risk, compliance and ethics eLearning solutions. Previously, Mr. Miller had been a Partner with McKinsey & Company. Mr. Miller holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he completed his studies at Stanford’s Japan Center for Technology and Innovation and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University.
Andrea Milligan, Director of Center for Teaching, Learning and Innovation, North Shore Community College
Andrea Milligan is currently the Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation at North Shore Community College. At NSCC, she is a member of the Open Textbook Initiative Team and works closely with faculty to redesign their courses to make use of open and other free online resources.
Eleni Miltsakaki, CEO, Choosito
Dr. Eleni Miltsakaki is the President and CEO of Choosito. Choosito’s technology is developed by a team lead by Dr. Eleni Miltsakaki, a PhD in Machine Learning & Computational Linguistics and a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She has over 100 publications in the area of Machine Learning & Natural Language Processing Models of text analysis and readability. Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elenimiltsakaki/
Sara Monteabaro, Senior Officer, MIT SOLVE
George Moore, Chief Technology Officer, Cengage
George Moore is Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Cengage Learning, reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he is responsible for shaping Cengage Learning’s long-term technology vision and focusing innovation across the company during a transformative time.
Mr. Moore is passionate about technology’s potential to revolutionize the publishing and education industries, and will focus his attention on partnering and collaborating with faculty and students to drive an “outside-in” approach to product development. In addition, he plans to actively collaborate with customers and partners to leverage technology to enhance the learning experience.
Prior to joining Cengage Learning, Mr. Moore served as CTO of Elsevier Health Science, where he was recruited to transform the world’s leading medical publishing company into a medical information company. During his tenure, he was instrumental in developing ClinicalKey, one of the most innovative and successful product introductions in the health-care information industry.
Earlier in his career, he was SVP of Product Development for Thomson Reuter’s Healthcare organization, where he led the consolidation effort of the company’s disparate acquisitions into a consolidated product development organization. Mr. Moore has also held various roles with a number of commercial software companies. Most prominently, he was VP of Product Development at Liquent, the industry leader in Pharmaceutical Publishing and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. At Liquent, he led the company’s efforts in defining how pharmaceutical companies would develop their information management systems that support drug discovery and approval, and also played a leading role in the sale and integration of Liquent into Thomson Reuters.
Erin Mote, Executive Director, InnovateEDU
Erin Mote is the Executive Director of InnovateEDU and co-founder of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School (LAB). She leads InnovateEDU and its major projects including the development of Cortex, work on data interoperability, an urban education Fellowship to diversify the teacher pipeline, and supports for LAB’s growth. She has spent much of her career focused on public service and expanding access to technology in both the US and abroad. Her work spans private sector collaborations and groundbreaking initiatives with Intel, Cisco, Google, and Mozilla, as well as work with leading US government technology partnerships. Erin served as the founding Chief of Party for the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance and has worked on numerous projects with the US Department of State and the White House. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Eric and her son Robert and bleeds maize and blue as a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Nirmal Mukhi, Cognitive Tutor R&D Lead, Watson Education, IBM
Nirmal Mukhi leads a team at Watson Education developing cognitive education solutions, and is the technical lead for the virtual tutor being developed in partnership with Pearson Education. Prior to his experience in development, he was at the T J Watson lab for 14 years, conducting research in the areas of distributed computing, service oriented computing and business process management. Nirmal is an IBM Master Inventor and has over 25 peer reviewed publications.
John Myers, CEO, Edsby
John Myers is a co-founder and the president/CEO of Edsby. Edsby is the most comprehensive learning and analytics platform available for K-12. Edsby engages students, parents and teachers on all of their devices. It enables personalized learning experiences and gives school districts, states and provinces or national governments powerful, new ways to measure and improve their educational effectiveness.
Padraig Nash, Learning Engineer, Cengage
Padraig Nash has worked in the field of education for over twenty years, as a teacher, teaching-artist, researcher, consultant, program director, and designer. He has a PhD in the Learning Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he designed and studied mentoring in virtual internships. He is currently a Learning Engineer at Cengage Learning.
Furqan Nazeeri, Partner, Extension Engine
Furqan Nazeeri is a Partner at ExtensionEngine, a consulting services firm that specializes in creating custom learning experiences. With a team of over 200 across four offices in the US and Europe, Furqan has worked with universities, corporations and other learning organizations including Harvard, MIT, Smithsonian, Johnson & Johnson and edX.
Prior to ExtensionEngine, Furqan was founder / CEO of VC-backed Pivot Inc. (acquired by NASDAQ:CME) and an EIR at Softbank Capital. Furqan has a BSE in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan and a MBA from Harvard University.
Ben Newton, General Management, Partnerships, Wonderschool
Greg O'Brien, COO, Noodle
Greg O’Brien is a co-founder and COO of Noodle Partners, an innovative ed-tech firm disrupting the 25-year old OPM model. Noodle Partners works with school like Tulane, SMU, and Wake Forest to build, grow and manage exceptional online programs. Prior to joining Noodle Partners, Greg ran the two largest higher education marketing firms – CollegeBound and QuinStreet’s Education division. Greg teaches online @ Harvard University, Boston College and UNC Chapel Hill.
