Speakers will appear here as they are confirmed.
Venture Partner and Senior Advisor, Advisor
Nana serves as a venture partner and senior advisor to major PE firms. Until October Nana served as the President and CEO of McGraw-Hill and a member of its Board of Directors. Nana shepherded a rapid transformation of the global and iconic education business, and was instrumental in initiating, structuring and facilitating its merger with Cengage Learning – as announced in May, 2019.
Previously, Nana was group president of Verisk Analytics, overseeing Verisk Financial Services (including Argus, LCI, G2, Lafferty and Fintellix), Geomni, Verisk Maplecroft, Verisk Retail and Verisk Health (prior to its divestiture) businesses. He also had oversight responsibility for Verisk’s joint data and development environment and Verisk’s centralized advanced research and analytics group.
Nana has extensive experience leading, innovating and scaling analytics and technology businesses globally. He came to Verisk as part of its acquisition of Argus, where he was co-president and chief operating officer. In prior roles, he served as head of Citibank’s credit card business in the United Kingdom and as vice president of marketing at GE Capital.
Nana has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the State University of New York, a master of science degree in mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and a bachelor of science degree with honors in mathematics from St. Stephens College, Delhi. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Northern Westchester Hospital and lives in Bedford, New York, with his wife and two daughters.
Larry co-founded Amplify in 2000. He has led the invention of mobile software to help early reading teachers and next-generation curriculum for elementary and middle schools. Larry was a Rhodes scholar and a White House fellow working on educational technology at NASA, and a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow. He serves on the boards of Touch Press, the Academy of American Poets, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the Institute for Sustained Attention.
Vice President , Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
Dona Fraser is a leading privacy expert with a passion for building creative solutions to business problems. As the Vice President of the BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), Dona provides a deep understanding of the marketplace challenges facing children’s advertisers, and the complexities of children’s privacy issues. She also brings extensive experience in the self-regulation space with a track record of helping companies do the right thing. The CARU team ensures companies are compliant under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and monitors and works with companies to improve privacy protections to stay in compliance and address the collection of children’s data online. CARU was one of the first FTC approved Safe Harbor programs. Dona has overhauled and expanded CARU services to align with market needs, growing members and increasing safe harbor participants by 40 percent in two years.
Before joining BBB National Programs, Dona served as Vice President, Privacy Certified for the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory program developed by the video game industry, for ten years. In this role, Dona was responsible for providing hands-on assistance to participating companies on development of data collection and privacy practices to meet ESRB standards. She also crafted privacy best practices in several areas including mobile apps, downloadable games, short-form privacy policies, behavioral advertising and social networking. Prior to ESRB, Dona served as a Director of Business and Legal Affairs for music labels at BMG/Sony Music in New York.
Superintendent, Asbury Park School District
Mrs. Sancha K. Gray is the Superintendent of Schools for the Asbury Park School District. Her educational career began in East Orange, NJ as a sixth and seventh grade math teacher.
She is a seasoned educator with over twenty years of professional service in the public-school sector addressing the needs of students and the community. In the course of these years, she has served as a teacher and held building level and central office level administrative positions. Sancha’s leadership continues to focus on creating a culture that fosters innovative practices as well as a comprehensive district literacy initiative - Pre-Kindergarten through Twelfth grade which also includes an Adult Literacy component for parents. A comprehensive math initiative Pre-Kindergarten through Twelfth grade was added and works in tandem with literacy. She coordinates the activities of the district’s directors, supervisors and teachers and provides guidance for the principals and vice principals.
In addition, Sancha has established herself as a Public Speaker for national and international organizations like the NJASA, NJPSA, and the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). She presented on The Moral Imperative- The Need for Interventions in Washington, DC for the Alliance for Excellent Education on the impact that innovative programs have on student engagement and equity. She addresses faculties from across the country specifically focused on creating equitable learning experiences for all children with a specific emphasis on students of color in poverty.
Sancha K. Gray is a Brooklyn native whose life experiences shaped her commitment and desire to provide enriching and fulfilling opportunities for urban youth. She is involved in a number of volunteer opportunities. She serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Education for Monmouth University and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission (MOESC), is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, serves as a Commissioner on the Public Arts Commission for the City of Asbury Park, and is President for the Greater Asbury Park Democratic Club.
Sancha is the proud wife of well renowned gospel organist/keyboardist Floyd Gray Jr. and proud mother of two beautiful children, Christopher and Sierra Gray.
