Monica Byrne-JimenezMónica Byrne-Jiménez, Board President, is the Executive Director of University Council for Educational Administration, a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children. Mónica previously worked in a number of urban settings, including Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University, Associate Professor and Director of Educational and Policy Leadership Doctoral Program at Hofstra University, Assistant Professor and Chair of the ... More »

Monica Byrne-JimenezMónica Byrne-Jiménez, Board President, is the Executive Director of University Council for Educational Administration, a consortium of higher education institutions committed to advancing the preparation and practice of educational leaders for the benefit of schools and children. Mónica previously worked in a number of urban settings, including Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University, Associate Professor and Director of Educational and Policy Leadership Doctoral Program at Hofstra University, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Graduate College of Education Faculty Senate at University of Massachusetts Boston, K-6 bilingual teacher, Even Start coordinator, literacy instructional specialist, and as a trainer for the Accelerated Schools Center where she facilitated school and district improvement. She was co-developer of Northeast Consortium for Superintendent Leadership Advancement for early career superintendents. Mónica is coauthor of Developing Effective Principals Through Collaborative Inquiry. Her other work has also appeared in Leadership and Policy in Schools Journal, Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, Handbook of Research on Educational Leadership for Diversity and Equity, Voices in Urban Education, and other on-line sources. She serves on the Executive Committee of the University Council for Educational Administration, the Board of Umoja Project, and as President of the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University. B.A., M.A., Ed.D.

Harouna Ba served as Director of SciPlay at New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). Harouna has extensive experience in investigating children’s development of digital literacy skills and the impact of complex science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs in formal as well as informal educational settings. Previously, he led several research and evaluation projects about technology and STEM at the Education Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology. Through this research, he helped inform the processes that institutions use to provide quality and ... More »

Harouna Ba served as Director of SciPlay at New York Hall of Science (NYSCI). Harouna has extensive experience in investigating children’s development of digital literacy skills and the impact of complex science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs in formal as well as informal educational settings. Previously, he led several research and evaluation projects about technology and STEM at the Education Development Center’s Center for Children and Technology. Through this research, he helped inform the processes that institutions use to provide quality and effective learning opportunities to underserved children and adults. Harouna designed, conducted, and managed rigorous quantitative and qualitative research projects focused on the implementation of technology infrastructure and support in K-12 systems statewide and the use of technologies to enhance teaching practices and promote student learning across formal and informal settings. Harouna has an interdisciplinary educational background in the social sciences and humanities with a special focus on children’s exploration of places and learning across multiple settings. B.A., M.A. (2), M.Ph., Ph.D.

Joanne BradyJoanne Brady, Board Secretary, is an expert in translating research into programs, curricula, and tools for practitioners and policymakers concerned with educational improvement. At Education Development Center (EDC), Joanne conducted policy analyses and other studies to enable states to plan for more coherent early education systems. With the Open Society Institute, she designed and delivered technical assistance and professional development to countries that were a part of the former Soviet Union. She worked with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to ... More »

Joanne BradyJoanne Brady, Board Secretary, is an expert in translating research into programs, curricula, and tools for practitioners and policymakers concerned with educational improvement. At Education Development Center (EDC), Joanne conducted policy analyses and other studies to enable states to plan for more coherent early education systems. With the Open Society Institute, she designed and delivered technical assistance and professional development to countries that were a part of the former Soviet Union. She worked with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards to create and launch the first, national performance assessment to identify and credential accomplished teachers of children ages three to eight. Joanne founded and led the Learning and Teaching Division that organized all of EDC’s domestic education programs and 350 staff into five centers of excellence and, as a Senior Vice President, she worked to advance EDC’s impact and improve the quality and equity of education. Prior to her retirement from EDC, Joanne was instrumental in creating initiatives that focus on STEM education, including the Oceans of Data Institute and the Massachusetts Computing Attainment Network. She also served as a technical advisor to IES’s Regional Educational Laboratory-Northeast & Islands, and has presented her own research at the American Educational Research Association, National Governors’ Association, the International Conference of Civics Education Research, and Society for Research on Child Development. She is the author of numerous reports, articles, assessments, book chapters, and monographs. B.A., M.Ed.