Philip Oreopoulos, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, JPAL
Christine Ortiz, Dean for Graduate Education, Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Christine Ortiz is the Dean for Graduate Education and the Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Ortiz obtained her B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, all in the field of materials science and engineering, with a minor in theoretical and applied mechanics. During graduate school, Dr. Ortiz carried out collaborative research each summer at the University of Cambridge, Cavendish (physics) Laboratory in the UK. After graduation, she was granted an NSF-NATO postdoctoral fellowship which she used to carry out research in the Department of Polymer Chemistry, University of Groningen, in the Netherlands. Dr. Ortiz has over 175 scientific publications in more than 20 academic journals, has given more than 130 invited research lectures, and has supervised more than 80 students from 10 different academic disciplines. She has received over 30 national and international honors, including the Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer Award, National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship; she was a Lady Davis Fellow and visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, where she received the Hadassah Appreciation Medal; the MIT Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award; and the National Science Foundation Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, which was presented to her by President George W. Bush at the White House. She is also a fellow of the Defense Science Study Group. Dr. Ortiz is the founding and current faculty director of the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) – Israel program. She has served on over 50 departmental and Institute committees and working groups and in her current role as Dean for Graduate Education leads areas which include; fellowships, educational innovation, graduate admissions administration, diversity initiatives, policies and procedures, and Institute-wide data analysis. Dr. Ortiz has given invited presentations on higher education at the Council for Graduate Schools, Association of American Universities, Association of Graduate Schools, American Society of Engineering Education, National Science Foundation, European University Association Council for Doctoral Education Global Strategic Forum (Ireland), Association of Chinese Graduate Schools (China), Vitae Researcher Development International Conference (UK), and the League of European Research Universities (Switzerland, 2012 and the UK, 2014).
Craig Palli, CEO, Testive
Craig Palli is a seasoned inventor and entrepreneur with a particular knack for creating client focused marketing and business development strategies for technology companies of all sizes, in all stages of growth – from inception to IPO or acquisition. During his career, Craig’s teams have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in digital marketing programs resulting in billions of dollars of revenue.
Jason Palmer, Partner, New Markets Venture Partners
Jason Palmer joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2016 as a General Partner after three years at the Gates Foundation. Jason brings twenty years of experience as an education technology entrepreneur, executive and investor, and focuses on fund strategy, supporting portfolio companies and leveraging deep connections with industry leaders. He is a board director for Motimatic and serves as a board observer for Credly, SignalVine and American Honors College. Jason previously served as a board director at Moodlerooms and StraighterLine.
Prior to re-joining New Markets, Jason served as Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led postsecondary innovation efforts to improve the outcomes of low-income, minority and first-generation college students by investing in colleges, universities and entrepreneurs pursuing digital and adaptive learning, student coaching and advising, financial aid structures, comprehensive credit transfer and employer pathways. Prior to the Foundation, Jason founded and grew three investor-backed technology and services companies before holding a series of executive positions at Microsoft, SchoolNet, Kaplan and StraighterLine. At Kaplan, Jason led three education businesses as general manager or president, in addition to founding and leading the company’s venture capital effort.
Jason holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and also serves on the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education Foundation Board.
Emily Paulsen, Executive Director, The College Board
Emily Paulsen is the Executive Director of CLEP, a credit-by-exam program that lets students earn college credit for what they know. Through CLEP, Emily helps students save on tuition and accelerate their path to a degree. Emily has spent more than 11 years managing assessment programs at the College Board and, prior to that, worked in test development at Pearson.
Matthew Pittinsky, CEO, Parchment
Matthew Pittinsky, Ph.D. is the CEO of Parchment and co-founder and former CEO of Blackboard Inc. Matthew is on the faculty of Arizona State University and also serves on the Board of Trustees of The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
In 2012 the Teachers College at Columbia University awarded Matthew with The President’s Medal of Excellence to recognize his impact and innovation in the field of education technology and entrepreneurship. He is a frequent speaker, and has recently been invited to present at NewSchools Summit, Association of American Universities meeting, National Association for College Admission Counseling National Conference and SXSWedu.
Matthew holds a B.S. in Political Science from American University, Ed.M. in Education Policy from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Annie Knickman Plancher, Director, Social Finance
Annie Knickman Plancher is a Director of Advisory Services at Social Finance, where she is doing a one-year Residency through the Doctorate of Education Leadership program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her doctorate studies, Annie has focused on: funding flows in U.S. K-12 education, connecting funding with outcomes, and thinking about how to better prepare secondary and post-secondary students for fruitful and fulfilling careers. At Social Finance, Annie is focused on exploring the role of Pay-for-Success in education, career and technical education, and workforce development.
Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Annie worked for McKinsey & Company as a management consultant working with education organizations in the public and private sectors, as well as healthcare companies. Her work focused on a range of topics, including organizational and product strategy, organization design, and operational effectiveness. In her last two years with McKinsey, Annie launched and led an independent nonprofit, McKinsey Social Initiative, focused on leveraging McKinsey’s resources to address global social issues. The nonprofit’s first effort, Generation, aimed to support unemployed young people in five countries in building workforce skills and securing jobs. Annie graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, where she studied psychology and economics.
Shaileen Pokress, Computer Science Education Specialist and MassCAN Program Director, EDC
Shaileen Pokress is a computer scientist specializing in K-12 education. She directed the year-long school pilot that launched Root Robotics out of the Wyss Institute at Harvard University. Prior to that, Shay developed K-5 computer science curricula for Project Lead The Way, a national non-profit serving over two million students. She also served as Director of Education for MIT App Inventor, a platform for building mobile apps that aims to democratize mobile computing. Shay earned her bachelor of science degree in computer science from Cornell University and her master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Beth Rabbitt, CEO, Learning Accelerator
Beth Rabbitt is CEO of The Learning Accelerator (TLA). An expert in blended and personalized learning, Beth brings deep experience in education entrepreneurship, talent development, consulting, and finance. She is based in Boston, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. As a parent, she is inspired daily and urgently to make schooling better meet the needs of every child, everywhere.
Prior to becoming CEO, Beth was a Partner on the organization’s start-up team. In the organization’s first phase she led national strategies for developing human capital and for researching emerging teaching and learning models and practices. Before joining TLA, Beth was a Doctoral Resident and the Director of Human Capital at Touchstone Education (now part of Matchbook Learning), an Associate Partner at the NewSchools Venture Fund, a consultant to and with Education Resource Strategies, and the founding Doctoral Fellow at the Harvard Innovation Lab. Beth serves on the board of several education nonprofits, including the Highlander Institute, InnovateEdu, and Catalyst:Ed. She earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Doctorate in Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) from Harvard University.
