Executive Director of the Network for Public Education
Before joining the Network for Public Education as executive director, Carol Burris spent 15 years as a high school principal, during which time she received the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from the School Administrators Association of New York State as well as the New York State High School Principal of the Year Award from the National Association of Secondary School Principals. She has written three books and is also a fellow of the National Education Policy Center.
Michael T. Cahill
President of Brooklyn Law School
Michael Cahill is the President of Brooklyn Law School. Cahill’s scholarship focuses primarily on criminal law, though he has also written about and taught courses in health law and policy. His criminal-law work includes three books written with Paul H. Robinson: the general one-volume treatise Criminal Law (Aspen, 2d ed. 2012), the student casebook Criminal Law: Case Studies and Controversies (also with Shima Baradaran Baughman; Wolters Kluwer, 4th ed. 2016), and Law Without Justice (Oxford University Press, 2006). Cahill’s work has also appeared in the Northwestern University Law Review, Texas Law Review, Iowa Law Review, Washington University Law Review, and American Journal of Law and Medicine, among other publications.
Shari L. Camhi
President-elect of the American Association of School Administrators
Shari Camhi is the 2021-22 President-elect of the American Association of School Administrators, the organization that represents over 13,000 public school superintendents. As superintendent of the Baldwin Union Free School District, Ms. Camhi has seen the graduation rate rise to 98%. Her dedication to technological innovation earned her the ISTE Sylvia Charp Award as well as national recognition by the National School Public Relations Association as a “New Superintendent to Watch.”
President of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators
An award-winning New York City educator, Mark Cannizzaro has been president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators since 2017. Before being appointed president of CSA, Mr. Cannizzaro served in the organization as secretary and executive vice president, and he was instrumental in the collective bargaining negotiations. He also holds leadership positions in the New York State Federation of School Administrators and the American Federation of School Administrators.
Geoffrey Canada and Kwame Owusu-Kesse
President and Chief Executive Officer of Harlem Children’s Zone
Having worked with the Harlem Children’s Zone for more than 30 years, Geoffrey Canada is renowned around the world for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a thought leader and passionate advocate for education reform. Geoffrey Canada grew up in the South Bronx in a poor, sometimes violent neighborhood. Despite his troubled surroundings, he achieved great academic success, receiving a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. After graduating, Mr. Canada began his life’s work helping children who, like himself, grew up in poor, distressed neighborhoods. Under Geoffrey Canada’s visionary leadership, HCZ became a national model of place-based innovation. In 2006, Mr. Canada was selected by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to serve as co-chair of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, which was responsible for formulating a plan to significantly reduce poverty. He is also an advisor to and board member of several nonprofit organizations.
Kwame Owusu-Kesse is Chief Executive Officer of Harlem Children’s Zone, a nationally acclaimed anti-poverty organization that has pioneered the field of comprehensive, place-based services. Owusu-Kesse serves as a multi-sector leader across private, public, and social domains with demonstrated expertise in cross-disciplinary management, financial analysis, social innovation, fundraising, community building, and socioeconomic mobility. As CEO of Harlem Children’s Zone, Owusu-Kesse oversees the organization’s comprehensive programming, ranging from life-shaping early development and innovative education programs to community health and wellness and outreach initiatives. He is also responsible for leading the implementation of a multifaceted five-year strategic plan that leverages HCZ’s program data to refine its strategies, pursue innovative solutions to further improve participant outcomes, create efficiencies to reduce costs without reducing effectiveness, and improve operations and procedures in several key areas.
Director of the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice
Natasha Capers is the mother of two boys, ages 17 and 15, who are poised to be the next generation of black liberation leaders; they are a native of Brownsville, Brooklyn; and the Director of the New York City Coalition for Educational Justice. Having attended public school in District 23 and attended Thomas Jefferson High School, they know firsthand the problems and the promise of NYC public schools, especially those in under-resourced communities. Natasha has served as School Leadership Team Chair, Parent Association President and Vice President for the District 23 Community Education Council. Natasha began their work with CEJ when their children’s school was placed on the NYC Department of Education’s list for closure. After a successful campaign to prevent the closure of that school, they became a dedicated CEJ parent leader before taking on the role of Coordinator.
