Press Release: February 28, 2017

Pahara and Aspen Institutes Announce New Class of Leaders for Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship

SAN FRANCISCO (February 28, 2017) – The Pahara Institute, together with the Aspen Institute, announced today the Spring 2017 cohort of the highly selective Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. These 24 individuals join the Pahara community of leaders, which is designed to support and challenge diverse and innovative leaders who are reimagining America’s public schools.

“It has never been more important to invest in our leaders’ ability to engage in dialogue across historical divides, and to cultivate their courage to reflect deeply and act with integrity and civility in the face of deep values tensions,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We are thrilled to support this new cohort of outstanding education leaders, and to welcome them into the Pahara community.”

The Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship is a two-year, cohort-based program that identifies exceptional leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public schools, especially those serving low-income children and communities. The Fellowship provides these leaders with the unusual opportunity to step back from their demanding daily work to reflect with peers on their collective and individual impact as leaders and change agents. Fellows challenge each other to think beyond traditional silos and sector boundaries to develop strategies that enhance their effectiveness as leaders, address leadership challenges in public education, and accelerate the improvements needed to provide high quality learning opportunities for all of our nation’s children.

The Fellowship is a partnership between the Pahara and Aspen Institutes. The Aspen Institute has created a leadership development model through its renowned Henry Crown Fellowship program, which focuses on inspiring Fellows to make a lasting difference in their spheres of influence through the application of effective and enlightened leadership. Pahara-Aspen Fellows become part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, which currently includes more than 2,300 Fellows from over 50 countries who are collectively making tremendous positive change in the world.

The Spring 2017 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows are:

  • Kemi Akinsanya-Rose, Chief Operating Officer, EL Education
  • Jeremy Beard, Head of Schools, YES Prep Public Schools
  • Luzelma Canales, Executive Director, RGV FOCUS/Educate Texas
  • Susie Miller Carello, Executive Director, State University of New York Charter Schools Institute
  • Adam Carter, Chief Academic Officer, Summit Public Schools
  • Courtney Collins-Shapiro, Chief Innovation Officer, Mastery Public Charter Schools Network
  • Veronica Conforme, Chancellor, Education Achievement Authority of Michigan
  • Marco Davis, Partner, New Profit
  • Robert Enlow, President and Chief Executive Officer, EdChoice, Inc.
  • Eric Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Wanda Holland Greene, Head of School, The Hamlin School
  • Shavar Jeffries, President, Democrats for Education Reform
  • Anne Mahle, Senior Vice President of Public Partnerships, Teach for America
  • Dr. Frank Mirabal, Director of Collective Impact, Mayor’s Office, City of Albuquerque
  • Chris Papagianis, President, Paulson Family Foundation
  • Kinnari Patel-Smyth, Executive Director, KIPP Metro Atlanta Schools
  • Tory Patterson, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Owl Ventures
  • Lesley Poole, Chief Executive Officer, The SEED Foundation
  • Macke Raymond, Founder and Director, CREDO at Stanford University
  • Ian Rowe, Chief Executive Officer, Public Preparatory Network
  • Jeremy Smith, Executive Director, Rainwater Charitable Foundation
  • Chris Sturgis, Principal, MetisNet
  • Dr. Soner Tarim, Chief Executive Officer, Harmony Public Schools
  • Robbyn Wahby, Founding Executive Director, Missouri Public Charter School Commission

“This cohort of Pahara-Aspen Fellows is comprised of unique entrepreneurs from around the country,” said Peter Reiling, Executive Vice President for Leadership and Seminar Programs at the Aspen Institute. “We believe their talents and spirit are what we need to move the needle on the most complex challenges in U.S. public education, and we are delighted to welcome them into the broader Aspen Global Leadership Network.”

To access bios and photos of the Pahara-Aspen Fellows, click here

For more information please contact 

About the Pahara Institute

The Pahara Institute is a national nonprofit organization focused on supporting the sustainability, diversity, and quality of leadership for the educational excellence and equity movement. The guiding principle of the Pahara Institute is that bold improvements are needed to our public schools so that every child in America has access to the tools and skills he or she needs to be successful in life. Pahara’s programs are designed to identify leaders in education innovation, and through a time-tested dialogue approach, strengthen and sustain their efforts to bring about critical improvements to our public schools. For more information, please visit

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About the Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute has campuses in Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also maintains offices in New York City and has an international network of partners.

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About the Aspen Global Leadership Network

The Aspen Global Leadership Network is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector — currently, more than 2,300 Fellows from over 50 countries — who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, the Middle East and China

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