Mark Racine, Chief Information Officer, Boston Public Schools
Aanand Radia, Managing Director, University Ventures
Aanand Radia is a Managing Director at University Ventures. Prior to University Ventures, Aanand was a private equity investor at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, where he focused on Financial Services and Special Situations. Prior to BlackRock, Aanand worked at EdisonLearning (formerly Edison Schools), an early pioneer in the charter school movement and later a diversified K-12 education technology and services company, where he focused on corporate strategy, business development, and new product and finance initiatives. While at Edison, Aanand helped to develop an alternative education product offering delivered through a hybrid/blended learning environment. Aanand started his career at Patriot Capital, a middle market private equity firm, where he made investments across a broad range of industries. Aanand received his B.S. in Economics from Carnegie Mellon University. Aanand focuses on opportunities in student finance and education to employment pathways. Aanand leads or has co-led the firm’s investments in Galvanize, Revature, Avenica, PrepMD, Vemo Education, as well as a number of the firm’s seed investments including ParagonOne, DesignLab, Shortlist, CareAcademy, Mpower, Meritize.
Iulian Radu, Post Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University
Jennifer Rafferty, Director of the Institute, Online Learning Consortium
Jennifer (Paloma) Rafferty is currently Director of the Institute for Professional Development at The Online Learning Consortium (OLC). She provides leadership in researching, managing, and evaluating a full range of professional development solutions for multiple audiences within the OLC Institute. Previously Jennifer was Associate Director of Instructional Design at Quinnipiac University Online where she provided faculty development for fully online degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels in the Schools of Nursing and Health Sciences. During her time at Quinnipiac University, Jennifer was responsible for spearheading the development of the first online medical Spanish course at the University. She has presented both nationally and internationally on the topic of online foreign language instruction and self-regulated learning. Jennifer’s education includes a Masters of Education in Instructional Design from UMASS Boston, a Masters of Arts in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an undergraduate degree in Romance Languages from Mount Holyoke College.
Mark Rankovic, CEO, Certica Solutions
Mark Rankovic is an experienced technology business executive who took the helm at Certica in 2006, transforming Certica from a data management consultancy into an innovative edtech company. Since 2011, Mark and team have executed six strategic acquisitions, laying the foundation for the edtech market’s first Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Certica Connect. Mark has built and led software companies for more than 25 years. Prior to joining Certica, Mark was president and CEO of Kubi Software and orchestrated its acquisition by Pragmatech. Prior to Kubi, he was vice president, Worldwide Field Operations at Alphablox, managing the integration when the company was acquired by IBM. In the 1990s, Mark was vice president of worldwide professional services and vice president of the Asia Pacific region at Prism Solutions, a pioneer in data warehousing; and was founder and managing director of Object Software, prior to its acquisition by Prism. Mark holds a BSc (Hons) in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Adelaide, Australia.
Karl Rectanus, CEO, Lear(R)n
Karl Rectanus is an educator, entrepreneur and adviser. As cofounder and CEO of Lea(R)n, an education innovation Benefit Corporation that empowers educators and their institutions to organize, streamline and analyze education technology through its research-backed LearnPlatform, Karl leads schools and districts, states and networks, and colleges and universities in their efforts to simplify edtech selection, procurement, implementation and measurement. Karl works with learning organizations and networks across the country to establish and elevate standards of practice that drive personalized learning at scale, student achievement and equity in access. Originally an educator and administrator in the US and abroad, Karl has started and led multiple education innovation organizations, and currently advises districts, states and foundations. Karl has lived, worked and studied in over 12 countries, and was an NC Teaching Fellow and James M Johnston Scholar at UNC-Chapel Hill, and graduate courses at UCLA’s Anderson Business School and CalTech Executive Extension. Karl, his wife and three daughters now live in Raleigh, NC.
Justin Reich, Assistant Professor in Comparative Media Studies and Director, MIT Teaching Systems Lab
Justin Reich is an educational researcher interested in the future of learning in a networked world. He is an Assistant Professor in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an instructor in the Scheller Teacher Education Program, a faculty associate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and the director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab. The Teaching Systems Lab investigates the complex, technology-rich classrooms of the future and the systems that we need to help educators thrive in those settings. He is the co-founder of EdTechTeacher, a professional learning consultancy devoted to helping teachers leverage technology to create student-centered, inquiry-based learning environments. He was previously the Richard L. Menschel HarvardX Research Fellow, where he led the initiative to study large-scale open online learning through the HarvardX Initiative, and a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He earned his doctorate from Harvard University, where he created the Distributed Collaborative Learning Communities project, a Hewlett Foundation funded initiative to examine how social media are used in K-12 classrooms. He writes the EdTechResearcher blog for Education Week, and his writings have appeared in Science, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Educational Researcher, the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, the Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. Justin started his career teaching wilderness medicine, and later taught high school world history and history electives, and coached wrestling and outdoor activities.
Lorie Reilly, Manager of Product Management, Vital Source
Lorie Reilly provides product management leadership for VitalSource Content Studio, an authoring tool that is used by publishers and institutions to create interactive educational ebooks. Prior to her position at VitalSource, Lorie has worked for many years in and around the creation and delivery of high quality online learning content to high school and college students.
Emily Relkin, Research Assistant, Tufts University
Emily Relkin is member of the DevTech Research Group in the Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. She is also a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Early Childhood Technology program at Tufts. Emily’s research involves the KIBO Robot, a technology designed and developed by the DevTech Research Group and KinderLab Robotics to promote the acquisition of programming skills in children 4-7 years of age. She is a co-investigator in a recently completed pilot study of the applicability of KIBO to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and is currently developing an instrument to assess coding proficiency with the KIBO Robot in young children.