Board Member of the Coalition of Community Charter Schools
Michael Catlyn is on the Board of the Coalition of Community Charter Schools. Since 2008, he has also served as the vice chairperson of Brooklyn Charter School, the first charter school to be authorized by the Department of Education. As a father of four children, Mr. Catlyn is committed to education reform and advocacy for charter schools. He has engaged in conversations with elected officials and has also written about underprivileged students in New York City.
Superintendent for the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Queens
Thomas Chadzutko, Ed.D., serves as the superintendent of Catholic School Support Services for the Catholic Schools of Brooklyn and Queens. Superintendent Chadzutko oversees a network of schools committed to providing a solid educational foundation for students by prioritizing STEM programs and small class sizes, and offering a comprehensive model of education founded on faith, rigorous academics, and community.
Kimberly R. Cline
President of Long Island University
Dr. Kimberly R. Cline became the 10th president of Long Island University (LIU) in July 2013 and assumed leadership of one of the largest and most comprehensive private universities in the country. Dr. Cline’s tenure has seen dynamic new schools, centers, and career-ready programs launched at LIU to increase retention and graduation, attract high achieving applicants, and improve philanthropy, while exposing students to high-demand academic programs led by innovative leadership. LIU has opened the Global Institute, the Steven S. Hornstein Center for Polling, Analysis, and Policy, the Generations Institute — one of the first in the country aimed at studying Generation Z — and the T. Denny Sanford Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. These centers and programs complement new degree offerings in healthcare, education, and business. Dr. Cline has also spearheaded the establishment of the School of Arts and Communication at LIU Brooklyn.
David Coleman and Jeremy Singer
Chief Executive Officer and President of College Board
David Coleman, Chief Executive Officer of College Board, has dedicated his career to enhancing education for teachers and students alike. Mr. Coleman helped found the Grow Network, an organization that provided a variety of resources for teachers, parents, and students. He also co-founded Student Achievement Partners, a network of educators and researchers that helped develop the math and literacy standards for the Common Core.
In his capacity as president of the College Board, Jeremy Singer oversees assessment programs such as Advanced Placement and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. He has long been a leader in education organizations; before joining College Board, Mr. Singer was president of the Graduate, Pre-College, and K-12 divisions of Kaplan Test Prep, and he also held executive positions within the Grow Network and Partners in School Innovation.
Carol L. Conklin-Spillane
President of Empire State Supervisors and Administrators Association
Carol is recognized nationally as a progressive school leader for her achievements in developing school programs and practices that transform teaching and learning and lead to high graduation rates. She is the recipient of the 2019 Distinguished Service to Education Award by the National Association of Secondary School Principals in recognition of her efforts to significantly improve and strengthen education nationwide, and Pace University’s Partnership Award for her work on behalf of the teaching profession. Her work has been featured in numerous publications. A former superintendent of schools, high school principal, and special education teacher, she is now a consultant to school districts specializing in executive coaching and school leadership development. A staunch advocate for strengthening and enhancing the principalship as the key to successful schools, Carol is a member of the NASSP Faculty and President of the Empire State Supervisors and Administrators Association.
Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives
Michaela Daniel is Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, the team in the mayor’s office designed to facilitate collaboration, information sharing, and problem-solving across agencies to achieve many of the administration’s top priorities, including Pre-K for All, Census 2020, and the City’s Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity. As Chief of Staff, Michaela manages a large and diverse team, including the agencies and initiatives responsible for NYC Men Teach, the Tech Talent Pipeline, Workforce Development, the Summer Youth Employment Program, and both Learning Bridges and Summer Rising, programs designed to meet the needs of families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, Michaela was a Senior Advisor on the team, directly overseeing the city’s Pre-K expansion, as well as its work with CUNY and charter schools. In that role, Michaela directed implementation of Mayor de Blasio’s signature policy initiative, Pre-K for All, which significantly improved and expanded early childhood programs across the city.