Cynthia Char is the Principal of Char Associates, an educational consulting firm based in Montpelier, Vermont with clients throughout the United States, and specializing in the design and evaluation of educational programs and products. She began her research career at Harvard Project Zero and Children’s Television Workshop. Prior to establishing her consulting firm, Cindy was a senior associate in research and design at both Bank Street College’s Center for Children and Technology in New York and the Education Development Center (EDC) in Newton, Massachusetts. Her evaluation ... More »

Cynthia Char is the Principal of Char Associates, an educational consulting firm based in Montpelier, Vermont with clients throughout the United States, and specializing in the design and evaluation of educational programs and products. She began her research career at Harvard Project Zero and Children’s Television Workshop. Prior to establishing her consulting firm, Cindy was a senior associate in research and design at both Bank Street College’s Center for Children and Technology in New York and the Education Development Center (EDC) in Newton, Massachusetts. Her evaluation work includes developing and overseeing formative research and process evaluations to help organizations maximize the educational value and effectiveness of their programs and products, and outcomes-based and summative evaluations to assess programs’ educational impact and outcomes. Cindy’s particular areas of expertise include learning in formal and informal learning settings (schools, colleges, museums, libraries, zoos, parks, community-based organizations), educational media and technology, and student learning and professional development in science and mathematics. Among her current evaluation projects, she is a senior research advisor for Change the Story, a systemic change initiative promoting the economic well-being of women in Vermont. Cindy has a background in human development and learning. B.A., Ed.M., Ed.D.

Michelle Feist is a Senior Program Officer on the K–12 Education Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she manages a portfolio of grants focused on increasing the numbers of Black, Latino/a, and low-income students who are on-track to complete high school and succeed in postsecondary. Michelle has over 20 years of experience leading various portfolios of projects supporting secondary school reform, youth engagement, and systemic change initiatives. Previously, she served as Director of the Department of School and Community Services and in other senior level ... More »

Michelle Feist is a Senior Program Officer on the K–12 Education Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she manages a portfolio of grants focused on increasing the numbers of Black, Latino/a, and low-income students who are on-track to complete high school and succeed in postsecondary. Michelle has over 20 years of experience leading various portfolios of projects supporting secondary school reform, youth engagement, and systemic change initiatives. Previously, she served as Director of the Department of School and Community Services and in other senior level positions at Family Health International (FHI 360). She has developed and managed numerous multi-million dollar federal contracts and grants, leading diverse teams of experts within and across organizations to produce high quality technical assistance products and services. She has also provided programmatic and grantee support to several large education-focused foundations. She has worked with hundreds of schools and districts across the country to implement continuous improvement processes that analyze data and refine school-wide and individual student interventions. B.A., M.P.A.

KohnGerald Kohn, Board Vice President, is an educational author who served as the Superintendent of the Harrisburg Public Schools in Pennsylvania from 2001–2010. Under his leadership, this 9,000 student urban school system increased its graduation rates by 171% and post-secondary acceptances by 419%, while reducing dropouts by 53% and doubling the percentage of students passing state tests. Also during his term, the district was selected by Harvard Business School for the Public Education Leadership Project as one of nine urban districts in America that demonstrated national ... More »

KohnGerald Kohn, Board Vice President, is an educational author who served as the Superintendent of the Harrisburg Public Schools in Pennsylvania from 2001–2010. Under his leadership, this 9,000 student urban school system increased its graduation rates by 171% and post-secondary acceptances by 419%, while reducing dropouts by 53% and doubling the percentage of students passing state tests. Also during his term, the district was selected by Harvard Business School for the Public Education Leadership Project as one of nine urban districts in America that demonstrated national level improvement and the preschool—implemented under the Kohn Administration—was recognized nationally and served as the basis of state legislation to support preschool for at-risk children statewide. Jerry previously served as Superintendent of the Vineland Public School District in New Jersey, Bensalem Township School District in Pennsylvania, Millburn Township Public Schools in New Jersey, and Triton Regional School District in Massachusetts. As Director of Desegregation for Cambridge Public Schools, Jerry led the development of the first voluntarily formulated desegregation plan to be approved by Massachusetts State Board of Education. He served as National President of the Suburban School Superintendents Association from 2007–2008 and won the 2009 Superintendent of the Year Award from the National Superintendents Roundtable. B.A., M.A.T., Ed.D.

RamirezAlfred Ramirez is the Principal Consultant and Owner of Diverse Strategies. He previously served as Director of Operations at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. Alfred has held several White House appointments, including Special Assistant to the President as Associate Director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel; Senior Advisor at the Corporation for National Service; and Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans at the U.S. Department of Education. Alfred began his career as faculty adviser ... More »

RamirezAlfred Ramirez is the Principal Consultant and Owner of Diverse Strategies. He previously served as Director of Operations at the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute. Alfred has held several White House appointments, including Special Assistant to the President as Associate Director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel; Senior Advisor at the Corporation for National Service; and Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans at the U.S. Department of Education. Alfred began his career as faculty adviser and assistant director of admissions and minority recruitment for Columbia University. He was special assistant to former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros and a corporate recruiter and human resource specialist at Transamerica. After serving as managing director for INROADS Los Angeles, Alfred directed a $3-million Mattel Foundation initiative to involve parents and community members in their schools. He served as President of the National Community for Latino Leadership; Executive Director of Diversity Focus; Principal Consultant for diversity initiatives at ACT, Inc.; President of the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Vice President of Government Relations and Diversity at Group O. A W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Leadership Fellow and a National Urban Fellow, Alfred was selected as one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s 100 Influentials and was selected by the Des Moines Register newspaper as one of Iowa’s Top Influentials. He currently serves on the boards of Iowa Public Television, National Latino Children’s Institute, the local YMCA, and the Johns Hopkins University Leadership Management Program. He is also a former member of the Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs and the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN). B.A.