Alexandra Resch, Associate Director and Senior Researcher, Mathematica
Alexandra Resch is a senior researcher and deputy director of state and local partnerships at Mathematica Policy Research. She is an expert in program evaluation, teacher evaluation, and capacity building. Alex works closely with school districts to make research more accessible to end users and to develop local capacity to use complex methods to improve programs and policies. She leads the team that developed the Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation (RCE) Coach, a free, online toolkit that allows school districts and other users conduct rigorous, quick-turnaround evaluations of education technologies and other interventions or practices. She also led teams working with Race to the Top-District grantees to conduct RCEs of personalized learning strategies implemented through their grants. Dr. Resch holds a PhD in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
Alec Resnick, Co-Founder, Powderhouse Studios
Alec is the co-founder and current executive director of sprout & co, a science education non-profit which has been working in Somerville and greater Boston since 2009 and is expecting to open Powderhouse Studios, a new high school under Massachusetts’ Innovation School legislation next year. At sprout he’s been responsible for program, curriculum, and business development—as well as direct service—in a variety of formal and informal learning environments, working with partners ranging from Google & Tufts to the O’Bryant School and Cloud Foundation. Before sprout, he studied math & physics at MIT and co-founded nublabs, an electromechanical design firm where he built learning tools & toys.
Seth Reynolds, Managing Director, Parthenon-EY
Seth is a leader in the firm’s Education Practice. His extensive education experience spans for-profit and public sectors across K-12, post-secondary, and corporate training. He advises clients on issues related to strategy development, operational improvement, performance management, investment due diligence, and new venture creation. His clients include a wide range of organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, school districts, universities, government agencies, and some of the world’s largest foundations. In addition, Seth has worked extensively with clients in the information publishing and financial services industries. Internal to Parthenon, he leads the firm’s Alumni Program.
Prior to joining Parthenon, Seth was a Teach For America corps member and worked at SchoolNet. He is a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Excel Academy Charter Schools, a charter network in the Boston area.
Seth holds a B.A. in American Studies, magna cum laude, from Amherst College. He received his M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and his Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Selected Engagement Experience
► Large public university system: Led the effort with the system’s board, system leadership, and heads of individual member institutions to develop the next five-year strategic plan for the system.
► Led engagement to develop new Doctor of Leadership degree for Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Designed and executed market research activities. Managed stakeholder engagement processes with Faculty and Staff and Facilitated leadership working group to synthesize data analysis and develop recommendations for implementation.
► Led Parthenon’s support to top-20 research university’s efforts to develop a strategic plan for university-wide online program development. Conducted externally focused research around highest growth fields for new program development, facilitated leadership discussions to develop plan, and created financial model for implementation of recommended plan.
► Facilitated Board level strategy development process for private business-focused university considering how to respond to increasingly competitive environment. Conducted interviews of all key university leadership and key board members, developed fact base on university market position and long-term financial situation, facilitated strategic planning sessions.
Education and affiliations
► Master of Business Administration, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management
► Master of Public Administration, Harvard University, JFK School of Government
► Bachelor of Arts, Amherst College
Thomas L. Rooney, Superintendent, Lindsay Unified School District
Tom Rooney is the Superintendent of Lindsay Unified School District where he has engaged in the system-wide transformative work of building a learner-centered Performance Based System throughout the entire K-12 learning community, serving over 4,100 students from socioeconomically disadvantaged situations. Prior to his position as Superintendent, Mr. Rooney served as the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, elementary Principal, Elementary Assistant Principal, and classroom teacher. Mr. Rooney is highly knowledgeable of research-based instructional practices and is a key leader involved in work related to the development, evaluation, and modification of all aspects of the Performance-Based System in Lindsay Unified. Beyond the Lindsay Unified School District, Mr. Rooney has become a nationally recognized voice for all matters related to customized learning, competency-based learning, and future-focused transformation. Mr. Rooney has co-authored the book, Beyond Reform, published by Marzano Research in 2017. He serves on the Board of Directors for iNACOL, is a founding member of the Mass Customized Learning National Alliance, and is a member of the League of Innovative Schools. Mr. Rooney has provided multiple key-note addresses, webinars, and formal training sessions throughout the country on the topics of transformational leadership, performance-based learning, and systems change. Mr. Rooney is also a certified trainer and professional coach with The Breakthrough Coach.
Jessica Rothenberg - Aalami, CEO, Cell Ed
Jessica Rothenberg-Aalami, PhD, is an impact entrepreneur and information technology innovator who leads the team at Cell-Ed, which offers a complete mobile solution enabling employers and education providers to finally reach, retain and upskill today’s low skilled workforce. A Silicon Valley native, Rothenberg-Aalami has designed and delivered solutions aimed at bridging digital and opportunity divides since 1995 through impact companies she founded – GlobalCSR, Gobee Group, and now Cell-Ed. Her on-the-ground experience in over 40 countries stems from her deep commitment to co-creating solutions to addressing pressing user needs – which she has done working across top 10 tech companies (HP, Microsoft, Intel), international organizations (World Bank, UN), governments, major NGOs and on-the ground partners. An active collaborator and speaker, Rothenberg-Aalami is the co-author of Technology at the Margins: How IT Meets the Needs of Emerging Markets and holds advanced degrees in International Development, Business and IT Design from the University of California, Berkeley, University of Oregon, and Harvard University.
Jerry Rubin, President and CEO, Jewish Vocational Services
|Jerry Rubin is President and Chief Executive Officer of JVS. He is responsible for the overall direction and management of the organization, and leads its Leadership Team. His responsibilities include setting and leading the strategic direction of the organization, senior staff leadership development, leading organizational innovations, leading development efforts and financial growth, outreach to external constituencies and strategic partnerships, innovations in branding and marketing, and Board relations.
Prior to joining JVS, Jerry was Vice President of Building Economic Opportunities at Jobs For the Future, a national workforce development and education policy, research, and consulting organization. Jerry founded and was Executive Director of two non-profit organizations: the Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership, a training and consulting organization, and the Coalition For a Better Acre, a community development corporation based in Lowell, Massachusetts. Jerry also spent ten years in the administration of Boston Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, leading several housing, economic development and workforce development initiatives.