VP, Government Affairs, McGraw-Hill Education
Jesse Gutierrez is the vice president of government affairs for McGraw-Hill Education. He is responsible for representing the company before Congress, state, and foreign governments, and advancing education policies that support the growth of digital learning. Jesse joined McGraw-Hill Education in 2007.
Managing Director, GSV Advisors
Jason Horne is a Managing Director with GSV Advisors. Based in GSV's New York offices, Jason has spent the majority of his career as a technology investment banker focused specifically on the education and human capital management technology sectors. Jason is also actively involved with GSV's broader education and talent technology franchise, including the ASU GSV Summit and GSV AcceleraTE.
Just prior to re-joining GSV Advisors, Jason led Corporate Development for London-based TES Global, a TPG Capital-backed business. As part of the leadership team at TES Global, Jason helped to transform the organization into a leading digital education business through the execution of nine strategic transactions across the USA, Europe, and Australia.
Jason has a B.S. in Finance from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.
Executive Director, NYU Steinhardt Metro Center
Dr. David E. Kirkland is the Executive Director of The NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and The Transformation of Schools. He has also been described as an activist and educator, cultural critic and author. A leading national scholar and advocate for educational justice, Dr. Kirkland's transdisciplinary scholarship has explored a variety of equity related topics: school climate and discipline; school integration and choice; culture and education; vulnerable learners; and intersections among race, gender, and education. Dr. Kirkland taught middle and high school for several years in Michigan. He’s also organized youth empowerment and youth mentoring programs for over a decade in major U.S. cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New York. He currently leads efforts to enhance education options for vulnerable youth throughout New York City, and beyond.
Senior Advisor, Education Technology, New York City Department of Education
Jason Levy is the NYCDOE's Senior Advisor for Educational Technology for the Division of Instructional and Information Technology at the NYC Department of Education. Jason currently leads the implementation of a DOE-wide Educational Technology Program at 64 schools. Prior to designing the program, he advised NYC superintendents and principals on ed tech visioning and strategic planning. Before DIIT, Jason served for seven years as principal at IS 339, a 6th-8th Bronx middle school with a 1:1 laptop program. IS 339 was one of the first NYC schools to use Google Apps and annually hosted hundreds of educators at technology open houses. IS 339 was featured as part of Frontline's Digital Nation on PBS, and Jason presented with colleagues at numerous national conferences. His school was featured in James Lerman’s book, Retool Your School. Jason started his career as a teacher for eight years (Houston and the Bronx) and has worked in public education for over 22 years. He has a BA from Wesleyan University and a MA in Education Administration from Columbia Teachers College.
Managing Director, Achieve Partners
Mr. Pianko is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Achieve Partners. Mr. Pianko also serves as Managing Director of University Ventures. With nearly two decades of experience in the education industry, Mr. Pianko has built a reputation as a trusted education adviser and innovator in student finance, medical education, and postsecondary education. A frequent commentator on higher education, Mr. Pianko’s insights have been featured in national media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, TechCrunch, Inside Higher Ed, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Mr. Pianko began his career in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, and quickly became intrigued by the potential of leveraging private capital to establish the next generation of socially beneficial education companies. After leaving Goldman Sachs, Mr. Pianko invested in, founded, advised, or managed a number of education-related businesses. He also established a student loan fund, served as chief of staff for the public/private investments in the Philadelphia School District, and worked as a hedge fund analyst.
Mr. Pianko graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University, and holds a M.B.A. and M.A. in Education from Stanford University.
Jessica Reid Sliwerski
CEO, Open Up Resources
Jessica became CEO of Open Up Resources in May 2018, after leading our work as our Chief Academic Engagement Officer.
Jessica was the co-founder and Chief Academic Officer at the adaptive literacy software company LightSail Education. She served as the SVP for Academic Research and Development at Noodle Markets, a pioneer in the K–12 procurement space. She began her career as a Teach For America teacher in NY before becoming an Assistant Principal at Success Academy Charter Schools. Jessica’s work in K–12 education was profiled in The Wall Street Journal and Steven Brill’s book Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA and a Master’s in Education from Pace University. Jessica enjoys writing—Penguin has published her children’s book Cancer Hates Kisses—yoga, traveling with her husband, and reading to her daughter.
Managing Parnter, Oaklins DeSilva&Phillips
Robin Warner possesses 17 years US and international investment banking experience, and 20 years of high-level operational experience in education and publishing
Deals. She has closed 50+ transactions focused on EdTech, Education Services, Education Literacy Solutions, Professional Learning Services, Book Publishing, B2B Marketing Monitoring, and Healthcare.