Bill de Blasio
Mayor of New York City
Since assuming office in 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has developed and executed transformative initiatives including Pre-K for All; Paid Sick Leave; neighborhood policing; IDNYC; and Housing New York, the largest, most ambitious affordable housing plan in the nation. During his tenure, crime dipped to historic lows and police and communities were able to come together. Student test scores increased citywide and the graduation rate reached an all-time high. A five-borough economy has emerged, with a record number of jobs. New York is building or preserving affordable apartments at a pace not seen in decades and the city is ahead of its commitment to cut greenhouse emissions 80 percent by 2050.
Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York
Since 2019, Michael Deegan has served as Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York. He brings decades of instructional and administrative experience to the position, including time spent as a Catholic school principal and Deputy Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Deegan has been honored with both the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Compassionate Educator Award and the John J. Bruno Catholic Service Award.
Sharon B. DeVivo
President of Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo has been with Vaughn College since 1996 and President since 2014. She is the seventh president of the institution and the first woman. Vaughn is ranked as the number one institution in the nation in upward mobility and is the best at moving students from the bottom 40 percent to the top 40 percent in income. Dr. DeVivo has led three strategic planning efforts that have transformed the College from primarily a training institution to one that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in aviation, engineering, management and technology. In 2020, Dr. DeVivo was appointed as the chair of the United States Department of Transportation Youth Access to Aviation Jobs in America Task Force. She also serves on the board of The Wings Club, Cradle of Aviation Museum, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, International Aviation Women’s Association Advisory Board, and as liaison to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Women in Engineering Committee and the Educational Activities Board.
President of New Visions for Public Schools
After beginning his career as an ESL and social studies teacher in New York City’s public school system, Mark Dunetz first joined New Visions for Public Schools in 2006. His early work at New Visions included developing a certification program for aspiring school administrators as well as building a program for underrepresented students to secure employment in the television and film industries. Dr. Dunetz served as vice president of New Visions from 2013 until he was named president in 2016.
Berenecea Johnson Eanes
President of York College
After serving as interim president of York College during the 2019-2020 academic year, Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eanes received a permanent appointment. Even within a short time at York College, Dr. Eanes has made immense contributions, including establishing an emergency fund to provide assistance to students who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Eanes has also demonstrated her commitment to growing York College as “One York,” a unified body where every student is welcome and valued.
President of Math for America
John Ewing joined MƒA in early 2009 as President. MƒA is a New York City nonprofit organization that builds communities of mathematics and science teachers. Their teacher fellowship model is based on the belief that collaboration, continued learning, and genuine respect enables teachers to grow professionally and provides long-term career satisfaction. Before joining MƒA, Ewing served as Executive Director of the American Mathematical Society for nearly 14 years. With a staff of over 200 employees in four offices and over 32,000 members, the AMS is a major publisher of mathematics research and the largest mathematics research society in the world. Ewing previously was professor of mathematics at Indiana University from 1973-1995, where he also served as Chair of the department for two terms. He has held visiting positions in the mathematics departments of Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia, Newcastle University, and Göttingen University.
Deputy Chief Academic Officer in the Division of Specialized Instruction in the New York City Department of Education
Christina Foti serves as Deputy Chief Academic Officer overseeing citywide special education support and implementation. The work of her division reaches over 300,000 preschool and school-aged students and their families in various schools within the district, charter, and nonpublic sectors. Her leadership and collaboration with global partners earned NYC’s work in special education to be recognized as best practices on an international level. Under her leadership, the Department of Education opened five borough-based Transition and College Access Centers, developed systems and structures to support students with Individualized Education Programs in charter schools, expanded preschool special education programming as well as specialized programs for students with autism, intellectual disabilities, bilingual special education needs, and physical accessibility needs, while prioritizing family empowerment. Christina holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Vassar College, a master’s Degree in Special Education from City College, and a postgraduate degree in Educational Leadership from Hunter College. She is currently a doctoral student at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Kirsten John Foy
Founder of The Arc of Justice
Reverend Kirsten John Foy is a civil rights activist and founder of The Arc of Justice, an organization working to advance social, economic, and environmental justice. Reverend Foy is a graduate of the New York City public school system, and he has worked in both city and state government, where he helped organize a platform for students and parents to engage in conversations about education policy. In addition to his advocacy work in education, Reverend Foy also fights for fair labor laws, criminal justice reform, and the prevention of gun violence.