Jerry holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Clark University and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of numerous book chapters, articles, and monographs on housing, economic development and workforce development issues. Jerry is a board member of the Economic Empowerment Trust Fund of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Matt Rubins, Venture Partner, LearnLaunch
Matt Rubins is an active angel investor, educator, and entrepreneur focused on the education space. He is an active member of Launchpad Venture Group and Red Bear Angels, as well as a Venture Partner with LearnLaunch. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies and D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Matt started his career on Wall Street as an investment banker in 1990 and then became a venture capitalist at M/C Venture Partners, a $1.4 billion firm focused on telecom, media, and technology. Matt became an ed tech entrepreneur in 2011 and led program development at Fullbridge, Inc., a pioneer in competency-based business education, and then ran corporate development at Six Red Marbles, Inc., the largest US-based developer of custom education content. He holds a BS-Engineering from Cornell and an MBA from Harvard.
Chrystina Russell, VP for Global Engagement, Southern New Hampshire University
At Southern New Hampshire University, Chrystina Russell spearheads innovative initiatives to bring tertiary education and employment pathways to refugees and traditionally underserved learners. She’s most passionate about building university programs in refugee camps and urban areas where students who normally would not access higher education use online and in-person learning to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University. Currently, Chrystina is leading an expansion of the program into 4 new countries in 2018 (Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, & Lebanon) as well as the launch of an assessment center in Rwanda to pilot lowering the delivery cost of Bachelor’s degrees through a combination of training local talent and artificial intelligence. Previously, she was the Chief Academic Officer of Kepler, a blended learning university program based in Rwanda. The organization has two campuses opened and lead by Chrystina—one in the capital city of Kigali and the other in Kiziba refugee camp.
Prior, she was the founding principal of Global Tech Prep, a high-performing public school in East Harlem, New York and was faculty at the City College of New York. Chrystina began her career as a bilingual special education teacher in the Bronx, where she became addicted to understanding educational challenges and using innovation and technology to find creative solutions in vulnerable communities. Chrystina graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Organization & Minority Communities, has Master’s in Bilingual Special Education, and holds a Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy from the City University of New York Graduate Center.
MJ Ryan, Director of Workforce Development, Partners Healthcare
MJ Ryan is the Workforce Development Director for Partners HealthCare. She has worked in healthcare for over 30 years in various clinical, teaching and management positions. In her current role, MJ leads a team focused on skill development and job readiness training for community residents and advancement opportunities for Partners’ incumbent workforce. She has developed innovative, system-wide strategies and partnerships to increase access to higher education for incumbent employees with a focus on technology as enabler. She provides technical assistance and has helped to develop the CareerStat National Health Care Employer Workforce Development Academy, launched in November 2017, and recently accepted the role of Chair of the Boston Health Care Careers Consortium, a nationally recognized sector-based collaborative founded in 2010. MJ holds a BS degree in Education from University of Maine at Orono, a certificate in Nuclear Medicine Technology from Rhode Island Hospital, and a Master’s degree in Health Care Management from Cambridge College.
Sanjay Sarma, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Vice President for Open Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sanjay Sarma is the Vice President for Open Learning. He also leads the Office of Digital Learning, which oversees MIT OpenCourseWare and supports the development and use of digital technology for on-campus teaching and massive open online courses (MOOCs). He is also the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT.
A co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, Sarma developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008, and he has worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California.
Currently, Sarma serves on the boards of GS1, EPCglobal, several startup companies including Senaya and ESSESS, and edX, the not-for-profit company set up by MIT and Harvard to create and promulgate an open-source platform for the distribution of free online education worldwide. He also advises several national governments and global companies.
Author of more than 75 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation, and CAD, Sarma is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research, including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award, and InformationWeek’s Innovators and Influencers Award. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.
Adam Saven, CEO and Co-Founder, PeopleGrove
Adam is the co-founder of PeopleGrove and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since inception. He previously worked at Google as a Business Analyst from 2013 to 2014, performing data analysis as well as informing strategic decisions for the Online Partnerships Group (OPG). Prior to Google, he served as an Investment Banking Analyst in the Global Technology Group of Credit Suisse. He holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The impetus for starting PeopleGrove came from a realization of how powerful mentors and the Penn alumni network had been in helping Adam to explore various career paths and access great opportunities. While at Google, Adam embarked on an after-work side project that would eventually become PeopleGrove. PeopleGrove has grown to re-imagine mentoring for today’s college students and professionals at over 80 college campuses across the country.
Tracy Schroeder, VP Information Services, Boston University
Tracy Schroeder joined Boston University as Vice President of Information Services and Technology in July 2009. In that capacity she has responsibility for networking and telecommunications, systems infrastructure, communication and collaboration services, enterprise information systems, teaching and learning technologies, research computing, information security, and client computing support. While at BU, Tracy has worked to improve technology governance and strategic planning, while building IT service management and project management best practices across the organization. She has overseen significant expansion of the campus wireless network, classroom technology upgrades, and the implementation of new information systems for finance, HR, procurement, development and alumni relations, and research administration. She has collaborated with the VP Research on the creation and development of the multi-institutional Massachusetts High Performance Computing Center, and with the Provost’s Office on the BU Digitial Learning Initiative.
Prior to joining BU, Tracy led the Department of Information Technology Services at the University of San Francisco (2002–2009) and served as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ Conference on IT Management (2007–2009). Tracy has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco.
Sheryl Schultz, Founder and President, CabinetM
Karene Sean-Hines, Educator, James P. Timilty Middle School
Richard Sebastian, Director, OER Initiative, Achieving the Dream
Dr. Richard Sebastian is the Director of Achieving the Dream’s OER Degree Initiative, an effort to support colleges across the United States in designing degree programs using open educational resources.
