Board of Directors – Digital Promise

Board of Directors

Richard Stephens, Chair

Former Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, The Boeing Company

Richard StephensRick Stephens retired after 33 years at The Boeing Company as senior vice president for Human Resources and Administration and is co-founder of Birth2Work. During his career at Boeing, Mr. Stephens led a number of businesses with operations across the US and overseas. He has supported the National Governors Association, served on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the US President’s Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities, and the National Science Resource Center Advisory Board. Mr. Stephens has published numerous articles on workforce, education and STEM, and is co-author of the book “The System, Igniting the Soul of Commerce”. A former U.S. Marine Corps officer, Mr. Stephens is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and is an enrolled member of the Pala Band of Mission Indians serving as tribal chairman from 1988 to 1989.

Michael Trucano, Vice Chair

Senior Education and Technology Policy Specialist and Global Lead for Innovation in Education, World Bank

Michael Trucano

Mike Trucano serves as the World Bank’s focal point on the topic within the education sector and leads the World Bank’s related analytical work on under its flagship Systems Approach for Better Education Results initiative as it relates to information and communication technologies (SABER-ICT). In addition, Mike provides advice and support to World Bank country-level education projects seeking to utilize ICTs in various ways in multiple countries around the world. Mike is also the principal contributor to the World Bank’s widely readEduTech blog. Mike previously served as the ICT and Education Specialist at infoDev, the multi-donor ‘ICT knowledge shop’ housed within the World Bank’s Global ICT Department (GICT), where he coordinated activities related to information and communication technologies and the Millennium Development Goals, especially as they related to education. He also led infoDev’s work exploring the use of various low-cost ICT devices to meet developmental objectives in the social sectors, an initiative he continues to help lead from within the World Bank education sector, and managed the program’s mobile banking work. Mike brings experience working in a variety of capacities with on-the-ground ICT/education and ICT4D initiatives in several regions of the world, including feasibility studies, evaluation and assessment, teacher training and professional development, appropriate technologies and targeted policy advice, especially related to uses of ICTs in education and community telecentres.

Jean-Claude Brizard, President and CEO

Jean-Claude Brizard is President and CEO of Digital Promise, a global, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on accelerating innovation in education. He is the former Senior Advisor and Deputy Director in U.S. Programs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he focused on PK-16 education across five communities in four states. He also led several strategies to help close the racial and economic achievement gaps in Washington State’s educational system, as well as to support the growth and sustainability of the state’s public charter school sector.

He is the former Chief Executive of Chicago Public Schools. Prior to his appointment in Chicago, he was Superintendent of Schools for the Rochester City School District in New York. Under Mr. Brizard’s leadership, both the Chicago Public Schools and the Rochester City School District saw substantial improvements in student performance. Mr. Brizard’s experience also includes a 21-year career as an educator and administrator with the New York City Department of Education. He served as a Regional Superintendent, supervising more than 100 schools in the Borough of Brooklyn, and he also served as the system’s Executive Director for its 400 secondary schools. He is a Fellow of the Broad Center, a Fellow of the Pahara-Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Institute Global Leadership Network.

Trevor Brown, Director

Senior Partner, New Profit

Trevor BrownTrevor Brown currently serves as a Senior Partner at New Profit. Prior to his current role, he led New Profit’s Portfolio Investing activities and also sat on the firm’s Operating Council. Trevor is an experienced growth advisor that has worked both domestically and abroad in an array of industries and functional areas. Previously, he was a Partner at Next Street Financial, where he advised business owners and nonprofits on growth strategies, operations, and organizational development priorities. Prior to Next Street, Trevor worked at the Monitor Group, where he managed teams of consultants on strategic growth projects for Fortune 1000 clients. During his time at Monitor, Trevor also oversaw the firm’s graduate, undergraduate, diversity, and experienced-hire recruiting operations for the U.S. Trevor graduated from Tufts University with a BA in Economics and holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

Though originally from the Greater Hartford, Connecticut, area, Trevor now lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Marice; three children, Maria-Paz, Mariana, and Ian; and goldendoodle Bacon.