Sr. Vice President and Managing Director, ETIN
Jill Abbott is the Sr. Vice President and Managing Director of ETIN, the Education Division of SIIA. She oversees the vision, strategy, and implementation of the work supporting members in the EdTech space.
Previously she was the CEO of Abbott Advisor Group, focusing on strategic planning and visioning and policy development for the role of educational technology in education innovation and transformation. Jill is well known to state and federal associations and government agencies involved in effectively utilizing technology to impact the teaching and learning process. She has provided policy direction and input for educational technology, assessment, professional development, technology planning, emerging technologies, data analysis, digital content, and infrastructure tools nationally.
Resources Manager, Westchester K-12 Publishing Services
Nilofer Ali is the Resources Manager for Westchester K-12 Publishing Services, responsible for the recruiting, onboarding and management of the freelance talent contracted for client projects. She joined the company in 2018 with a focus on building freelance hiring policies and practices which actively emphasize the core values of diversity, inclusion and equity. Additionally, Nilofer has implemented an internship program in coordination with colleges in the Dayton, Ohio area to increase awareness for students, particularly those from populations historically underrepresented in educational publishing, about the career opportunities available in the field. Her background is in PreK-12 education, and she has taught in private and public PreK-8 classrooms with diverse populations in urban, suburban, and virtual settings.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, TERC
Stephen D. Alkins, Jr., PhD is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (DEIO) and Co-chair of the Diversity Council at TERC. With his leadership Stephen helps craft and implement the strategic vision for diversity, equity, and inclusion at TERC and within its STEM education research projects. Stephen also collaborates with the office of the President at TERC, Senior Strategic Project Lead, and Director of Communications to incorporate goals and metrics for DEI into long-term strategies for fundraising, development, and marketing. As a spoken word and SLAM poet he has performed nationally and led lectures and workshops with students from elementary schools through college on how to utilize poetry, Hip Hop and other art forms to understand Science and Mathematics, and issues of Medicine. Most recently he conducted a workshop at the 2018 Young Men's Leadership Conference in which he used Hip-Hop to deconstruct the stigma of mental health in young men of color. Finally, he speaks at a number of K-12 schools about his research, encouraging students to pursue careers in STEAM fields.
Ashley Andersen Zantop
COO and Co-President, GreaterGood
Ashley Andersen Zantop is Chief Operating Officer and Co-President at GreaterGood, a cause commerce, media and social publisher connecting audiences with the causes they care about most. Previously, Ashley served as General Manager at Pinpoint Learning and Chief Content Officer for Capstone, a leading publisher of children's books, media, audio, digital solutions and services, literacy programs, and K-12 professional development resources for classrooms, school libraries and home. Before that, Ashley served as CEO, President and Publisher at Trudy Corporation, later Palm Publishing, responsible for the group's family of global children's imprints and media businesses. She has spent over 20 years in media, technology, publishing and retail for global consumers, education and nonprofits working in North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, the UK and South America.
Chief Executive Officer, The BLPS Group
Myron is responsible for the strategic direction of The BLPS Group. His latest initiative is the eLearning Journeys advocacy initiative in Eastern and continental Europe. Myron brings to the table 25 years of experience in educational, religious, and trade publishing, including stints in the Vatican, Rome, Ukraine and throughout the USA. You can find his profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/myroncizdyn, and information on the initiative at www.eLearningJourneys.com.
SVP of Sales & Customer Success, Revolution Foods
Alvin brings more than 20 years of experience in strategy, sales and thought leadership to help drive Revolution Foods’ next chapter of accelerated growth. Prior to joining the company, Alvin served as General Manager for Public Consulting Group’s Education Practice, Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc., and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SchoolNet, Inc. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Metropolitan Montessori School in NYC and is on the Board of Advisors for ClassCraft and Kudzoo app, two education technology companies. Alvin is a proud husband and dad of three daughters in NYC.
General Manager, Professional Services, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Amy joined HMH in 2015 through the acquisition of Scholastic’s EdTech business where she led the Marketing organization. In 2017, she was elevated to Chief Marketing Officer and oversees product marketing, field marketing, market research, an in-house agency, and digital and demand generation teams. She has more than 20 years of experience in educational technology, publishing, and media in both marketing and business development roles. Before HMH, Amy worked at several leading publishers including Scholastic, Time Inc., and Forbes. At Scholastic, Amy was VP of Marketing and oversaw the transition of Scholastic's EdTech business from single product to multiple product lines under a unified brand. Amy has a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern University.