Before joining ATD, Richard was the Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies for the Virginia Community College System, providing vision, leadership, and support for effective use of teaching and learning technologies for the 23 colleges in the state. He also served as the Principal Investigator of the Zx23 Project, an effort to scale OER degrees across the VCCS, and was a founding member of the Open Virginia Advisory Committee (OVAC), a statewide committee investigating ways to reduce textbook costs for Virginia’s students.
Richard is a frequent presenter on open educational resources, OER degrees, and other educational topics. He received his doctorate in education from the University of Virginia.
Steven Shapiro, CEO, FineTune
‘Seasoned” Serial Entrepreneur! Currently CEO of FineTune (formerly Academic Merit), a platform about to launch in every high school in America through a partnership with College Board. Steve founded and scaled three different social-impact start-ups in K-12 education, adult vocational rehabilitation, and international student exchange. Angel Investor and Adviser to multiple EdTech start-ups. Member of Launchpad Venture Group and Cornell Red Bear Angel Group. Venture Partner at LearnLaunch, premier EdTech Accelerator program (and more) in Boston.
Greg Shell, Managing Director, Bain Capital
Elad Shoushan, CEO and Founder, Ready4
Elad is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Ready4, the world’s fastest growing test preparation mobile-only company. Ready4 operates 12 test prep apps that are ranked in the top positions in both Android and iOS stores. Elad expanded the operations, products, and services of Ready4 through its rapid growth to over 2+ million learners across 195+ countries and 100+ university clients that partnered with Ready4 to connect with students worldwide. The company clients included top 20 universities (MIT, Harvard, UNC, and more) and public education companies (2U, The Princeton Review, and more) worldwide. Prior to Ready4, Elad held various software development and product management positions at Goldman Sachs, GE Healthcare, and Intel. Prior to those, Elad was a former professional basketball player, playing also for the young men national team of Israel. Elad received an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and B.sc in Information Systems Engineering Cum Laude from The Technion.
Matt Sigelman, CEO, Burning Glass Technologies
Matthew Sigelman is CEO of Burning Glass Technologies, a leading labor market analytics firm. For more than a decade, he has led Burning Glass in harnessing the power of data to deliver artificial intelligence technologies that have helped fill millions of jobs and provided the data needed to resolve the skills gap. Formerly with Capital One, Mesa Air Group, and McKinsey and Company, he also serves on the Board of Directors of The Graduate! Network, a national alliance for adult college completion. He holds an AB from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Meg Smallidge, Program Manager FUSE MA, Highlander Institute
Megan is the Program Manager for Fuse MA, a partnership with The Education Cooperative (TEC) to bring the Fuse Fellowship to its Massachusetts districts. Prior to joining the Institute, Megan taught Special Education and ELA, created educational resources at WGBH Educational Foundation, and worked to leverage technology to enhance communication and curriculum for Newton Public Schools. Most recently, Megan directed the MassNET Program for LearnLaunch Institute, providing support for Boston Public School teachers in the design and implementation of blended and personalized learning strategies. She has a BA in English from Northeastern University and an M.Ed from the University of Massachusetts.
Burck Smith, CEO, StraighterLine
Esteban Sosnik, General Partner, Reach Capital
Esteban is General Partner at Reach Capital, a venture fund focused on early stage education technology start-ups. Prior to Reach, Esteban was Executive Director of co.lab, an accelerator working with startups at the intersection of games and learning, co-founded with NewSchools Venture Fund and Zynga.org. Prior to leading co.lab, Esteban was co-founder and CEO of social game developer Atakama Labs (acquired by DeNA in 2011). After Atakama was acquired by DeNA, Esteban became VP with roles in studios, corporate development and partnerships. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Wanako Games, developer of console games. Wanako earned Game of the Year for Xbox Live Arcade and was acquired by Vivendi Games in 2006. After Wanako’s acquisition by Vivendi Esteban became VP of Business Development at Sierra Online. Esteban started his career in finance, where he was CEO of a seed-stage VC fund for Latin American startups (Penguin Holdings), and also worked in private equity as an Associate in Innova Capital and investment banking as an M&A analyst at JP Morgan. Esteban graduated with honors from the University of Virginia with a double major in Economics and Foreign Affairs
Brian Stack, Principal, Sanborn Regional High School
Brian M. Stack, M.Ed, is the Principal of Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, New Hampshire and an author with Solution Tree, a professional development program that supports educators in schools and districts around the world. For the past decade, Brian has been a member of the research, design, and implementation team for the school district’s nationally-recognized K-12 competency-based learning system. Brian has been an educator since 2001 with a background as a high school math teacher, curriculum director, high school administrator, and school board member in three different school districts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He has worked as a consultant and expert coach for a number of schools, school districts, and organizations engaged in personalized and competency-based learning from coast to coast. His latest 2017 Solution Tree book, Breaking From Tradition: The Shift to Competency Based Learning in PLCs, was co-authored with Jonathan Vander Els, and was written to help school leaders make this transition in their own schools.
Brian is a member of the New Hampshire Association of School Principals. He received the 2017 New Hampshire Secondary School Principal of the Year award from that organization. In 2010 and again in 2013 he was recognized with the Outstanding Role Model award, also from that organization. He is a strong advocate of personalized learning, competency-based learning systems, and high school redesign for the 21st century. He has presented his education reform and redesign work in workshops and conferences all over the country.
Brian received his bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and math education from Boston University and a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He lives with his wife Erica and their five children Brady, Cameron, Liam, Owen, and Zoey on the New Hampshire Seacoast. Follow Brian Stack on Twitter at @bstackbu and you can learn more about his work to redesign public education on his Principal’s Blog.