Karen Cator, Director

Former President and CEO, Digital Promise

Karen Cator

Karen Cator is a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research. She served as the President and CEO of Digital Promise through its expansion phase from 2013 – 2020. Previously, she was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, where she led the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan and focused the Office’s efforts on teacher and leader policies and support. Prior to joining the department, Cator directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. In this role, she focused on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators. She began her education career in Alaska as a teacher and administrator and also served as Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Governor of Alaska. Cator holds a master’s in school administration from the University of Oregon and received the 2014 College of Education Distinguished Alumni award. The American Association of Publishers awarded Cator with the 2014 Visionary Award. She received her bachelor’s in early childhood education from Springfield College and received the 2015 Distinguished Alumna award. She is an Aspen Pahara Fellow and the past chair for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills.

Sarah EchoHawk, Director

CEO, American Indian Science and Engineering Society

Headshot of Sarah EchoHawkSarah EchoHawk, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, has been working on behalf of Indigenous people for over 20 years. She has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at AISES, an organization dedicated to Advancing Indigenous People in STEM, since 2013. Prior to joining AISES, Ms. EchoHawk was the Executive Vice President of First Nations Development Institute, a national nonprofit organization with a focus on economic development for Indigenous people. Ms. EchoHawk also served as the interim CEO for the organization’s subsidiary, First Nations Oweesta Corporation, a community development financial institution (CDFI), during its management transition in 2010.

Before joining First Nations Development Institute, Ms. EchoHawk spent several years working for the American Indian College Fund raising support for tribal colleges and universities. During her tenure there, she served in many areas including operations, program management, communications, foundation relations, and individual giving. Ms. EchoHawk was an adjunct professor of Native American Studies at Metro State University of Denver for nine years where in addition to teaching introductory Native American studies courses, she also taught Native American Politics and co-taught Native Americans and Law with her father, John Echohawk, who co-founded the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) in 1970.

Ms. EchoHawk serves/has served on several boards and committees for multiple organizations and initiatives including the American Indian Policy Institute, Last Mile Education Fund, National Girls Collaborative, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Native Ways Federation, Red Feather Development Group, and Women of Color in Computing Research. She is also a member of the ad hoc committee at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a project addressing the underrepresentation of women of color in tech and serves as PI/Co-PI on multiple National Science Foundation (NSF) grant funded projects. Previously, she served as an Ambassador for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Minorities in Energy Initiative.

Ms. EchoHawk has a Master of Nonprofit Management (MNM) degree from Regis University and an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Native American Studies from Metro State University of Denver. She attended law school at the University of Colorado and completed additional graduate coursework in applied communications at the University of Denver.

Isa Ellis, Director

Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Isa Ellis headshotIsa Ellis is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading a portfolio that focuses on expanding equitable education and employment pathways that lead to economic opportunity and mobility for youth who have been historically marginalized. Prior to joining the foundation, Isa was national vice president at Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA), where she launched the organization’s first national postsecondary and workforce development strategy to increase access to career readiness and credentialing opportunities for the organization’s more than four million Club youth.

Isa’s 20-year career in education includes leading performance management and school turnaround at Chicago Public Schools; directing organizational growth at the Achievement Network; and brokering cross-sector partnerships as head of global education and workforce at the Clinton Global Initiative, where she facilitated the organization’s largest education commitment, garnering 30 partners to invest more than $600M to increase equity in girls’ education, globally.

She has served on several boards and advisory committees including UNCF Pacific Northwest, Seattle Central College, and Workforce Matters. She has been recognized and awarded for her professional and civic leadership by Athena International, the Chicago Foundation for Women, Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago, and the Global Fund for Women. She’s an alum of National Urban Fellows and Leadership Atlanta and has a M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a M.P.A. from Baruch College.

Susan Enfield, Director

Former Superintendent, Washoe County School District

Susan Enfield headshotDr. Susan Enfield is former superintendent for the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada. Serving more than 61,000 students in 103 schools, WCSD is the second largest district in Nevada. Prior to WCSD, Dr. Enfield spent a decade serving as superintendent for Highline Public Schools outside Seattle, Washington. Under her leadership, Highline worked to deliver on its promise to know every student by name, strength and need so they graduate prepared for the future they choose.