Dr. Maurice Elias
Professor, Rutgers University
Maurice J. Elias is Professor, Psychology Department, Rutgers University and Director, Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab (www.secdlab.org). He has received the Sanford McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education and the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award for Social-Emotional Learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Books include Emotionally Intelligent Parenting,The Educator’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence and Academic Achievement: Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom, Talking Treasure: Stories to Help Build Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Young Children (www.researchpress.com), Schools of Social-Emotional Competence and Character (www.nprinc.com), The Other Side of the Report Card: Assessing Students’ Social, Emotional, and Character Development (how schools and districts can integrate SECD systematically into their ongoing student report cards--Corwin), Urban Dreams: Stories of Hope, Character, and Resilience and The Joys & Oys of Parenting (Behrman House). He writes a blog on Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) at www.edutopia.org.
Education Data and Information Systems (EDIS) Director, CCSSO
Brent Engelman serves as the Education Data and Information Systems (EDIS) Director at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). At CCSSO, Brent is responsible for leadership of the Education Information Management Advisory Collaborative (EIMAC), the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Network, and the newly formed Data Network. Previously, Brent served as the Director of Information Technology at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). During his 17-year tenure in Illinois, Brent led an education data system transformation that included the development of Ed360, a mobile friendly web application designed to empower educators with access to near real-time data. Brent also served six years as School Board President for his local district.
Founding Principal and Government Relations Practice, Arc Capital Development
Rita Ferrandino is Founding Partner at Arc Capital Development, an early stage investment and advisory firm for education and special needs markets. Rita has built a reputation as one of the most effective strategist and coalition-builders in the education community. She is a nationally recognized STEM education expert and authority on education policy and politics.
She offers more than 30 years of experience building companies and delivering strong revenue in education markets. She has served as the CEO of two Arc portfolio companies and has led company sales, acquisition, alliance and marketing efforts for traditional print, technology, and online products for some of the industry’s largest publishers.
President, Egremont Associates, LLC
Neal Goff is President of consulting firm Egremont Associates and a Senior Advisor at Oaklins, DeSilva+Phillips, a mid-market investment bank that specializes in media, technology and education. He founded Egremont Associates in 2010 after a successful 25-year career in publishing, which culminated in his serving for five years as President of the Weekly Reader Publishing Group. Egremont Associates assists clients in publishing and educational technology with strategic planning, marketing (with a particular focus on direct marketing), and partnership development. A past president of the Board of the Association of Educational Publishers, Neal also served previously as President of Scholastic Library Publishing and Prentice Hall Direct. He was a co-author of MDR's State of the K-12 Market report from 2012 to 2016 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors at Literacy Partners, a non-profit that strengthens families through a two-generation approach to education.
Executive Director, Catalyst, Penn Graduate School of Education
Dr. Michael Golden is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow at Catalyst @ Penn GSE. In this role, he directs a bold new endeavor at the University of Pennsylvania to design innovative education practices and to create and scale actionable solutions to pressing problems in education. Previously, Dr. Golden co-founded and served as CEO of Educurious, a non-profit corporation that provides problem-based courses and services. Formerly Dr. Golden served as the Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, developing systems, programs and funding to make schools more effective and efficient including the formulation and implementation of statewide education technology policies and initiatives. He also served as Corporate Vice President of Education at Microsoft and Senior Vice President at Pearson.
Superintendent, Port Washington Union Free School District
Dr. Michael Hynes works as a public school superintendent of schools, Fulbright Specialist and an associate professor of education and leadership on Long Island, NY. His mission is to spread the message of the importance of a holistic approach to educating children.
He emphasizes the importance of play, recess in schools, mental health and yoga and mindfulness in the classroom. Dr. Hynes is a former assistant superintendent, principal and teacher.
Head of Sales, Smartly.io
Trett Johnson is a social advertising expert with a proven record of helping brands execute successful and highly-customized full-funnel campaigns across leading channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Currently heading up sales and partnerships for Smartly.io, one of the largest full-feature creative and ad buying platforms, he works every day to solve the problems of cutting-edge digital advertisers and industry disruptors through smart automation and data-backed creative testing.
Director, Education Policy, Programs and Student Privacy, SIIA
Sara Kloek recently joined SIIA as Director of Education Policy, Programs, and Student Privacy. Previously, Sara was a Senior Privacy and Technology Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education working in the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer. Sara worked covered education policy for a senior member of the U.S House of Representatives and has also held positions on various statewide political campaigns in her home state of Minnesota.
