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Michela English is and education advocate and former President & CEO of Fight For Children, a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of education for low-income children in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Fight For Children, Michela worked for eight years at Discovery Communications. In the 1990s, Michela served as Senior Vice President of the National Geographic Society, with responsibility for the book division, Traveler magazine, WORLD magazine for children, educational media, and international publishing. She also served as a member of the Society’s Board of Trustees and as Vice Chairman of the Board of the NGS Education Foundation. Throughout her professional life, Michela has held leadership roles in a variety of education, youth-related and other non-profit and corporate initiatives. She holds a BA from Sweet Briar College and a Master of Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Management.
Jenny Abramson is the Founder and Managing Partner at Rethink Impact. Prior to that role, she served as CEO and President at LiveSafe. Jenny is a proven executive with roles in the technology, education, and media sectors. Her past successes have ranged from large companies like The Washington Post to start-ups like Personal. In education, Jenny ran the Transformation Management Office for DC Public Schools’ Chancellor Rhee, and was Director of Program Strategy & Development at Teach For America. Jenny received a BA and an MA from Stanford, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Fulbright at The London School of Economics.
Tearsa Coates is a business leader with extensive experience in product marketing and strategic consulting. She holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the University of Virginia.
Charis M. Drant was formerly an Associate in the Washington offices of DLA Piper and Morrison & Foerster, as well as an adjunct law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. Prior to attending law school, she was an Associate Equity Research Analyst at T. Rowe Price. Charis earned an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Georgetown University. She serves on the Governing Board of Beauvoir School, and has been an active volunteer with the Harvard College Fund. Charis is a Director of the Charina Endowment Fund.
Brian Jones is the President of Strayer University. Prior to this role, he served as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel for Strayer Education, Inc. – the University’s holding company. Prior to that, Brian served as General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Education. Brian has a long and distinguished career in education, formerly serving as Chairman of the DC Public Charter School Board. In addition, he co-founded Latimer Education, Inc., a venture-backed company that partners with HBCUs to provide African-American students with online educational opportunities. Brian earned a BS in Business Administration from Georgetown University and a JD from the UCLA School of Law.
Judy Lansing Kovler, PhD, is a Psychotherapist in private practice with over 30 years of experience. She has served on a variety of boards for non-profit organizations. Judy graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.
Emily Lawson founded DC Prep in 2002 and led the growth of the organization from a single middle school to the highest-performing Charter Management Organization in the nation’s capital — today serving 1,900 students in preschool through 8th grade on five campuses. Emily’s work at DC Prep has been featured in The Washington Post and on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and has attracted the support of major national foundations focused on public education reform. In 2007, Emily completed the Broad Foundation’s Associate Residency in Urban Education. Prior to founding DC Prep, Emily worked for Victory Schools, a charter school management company in New York, as well as Academy of the Pacific Rim, a nationally-recognized charter school in Boston. Emily holds an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School and an MPA, with a focus on education, from the Kennedy School of Government. Her business career includes three years at The Boston Consulting Group and two years at the New York private equity firm, New Mountain Capital. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of North Carolina where she was a Morehead Scholar. She is a native Washingtonian.
Maura Marino is the CEO at Education Forward DC, where she leads the organization's effort to accelerate the work of visionary education leaders to foster a city of high-quality, equitable public schools for every DC student and family. Prior to that, she served as a Managing Director in NewSchools Venture Fund’s Washington, DC office, where she led the DC Schools Fund. Before joining NewSchools, Maura was Program Director and Lead Teacher at East Palo Alto High School, a charter school in Northern California. Maura served on the steering committee for the Stanford Schools Corporation and was a member of the Stanford School of Education’s Performance Assessment Collaborative. Maura earned a BA in American Studies from Stanford University, an MA in teaching from Teachers’ College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Arthur McKee re-joined the CityBridge Foundation in 2014 as Director, Research. CityBridge is a family foundation dedicated to creating and sustaining great public schools in Washington, DC. Prior to that, he served as the Managing Director of Teacher Preparation Studies with the National Council on Teacher Quality, leading its national review of education schools. From 2000 to 2010, Arthur worked at CityBridge, overseeing the Foundation's Early Years Education Initiative - an $8M, five-year effort to expand high-quality early childhood education services in the nation's capital. Arthur received his AB in history from Princeton, and a PhD in Russian history from the University of California, Berkeley.
Frennie Nixon is a communications professional with extensive experience in project management, event planning, and television production at Lockheed Martin and Discovery Communications, among other organizations. She holds a BA from Eureka College and is obtaining an MS from the University of Maryland (expected, 2015). Frennie is the parent of a current DC Prep student.
Lawrence C. Nussdorf is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Clark Enterprises, a privately held company with extensive interests in real estate, private equity and traditional investments. He previously served as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Clark. Mr. Nussdorf serves as Director of Leidos, Inc. (NYSE:LDOS) (formerly SAIC, Inc.). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League (DC Chapter), a Trustee of WETA and the United Jewish Endowment Fund of Greater Washington, a Director of the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation and a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Penn Institute for Urban Research. He previously served on the Boards of Clark Construction Group, LLC; Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POM); Capital Source, Inc. (NYSE:CSE); as well as numerous DC-area nonprofits, and is a former Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Nussdorf is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association and is also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive status). He received his BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, his JD from Rutgers School of Law, and an LLM (Tax) from Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Nussdorf is the recipient of the Alumni Award of Merit from the University of Pennsylvania and the Outstanding Director Award from the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Carol Pensky is the co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee and a philanthropist committed to causes and organizations in support of social justice issues. In addition to her longtime involvement with DC Prep, she is also a Board member and leader of the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing.
Valerie Rockefeller Wayne is a philanthropist and former middle school special education teacher specializing in adolescents with learning and emotional disabilities. She taught in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, after beginning her teaching career with three years at Central Park East Secondary School in East Harlem, New York. Valerie has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, an MEd in special education from Bank Street College of Education, and an MAT from Columbia University Teachers College.