Owen Stearns, CEO, Excel Academy Charter Schools
|Owen has been Excel’s Chief Executive Officer since 2013 and served as founding board chair from 2003 until 2008. Prior to joining Excel as CEO, Owen was a strategy consultant for twelve years, working with nonprofit leaders to achieve large-scale social change through innovative strategies, strong organizational design and nimble leadership teams. He comes to Excel directly from the Monitor Institute, where he was an Associate Partner focused largely on educational issues. Prior to Monitor, he was a Senior Consultant with the Foundation Strategy Group (now FSG). He was also an early board member and eventually the Co-Director of The City School, which develops young leaders from public, private and parochial schools through a service-learning curriculum. Owen is a graduate of Amherst College.|
George Straschnov, Managing Director, BISK
John Stuart, Division Vice President, PTC
Elisabeth Stucklen, Instructional Designer, Online Learning Consortium
Elisabeth Stucklen is an instructional designer in OLC’s Institute for Professional Development, where she provides course design/production and facilitation support for the Mastery Series and Instructional Designer Certificate Program. She has worked in online higher education and instructional design for over 13 years. Prior to joining OLC, she worked as the senior instructional designer at Mount Washington College in Manchester, NH, where she was responsible for creating new online courses, providing training and support for faculty, and assisting the director in monitoring the course development process. Before MWC, she worked at Lesley University providing professional development and course design assistance to faculty. In addition to her role with the OLC, Elisabeth also teaches online for Brandeis University in their Masters in Online Instructional Design program, is a member of the advisory board for the M.S. in Learning Design and Educational Technology at the Katz School at Yeshiva University, and is serving as a mentor in the Educause ID2ID cross-institutional peer mentoring program for instructional designer. Elisabeth holds a Masters of Science in Instructional Design and Technology from Emporia State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Visual Communication Technology from Lesley University.
Vinit Sukhija, Associate, LearnCapital
Vinit Sukhija is an Associate at Learn Capital. He previously led Teach For America’s Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Initiative, where he supported and invested in over 200 early-stage education entrepreneurs, launched Teach For America’s first social entrepreneurship conference in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and was named to Forbes’ 2015 30 Under 30 in Education.
Vinit boasts a diverse range of experiences at the intersection of education, technology, and entrepreneurship, including serving as a Senior Product Manager at Amazon, an Investments Fellow at The Chicago Public Education Fund, a strategy consultant for the Charter School Growth Fund, a judge and coach for numerous Startup Weekend EDU events and business plan competitions, an advisory board member for two education non-profits, and a high school mathematics teacher in the South Central and South Gate communities of Los Angeles. He graduated summa cum laude from UC Berkeley and earned his MBA from MIT Sloan.
Kim Thanos, CEO, Lumen Learning
Jean Tower, Director of Media and Digital Learning, Needham Public Schools
Jean Tower currently serves as the Director of Media and Digital Learning for the Needham Public Schools. Jean’s primary interest is the effective integration of technology in the curriculum and in creating the essential conditions to enable that to happen. Ms. Tower serves on the Board of Directors of CoSN (www.cosn.org) and is the immediate past chair. Jean writes a blog (http://www.K12EduBuzz.com) about technology and education.
Barbara Treacy, Instructor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Bill Traint, VP of Strategic Partnerships and Investments, Pearson
Chris Twyman, Founder and CEO, BoomWriter
BoomWriter is Chris’s second venture. After a career working for two of the largest software companies, Chris formed Zapoint, an HR technology company based in Cambridge, MA. Then, after a cold, long walk under an umbrella with Ken Haynes, his daughter’s teacher, he started BoomWriter. Chris has an MBA and a Masters in International Marketing along with a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering and Quantity Surveying.
Trace Urdan, Managing Director, Tyton Partners
Trace Urdan is a Managing Director at Tyton Partners where he has responsibility for both consulting and investment banking assignments. Prior to joining Tyton, Trace followed the Knowledge Services market as an equity research analyst for more than 18 years, during which time he held senior research positions at a number of firms including ThinkEquity, Robert W. Baird, Signal Hill Capital Group, Wells Fargo Securities, and most recently as a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. After holding senior management positions within Time Inc. and KPMG Media Marwick, Trace began his career as a research analyst in 1998 with Alex. Brown & Sons, covering publishing and education. During his career he has followed a wide range of companies serving the education market including early childhood, K-12, higher education and employment training. He is widely-cited as an expert on the topics of for-profit education, education technology and education policy. In 2011 he authored a white paper for the Kauffman Foundation on the topic of higher education regulation. In 2008 he was cited by Career College Central magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in the career college sector. And in 2005, he testifIed before the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education. Trace received a BA degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Edwin Van Rest, CEO, Study Portals
Edwin van Rest is co-founder and CEO of StudyPortals. As part of his engineering studies, Edwin spent time in Japan, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands. He is a grateful beneficiary of and a true believer in international education; and through StudyPortals he wants to simulate and help students to broaden their horizon and make an informed choice. In 2017 the platform served over 28 Million unique users of which 370,000 actually enrolled at a university abroad. Consecutively, StudyPortals helps over 3,000 Universities in 110 countries to optimize their student population on the basis of results. In 2016 it was awarded The EdTechXGlobal award for best EdTech growth company. Edwin was honored with the EAIE Rising Star Award for his notable contributions to international education.
Edwin serves in the EAIE General Council and the NAGAP International Advisory Council and is co-founder of the NAGAP-EAIE initiated global U LARM thinktank/forum, United Leaders of Admissions Recruitment and Marketing
Elliott Visconsi, Chief Academic Digital Officer, Notre Dame University
Devin Vodicka, Chief Impact Officer, AltSchool
Over the past 20 years, Devin Vodicka’s vision for how to drive high-quality student outcomes enabled him to quickly ascend the roles of educator, school principal, district administrator, and now superintendent. During his tenure serving Vista Unified’s more than 25,000 students, Devin has earned some of the education industry’s most prestigious awards. Last year, he was named AASA’s “California Superintendent of the Year.” In 2015, he was named ACSA’s “California Superintendent of the Year,” as well as Pepperdine University’s “California Superintendent of the Year.” In 2014, he received Classroom of the Future Foundation’s “Innovative Superintendent of the Year” award. Since joining Vista in 2012, he has been invited to the White House nine times; both in recognition for district-wide achievements and to partner on national efforts with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, and the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools. As AltSchool’s Chief Impact Officer, Devin guides the design and strategy of the company’s personalized learning platform, as it prepares the platform for expansion into a growing community of private, charter and public schools.