CEO, Center for Educational Innovation
Senior Director, Corporate Strategy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Victor M. Lee is the Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), a global learning company and leading K-12 education solutions provider. Victor focuses on developing and implementing strategic plans that are truly actionable and founded on a deep, data-driven understanding of ed tech industry and market dynamics, key trends, and emerging themes. Most importantly, Victor positions HMH to achieve double bottom line impact, particularly on improving student outcomes. A former strategy and M&A consultant with Monitor Deloitte, Victor has advised or worked directly for, both startups and Fortune 10 companies across nearly every major industry. He specializes in creatively applying lessons and best practices across industries. Victor is also an experienced educator at the university level. He graduated with honors from the MBA program at The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and magna cum laude from Harvard College.
CEO, Educational Solutions Consulting
Doug has worked with leading ed tech entrepreneurs and district administrators for almost 20 years, developing partnerships that improve outcomes for students and help nascent organizations get their "sea legs."
As Founder and President of Educational Solutions Consulting, Doug found that there was a piece of the puzzle missing, a barrier between those who run school districts and those who start companies to help school districts. He partnered with some of the nation's most innovative educational leaders to form IEI to bridge that gap.
A Princeton graduate, Doug is a former public high school social studies teacher and ed tech business development executive who earned his Ed.M. in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
General Manager, ETIN Board Member, HITN
David Rust is a senior publishing leader with a successful record of creating, re-imagining and launching media and services for education. As head of business units at Reed Elsevier/Harcourt, Pearson, Scholastic and School Specialty, David engineered restructures of business units while refocusing them on new business ventures that have become game-changers in both consumer and school markets. In his work with Sandhill he has reoriented and restructured clients and launched initiatives in Common Core, STEM, digital, OER and global contexts, including service to all of the EngageNY nonprofits. His dedication to improving learner outcomes in diverse, low-income environments led him to chair the upgrade of AAP PreK-12’s Innovation Through Inclusion initiative, and become founding co-chair of SIIA ETIN’s Diversity committee.
Content Marketing Manager, Conductor
Christine Schrader runs the in-house content team and strategy at Conductor, an organic marketing platform. She is an experienced community organizer, avid reader, and unapologetic proponent for marketing that puts customers first, from blog content to social media to brand evangelism and beyond. Marketing to marketers (who tend to be pretty smart and see through any and all gimmicks) isn’t easy, but helping marketers connect more effectively and meaningfully with their customers and evangelizing data-driven creativity in content marketing is what she is all about.
Executive Director, League of Innovative Schools, Digital Promise
Kimberly A. Smith is the Executive Director of the League of Innovative Schools at Digital Promise leading a national network of education leaders in an effort to design, validate and scale effective innovative learning opportunities to advance equity and excellence for every learner. Ms. Smith has held leadership roles at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, PBS and Discovery Education. Ms. Smith is a Pahara Institute fellow and co-founder of the National Charter Collaborative - an initiative to support single-site charter leaders of color. She received her M.B.A from Johns Hopkins University and B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Joyce Whitby has been in educational technology for over 30 years including roles in professional development, marketing and sales. Most notably she has developed strategic instructional technology sales initiatives targeting large and urban environments for several organizations including: WICAT Systems, Jostens Learning, Scientific Learning, Apple Computer, Monarch Teaching Technologies, and the education group of West Corporation (SchoolMessenger solutions). Currently she is Global VP of Sales at Peachjar. Peachjar is the nation’s leading digital flyer system for more than 12,000 K-12 schools in the United States and Canada combined. The company’s cloud-based system enables partnerships between schools, communities and parents by making it easier to organize, distribute and receive information about extracurricular and enrichment activities for children
Founder & CEO, 2gnoMe
I am an experienced entrepreneur and founder of the 2gnō.me soft skills intelligence platform. With the 2gnō.me ("To know me") concept, my optimism about humanity and expertise in the business of technology converge to help promote awareness and learning. 2gnō.me received a Gold Award at the 2016 Re-Imagine Education for our unique approach and advanced technology aimed to strengthen teaching skills and personalize professional development for every teacher! The platform assesses soft skills, establishes a baseline of skill strengths and gaps, and connects to personalized learning from our partners to address skill gaps, at scale and with data to back it up. Before 2gnō.me, I managed the global Service Provider Program at Dell, driving recurring revenue for the software portfolio with innovative go-to-market strategies.
Jill AbbottSVP & Managing Director+1 202 422 2286
Sara KloekDirector, Education Policy+1 202 789 4448