Natalie Green Giles
Mayoral Appointee to the Panel for Education Policy
Natalie Green Giles is the mayoral appointee to the Panel for Education Policy. Ms. Giles is an independent consultant who works to improve public sector organizations. For the past 15 years, she has been an advocate for public school parents, having served in leadership positions at the Community District 15 Presidents’ Council as well as the Bard High School Early College Manhattan Parent Teacher Association.
Founder and Director of the Integration and Innovation Initiative
Matt Gonzales is an educator, organizer, facilitator, and policy expert. He is founder and director of the Integration and Innovation Initiative (i3) at the New York University Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. He has been influential in the policy and advocacy for school integration and racial equity in New York City and across the country. Through his work on the NYC School Diversity Advisory group, Matt helped craft policy on school integration and has also contributed to the Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Education (CRSE) framework adopted by the New York City Department of Education. He is coordinator for New Yorkers for Racially Just Public Schools (RJPS), an education justice coalition, and serves on the Steering Committee for the National Coalition on School Diversity (NCSD). He is a former special education teacher at Bancroft Middle School in Los Angeles, and earned his master’s in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2016. He earned his bachelor’s in Urban Education and a Special Education Teaching Credential from California State University, Los Angeles, and began his higher education journey at Santa Monica Community College.
Jasmine Gripper and Zakiyah Ansari
Executive Director and Advocacy Director & New York City Director of the Alliance for Quality Education
Jasmine Gripper is the Executive Director of the statewide advocacy group Alliance for Quality Education. She initially embarked on a career as an educator, but shifted to advocacy after realizing education policies steeped in inequity were harming children and limiting their potential. In order to affect genuine change and address the growing opportunity gap, it was time for a career shift. Jasmine moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to work as a Field Organizer for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. In 2013 she then joined the team at the Alliance for Quality Education, a perfect fit to combine her background as an educator and her organizing talents. In 2016 she was named as one of City & State’s 40 Under 40 Rising Stars and in 2020 made the Education Power 100 list. Jasmine is dedicated to empowering parents, students and community members to dismantle systemic racism in education to create well resourced, high quality, culturally relevant community schools in every Black & Brown neighborhood.
Zakiyah Ansari is the Advocacy Director of the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), the leading statewide organization that has been fighting for educational justice in New York State. Zakiyah is the mother of 8 children and grandparent of 4. Zakiyah has dedicated 20 years of her life to the fight for educational justice and ending the oppression of Black and Brown people. Zakiyah was named one of City & State magazine’s “25 Most Influential in Brooklyn.” Zakiyah volunteers her time with the NY Justice League and is a member of the Resistance Revival Chorus. Zakiyah is a 2020 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity.
Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung
Co-Executive Directors of the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families
In 2017, Anita Gundanna and Vanessa Leung joined the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families as Co-Executive Directors. Anita currently serves on the Fair Student Funding Task Force, and prior to CACF worked as a consultant for small nonprofit organizations mostly serving Asian American and immigrant communities, and as the Deputy Director at the Fund for Social Change. She holds a B.S. in Psychology and an Elementary School Teaching Certification from Duke University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Social Work from Columbia University. Vanessa currently chairs the Mayor’s Panel for Educational Policy, and sits on the Advisory Panel for the Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education. Prior to that, she was the Director of Member Initiatives at Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Inc. (FPWA). She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Teachers College.