Claire Wadlington, Founder & Managing Principal, Clear Path
Rob Waldron, CEO, Curriculum Associates
Omari Walker, CEO, New Heights Charter
Omari Walker is the founding Executive Director of New Heights Charter School of Brockton, a grade 6-12 Early College Charter School in Brockton, MA. Omari has spent nearly 20 years working in education as a teacher, program lead, administrator, and prior to opening New Heights’, as the Executive Director of the Resiliency Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving opportunities for young people through education. Omari is a passionate educator and administrator, committed to the mission of New Heights – ALL of our children will be prepared for college. Period. Omari received his B.A. in English and his M.Ed. from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA.
John Walsh, UX and Access Manager, Dedham Public Library
John Walsh is a Librarian, Maker, Technology Professional, Information Specialist and IT Trainer with 20+ years of experience. He’s consulted on technology and trained globally from Boston to London to Dubai before coming to Dedham.
Dara Warn, Chief Outcomes Officer, Penn Foster
As Chief Outcomes Officer, Dara and her team are responsible for advocating for Penn Foster’s students and ensuring that Penn Foster education solutions meet the needs of this diverse base of learners. Dara has more than 14 years of experience in direct response marketing, brand development, public relations, and integrated communications and business development programs. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Dara was Senior Vice President of Pri-Med, a leading medical education provider focused on bringing tier 1 education solutions to the primary care marketplace.
Michelle Weise, Senior Vice President of Workforce Strategy and Chief Innovation Officer, Strata Education
|Dr. Michelle R. Weise is the Chief Innovation Officer and the SVP for Workforce Strategies at Strada Education Network. She researches the future of the workforce and how to catalyze more direct and promising pathways between education and employment. Michelle also serves on the Commission on the Future of Higher Education for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is also a Senior Advisor for Entangled Solutions. She previously designed and led the Sandbox ColLABorative, the R&D lab of strategy and innovation at Southern New Hampshire University. Before SNHU, Michelle was the Senior Research Fellow in higher education at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Fidelis Education, and taught at Skidmore College and Stanford University. Michelle is a former Fulbright Scholar and graduate of Harvard and Stanford. Her book, Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution, co-authored with Clayton Christensen, describes the disruptive potential of online competency-based education aligned to workforce needs. Michelle’s commentaries and research have been featured in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Boston Globe, Inside HigherEd, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and PBS Newshour.|
George Westerman, Principal Research, MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy; Director, Workplace Learning , MIT J-WEL
Charles Willis, History Teacher and School Redesign and Innovation Team Member, Revere High School
For the past eight years, Charles Willis has taught students about United States History, the history of Revere and the history of Boston at Revere High School (RHS). Using a competency-based approach in which students advance based on mastery of content rather than credit hours, Charles has completely redesigned his classroom to put students at the center of their learning as they grapple with essential historical questions through performance-based assessments in practice for life beyond high school. Charles was also a member of the School Redesign and Innovation team at RHS for 5 years that is working to further student-centered learning on a systematic level. He has presented at the New England Secondary School Consortium Conference, the National Association of Secondary School Principals Conference and both the New England Regional and National College Board Forums. Charles has a Master’s of Education in Social Studies Education and a B.S. in Social Studies Education from Boston University.
Oliver Wreford, Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer, Edtech Holdings
Holly Zanville, Senior Advisor for Credentialing and workforce Development, Lumina Foundation
Zanville’s work experience spans the educational pipeline with service in K-12, community colleges, universities, higher education governance system, regional compact, and philanthropy. Prior to joining Lumina in 2006, she served as Senior Administrator/Chief Academic Officer, Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board; Coordinator, Oregon Joint Boards K-20 Redesign Initiative; Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Oregon University System; and Director, Economic Development and Regional Internship Programs, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
Zanville received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota; MA in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and BA in English and Biology from Lindenwood University.
Andy Zitoli, Principal, Kennedy Middle School (Natick, MA)
Manoush Zomorodi, Author of Bored and Brilliant, Host and Managing Editor of "Note to Self" from WNYC Studios
Manoush Zomorodi is a podcast host, author, and relentless examiner of the modern human condition.
As host of Note to Self, the podcast from WNYC Studios, she unpacks the forces shaping our accelerating world and guides listeners through its challenges. Her book, Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self (St. Martin’s Press; Sept 2017), is based on her 2015 interactive project with tens of thousands of listeners. It empowers the reader to transform their digital anxiety into self-knowledge, autonomy, and action.
Note to Self was named 2017’s Best Tech Podcast by the Academy of Podcasters. Manoush has won numerous awards for her work including four from the New York Press Club. In 2014, the Alliance for Women in Media named her Outstanding Host.
Lynzi Ziegenhagen, Founder & CEO, Schoolzilla PBC
|Lynzi created the technology innovation team at Aspire Public Schools in 2008 and together they spent five years developing tools that provided every Aspire teacher, principal, and leader with timely, accurate and actionable data. In 2013, Lynzi started Schoolzilla, a Public Benefit Corporation, to scale what they had created to empower leaders and educators across the country with the data they need to run great schools for students, especially students from under-served communities. Today, Schoolzilla serves more than 100 districts in 30 states. Lynzi holds a master’s degree in Computer Science with an emphasis on computer security from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University. Curiously, Lynzi is bald from a harmless condition called alopecia. It’s not contagious.|