Dr. Enfield began her career in education as a high school English, ELL and journalism teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has served as chief academic officer and interim superintendent for Seattle Public Schools. Her experience also includes leadership roles in Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Washington, Portland Public Schools in Oregon and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. She was named the 2022 Washington State Superintendent of the Year by Washington Association of School Administrators, and the 2018 Superintendent of the Year by the National School Foundation Association.

A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Enfield has earned masters degrees from Stanford and Harvard University. She also holds a doctoral degree in Administration Planning and Social Policy from Harvard’s Urban Superintendents Program.

Dr. Anthony Jackson, Director and Chair of Governance and Nominating Committee

Vice President for Education at Asia Society

Dr. Anthony JacksonFor nearly 18 years, Anthony Jackson led the Center for Global Education at Asia Society, which strives to enable all students to graduate high school prepared for college, for work in the global economy, and for 21st century global citizenship. The Center is a platform for advancing education for global competence for all youth through empowering professional development for teachers and school heads, systems change, and public engagement. The Center also hosts the Global Cities Education Network, a learning community of high-performing Asian and North American urban school districts dedicated to solving common high priority problems of practice and policy. Trained in both developmental psychology and education, Jackson is one of the nation’s leading experts on secondary school education reform and adolescent development. Jackson directed the Carnegie Corporation’s Task Force on the Education of Young Adolescents, which produced the groundbreaking report Turning Points: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century, and co-authored the seminal follow-up blueprint Turning Points 2000, considered one of the most influential books on middle school reform. More recently he co-authored Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World. A second edition of this work will be published in 2022 by ASCD publications..

Michael Levine, Director

Senior Vice President of Learning and Impact, Noggin

Michael Levine headshotMichael H. Levine, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President of Learning and Impact for Noggin, Nickelodeon’s direct-to-consumer interactive learning platform for young children. An early learning and social policy expert, Dr. Levine is responsible for deepening Noggin’s value to children and families through dynamic content, partnerships, and interactive experiences developed for learning and impact. Dr. Levine previously spent 12 years at Sesame Workshop, where he served as Chief Knowledge Officer, a member of the senior executive team responsible for driving organization-wide learning, educational partnerships, knowledge exchange, and policy leadership. He is also the Founding Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a pioneering thought leader in the digital media and learning field. Previously he oversaw innovative grantmaking, strategic communications, and program design and scaling strategies for Carnegie Corporation of New York, the New York City Department of Education, the Mayor’s Office and Asia Society. Dr. Levine serves on numerous nonprofit and double-bottom line boards including the Cooney Center, JumpStart, We Are Family Foundation, and Woot Math. He received his Ph.D. in Social Policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University and his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Richard Moglia-Cannon, Director and Chair of Finance Committee

Management Consultant

Richard Moglia-CannonRichard Moglia-Cannon has been working to improve urban public schools for over 30 years. He is currently a management consultant, working to implement change, improve systems, and scale-up innovative ideas.

Previously, Mr. Moglia-Cannon was the Chief Financial Officer for the National Center on Education and the Economy and its subsidiary, the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL), from 2008-2019. Simultaneously, he was the Director of Scale-up for NISL, helping to improve the academic achievement for over 1 million students.

From 1999-2008, Mr. Moglia-Cannon was an education consultant, working with schools to improve student achievement and helping education reform organizations to scale-up their innovations.

From 1990-1999, Mr. Moglia-Cannon was the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), helping it go from a start-up to a $20 million organization. During this time, NCEE laid the ground work for the Common Core state standards, was the architect for the country’s first legislation supporting the school-to-work transition, and created the most widely used and most impactful whole school reform model

From 1981-1990, Mr. Moglia-Cannon worked for Price Waterhouse, the blue-chip accounting and management consulting firm, as an auditor and management consultant. He became one of the firm’s education experts after leading a half dozen consulting projects for large urban school districts. He passed the CPA exam in 1981.

