LVP Advisory Board - Digital Promise

LVP Advisory Board

  • Dylan Arena – Founder and Chief Learning Scientist, Kidaptive
  • Maya Gat- Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Branching Minds
  • Mike Ghilani- Superintendent of West Jefferson Hills School District
  • Michael B. Horn- Co-Founder and Distinguished Fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute
  • Mary Helen Immordino-Yang- Professor of Psychology, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California
  • Bruce McCandliss – Professor, Stanford University Graduate School of Education
  • Erin Mote- Co-Founder and Executive Director, InnovateEDU; Co-Founder, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School
  • Todd Rose -Lecturer on Education and Director of the Mind, Brain, and Education Program, Harvard University; Co-Founder, The Center for Individual Opportunity
  • Tom Vander Ark- Chief Executive Officer, Getting Smart

With special thanks to the support from

  • Dr. James Basham – Associate Professor, University of Kansas; Co-founder, UDL-IRN
  • Steve Nordmark – Chief Development Officer, UDL-IRN
  • Mike Smith – Former Dean, Stanford University Graduate School of Education; Former Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education
  • Dr. Jutta Treviranus – Full Professor, Ontario College of Art and Design University



Dylan Arena, Ph.D., is a learning scientist with a background in cognitive science, philosophy, and statistics. He has studied, presented, and written extensively about game-based learning and next-generation assessment. Dylan started out as a software developer at Oracle, but after a few years he returned to graduate school at Stanford, where he spent several years as a MacArthur Emerging Scholar in Digital Media and Learning. Dylan has also been a Gordon Commission Science and Technology Fellow, a Stanford Graduate Fellow in Science and Engineering, a Gerald J. Lieberman Fellow, a FrameWorks Fellow, and a United States Presidential Scholar. Dylan has earned a bachelor’s degree in Symbolic Systems, a master’s in Philosophy and a master’s in Statistics, and a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology Design (in the program for Developmental and Psychological Sciences), all from Stanford University.

Maya Gat is a Co-Founder of Branching Minds, Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. More to come…

Mike Ghilani, Ph.D., is the current superintendent of West Jefferson Hills School District near Pittsburgh, PA. He is the former superintendent of Mountour School District. More to come…

Michael B. 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 is the co-founder of and a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a non-profit think tank, and he serves as a principal consultant for Entangled Solutions, which offers innovation services to higher education institutions. 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. 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. he holds a BA in history from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD, is a Professor of Psychology at the Rossier School of Education and Associate Professor of Psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute, and a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program Faculty at the University of Southern California. She studies the psychological and neurobiological bases of social emotion, self-awareness and culture and their implications for learning, development and schools. A former urban public junior high school science teacher, she earned her doctorate at Harvard University. Immordino-Yang was elected 2016-2018 president of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society by the society’s membership ( She is serving as a distinguished scientist on the Aspen Institute’s National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development. She is the author of Emotions, learning and the brain: Exploring the educational implications of affective neuroscience.

Bruce McCandliss, Ph.D., is currently a full professor at Stanford University in the Graduate School of Education, and head of the Educational Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory.  His research uses the tools of developmental cognitive neuroscience to study individual differences and educational transformations in the key cognitive skills such as attention, language, literacy and mathematics. After earning his PhD at the University of Oregon in 1997 under the mentorship of Michael Posner, he pursued postdoctoral training at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, an interdisciplinary center combining University of Pittsburg’s Learning Research and Development Center and Carnegie Mellon University.  In 1999 he became one of the founding faculty members of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology at Cornell University’s Medical College in New York City, where he was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) for his work in linking early literacy interventions to brain mechanisms.  In 2009 he accepted the Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair at Vanderbilt University.

Erin Mote is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of InnovateEDU, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit focused on closing the achievement gap through the development of innovative models and tools that serve, inform, and enhance teaching and learning. In this role, Erin leads the organization and its major projects including technology development, work on data interoperability, an urban-education Fellowship for new educators, support for the growth of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools, and an afterschool program in downtown Brooklyn. She leads the development of Cortex, a next generation learning platform, student information system, and formative assessment engine that supports personalized learning. Erin is also the co-founder of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School. She is a recognized leader in technology, mobile, and broadband and has spent much of her career focused on expanding access to technology in the US and abroad. She has led ground-breaking initiatives, including scaling wireless communications to the developing world, developing strategic technology plans, and work with Intel, Cisco, Google and HP. Erin has served in an advisory capacity to the White House/OSTP’s US Ignite Initiative, the President’s Global Development Innovation Policy, the State Department’s TechCamp program, and the Obama Administration’s intra-agency process for Rio 2.0 and Rio+20. Erin served as the founding Chief of Party for the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance – a $19.5 million global technology expansion project. Erin served in senior positions with CHF International and Coulter Companies after starting her career in as the Director of External and Strategic Relations for Arizona State University. A recognized leader in alliance building, Erin has facilitated working groups and has served in an advisory capacity for several leading international organizations, including the Clinton Foundation, GSMA, and the Business Center for Civic Leadership at the US Chamber. A recognized leader in technology and development, emerging markets, and public private partnerships, Erin is an Aspen Institute Socrates scholar. She has an MPA from Arizona State and is a proud alumnus of the University of Michigan.

Todd Rose, Ph.D., is the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he leads the Laboratory for the Science of the Individual, and an associate faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He is also the co-founder of The Center for Individual Opportunity, a non-profit organization that promotes the principles of individuality in work, school, and society. He is the author of The End of Average. After dropping out of high school, he obtained his GED and started attending night classes at a local college. He eventually received his Doctorate in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. His talks have been featured at SXSW, TedX, Google, the Aspen Ideas Festival, and Apple.

Tom Vander Ark is a recognized advocate for powerful learning experiences. As CEO of Getting Smart, he advises school districts and networks, education foundations and funders and impact organizations on the path forward. A prolific writer and speaker, Tom is author of Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing the WorldSmart Cities That Work for Everyone: 7 Keys to Education & Employment; and Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning. He has published thousands of articles, co-authored and contributed to more than 50 books and white papers. He writes regularly on his Education Week blog, Vander Ark on Innovation, and contributes to, Medium, HuffPost and LinkedIn. Previously, Tom served as the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also served as a public school superintendent in Washington state and has extensive private sector experience. Tom co-founded the first education venture fund, Learn Capital. Tom is Board Chair of Charter Board Partners, Director for 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, eduInnovation and Imagination Foundation and Advisor for One Stone and Teton Science Schools. Tom received the Distinguished Achievement Medal and graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. He earned an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Denver, and continues his education online.

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