RandolphHelen Randolph, Board Treasurer, is an Instructor at Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA. Helen is a former elementary school teacher and previously served as Director of Gifted and Talented Programs for the Newton Public Schools. Helen has been an Instructor at Old Westbury College and State University of New York at Stony Brook where she taught courses in Afro-American history. She led parent trainings for the Detroit Board of Education and served as a Consultant for McGraw Hill. As a Research Associate for the Center for Urban Education in New York City, Helen developed ... More »

RandolphHelen Randolph, Board Treasurer, is an Instructor at Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA. Helen is a former elementary school teacher and previously served as Director of Gifted and Talented Programs for the Newton Public Schools. Helen has been an Instructor at Old Westbury College and State University of New York at Stony Brook where she taught courses in Afro-American history. She led parent trainings for the Detroit Board of Education and served as a Consultant for McGraw Hill. As a Research Associate for the Center for Urban Education in New York City, Helen developed curriculum on cultural histories of Chinese-Americans and Afro-Americans. She served as Research Coordinator for Hunter College where she led the evaluation of consumer practices in New York City, Miami and San Diego. Her community involvements include Member and Chair of federal funding, Central Islip, New York School Board; Panelist, WLIB radio, programs on education and employment; and Board of Managers, YMCA, Greater South Bay Area, New York. B.A., M.A., Ph.D. candidate.

SlotnikWilliam Slotnik, Chief Executive Officer, has overseen the growth of CTAC into one of the nation’s foremost providers of technical assistance, evaluation services, and policy support in the fields of education and community development. CTAC annually assists more than 90 organizations, school districts, and state departments of education. Bill provides extensive assistance to state education agency leaders, superintendents, state and local boards of education, unions, and leadership teams throughout the United States. He leads capacity building assistance and evaluation ... More »

SlotnikWilliam Slotnik, Chief Executive Officer, has overseen the growth of CTAC into one of the nation’s foremost providers of technical assistance, evaluation services, and policy support in the fields of education and community development. CTAC annually assists more than 90 organizations, school districts, and state departments of education. Bill provides extensive assistance to state education agency leaders, superintendents, state and local boards of education, unions, and leadership teams throughout the United States. He leads capacity building assistance and evaluation initiatives nationally which address such issues as systemic reform, instructional improvement, human capital recruitment and development, teacher and administrator evaluation, compensation reform, preK-12 STEM, state-to-school and state-to-district initiatives, and transforming underperforming schools, as well as comprehensive community revitalization. He has been the lead or co-lead author of numerous evaluations (including the first comprehensive, longitudinal evaluative studies of the impact of performance-based compensation on student achievement, teacher effectiveness, and systems change) and articles, and provides briefings to members of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, state legislatures and departments of education, and the media. B.A., Ed.M.

Brian Stephens is an executive leader who served as Superintendent of the Tracy Unified School District in California from 2014–2022. During his tenure, he spearheaded Tracy’s landmark PreK-12 system STEM initiative. He also brought financial security to the district, raised performance standards for employees, and secured more than $20 million in grant funding to implement STEM across all grades and subjects. Brian previously served as Superintendent of the Delhi Unified School District where he forged exemplary union-management collaboration and implemented a breakthrough ... More »

Brian Stephens is an executive leader who served as Superintendent of the Tracy Unified School District in California from 2014–2022. During his tenure, he spearheaded Tracy’s landmark PreK-12 system STEM initiative. He also brought financial security to the district, raised performance standards for employees, and secured more than $20 million in grant funding to implement STEM across all grades and subjects. Brian previously served as Superintendent of the Delhi Unified School District where he forged exemplary union-management collaboration and implemented a breakthrough model which linked instructional improvement and support to performance-based compensation. He has also served as assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal, and teacher. Brian is an adjust professor at California State University, Stanislaus. His community involvements include serving as a board member of the Tracy Boys and Girls Club and Tracy Chamber of Commerce; and president of the board of the Humboldt Child Care Council. B.A., M.A., Ed.D.