Dr. Linda Roberts, Director

Former Founding Director of the Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education

Linda Roberts

Linda G. Roberts, Ed.D. serves as Senior Advisor to Carnegie Learning Inc., Classroom Connect, Apple Computer and several leading technology companies. Previously, Dr. Roberts served as Founding Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology from its inception in September 1993 to January 2001. From 1984 to 1993, Dr. Roberts led the research on educational technology and Senior Associate at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment. Since leaving government in January 2001, Dr. Roberts has served as Advisor, Consultant, and board director in various organizations, state and local governments, corporations, and foundations. She has served as Director in organizations such as AcademicMerit, LLC, MOUSE Inc., ProQuest Company, Wireless Generation, Inc. Voyager Learning Company, and Carnegie Learning Inc. She serves as a Trustee of the Board of the Sesame Workshop, Education Development Corporation and the Education Development Center, Inc. Dr. Roberts was a elementary school teacher and reading specialist, University Professor and Academic Dean. Dr. Roberts is the recipient of many awards, including the Smithsonian Computer World Award for Leadership in Education, the ISTE NECC 2000 Pioneer Award, the Federal 100 Award, the U.S. Distance Learning Association’s Eagle Award and the COSN Community Leader Award. Electronic Learning Magazine named Dr. Roberts ‘Technology Educator of the Decade. Dr. Roberts earned her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, her Master of Education from Harvard University and her Doctorate of Education from the University of Tennessee.

Gus Schmedlen, Director

Chief Revenue Officer at Texthelp Group

Gus Schmedlen headshotGus Schmedlen, EdD serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Texthelp Group, the global leader in assistive technology. Previously, Gus was President and Chief Revenue Officer at AI technology startup, Merlyn Mind. He formerly served as Vice President and Head of Worldwide Education at HP where he oversaw a period of rapid expansion, leading to the creation of a multi-billion-dollar global education technology business. During his tenure at HP, Gus also led international efforts to improve access to quality education for students in marginalized contexts, contributing innovation, support, and scale to help realize UN SDG4. Earlier in his career, Gus led education and public sector industry solutions units for both IBM and Lenovo.

Gus currently serves on the Board of Governors of JA Worldwide, the Leadership Council of the Brookings Institution Center for Universal Education, the advisory board of the mEducation Alliance, and the Board of Directors of the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts. He previously served in leadership and consulting positions at a range of non-profit efforts, including the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Education project, the UN Education Data Roundtable, and the Public School Forum of North Carolina. Gus was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship by former US Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell, to study human capital development systems in the European Union, focused on the democratizing force of pervasive mobile technology. He earned a BA in Classics from Colgate University, an MBA from Duke University, and an EdD from the University of Pennsylvania.

Yong Zhao, Director

Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas

Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao is a Foundation Distinguished Professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. He previously served as the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education in the College of Education, University of Oregon, where he was also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership. Prior to Oregon, Yong Zhao was University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also served as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. Yong Zhao’s works focus on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books, most recently What Works May Hurt: Side Effects in Education (2018). He has received numerous awards including the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association, Outstanding Public Educator from Horace Mann League of USA, and Distinguished Achievement Award in Professional Development from the Association of Education Publishers. He is also an elected fellow of the International Academy for Education and is recognized as one of the most influential education scholars.

The initial Board of Directors was selected by the Secretary of the Office of Education pursuant to Digital Promise’s enabling Statute. New Board members will be selected by the Board which will seek to maintain a Board of Directors that takes into consideration: various geographic regions of the Country, various professions and occupations and the talent and experiences appropriate to such a position.

In Memoriam

Lawrence K. Grossman (1931-2018)

Dr. Eamon Michael Kelly (1936-2017)

Newton N. Minow (1926-2023)


Advisory Boards

Our initiatives are guided by advisory boards made up of distinguished experts in their respective fields, including school district leaders, ed-tech entrepreneurs, research experts, and other thought leaders in education. Learn more about each advisory board from the links on this page:

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