Press Release: June 4, 2018

Pahara Institute Announces New Class of NextGen Fellows

SAN FRANCISCO (June 4, 2018) – The Pahara Institute announced today the Fall 2018 cohort of NextGen Fellows. These 23 leaders have been recognized for their outstanding leadership and potential to help shape the future of equity and excellence in education.

“Amplifying the voices of incredible leaders who bring racial, regional, and ideological diversity and representation to the education sector is more important now than ever before,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute Founder and CEO. “We are thrilled to welcome this talented group of NextGen Fellows, who demonstrate creative leadership and provide personal insights about how to broaden and strengthen our collective efforts to ensure we continue to move towards real equity and excellence in our public schools.”

The NextGen Fellowship is a 12-month leadership development program that aims to identify and develop a diverse group of extraordinary emerging senior leaders with the potential to strengthen and shape the future of the educational excellence and equity movement. The movement for excellence and equity in American education is at a critical juncture. As this work evolves, it is important to cultivate and support leaders who bring diverse voices and perspectives to the movement, particularly those who represent communities that are currently not well served by our public schools. By identifying individuals who can amplify underrepresented voices, and providing them with high-level leadership development and networking opportunities, this program encourages and supports those who will become senior leaders in the field and helps strengthen the educational equity and excellence movement by engaging more diverse perspectives.

Pahara Institute welcomes these NextGen Fellows:

  • Jenny Aguas, Director of Parent Engagement & Strategy, Ednovate
  • Atnre Alleyne, Founder & Executive Director, Delaware Campaign for Achievement Now
  • Jamilyn Salonga Bailey, Independent Consultant, Caylao, LLC
  • Sherri Davis, Associate, Alma Advisory Group
  • Paul Duchene, Vice President of Human Capital & Organizational Development, National Math & Science Initiative
  • Jamie Elfenbein, Executive Director, Maverick Capital Foundation
  • Maria P. Hernandez, Founder & Executive Director, VELA
  • Adrinda Kelly, Executive Director, Black Education For New Orleans
  • Randy Moore, Vice President of Postsecondary Partnerships & Innovation, HERE to HERE
  • Madelka Nuñez Osiecki, Founder & Board Secretary, Philip’s Academy Charter School
  • Christian Osmeña, Vice Chancellor for Finance & Facilities Planning, California Community Colleges
  • Antonio Parés, Partner, Donnell-Kay Foundation
  • Godfrey Plata, Director of Regional Leadership Development, Leadership for Educational Equity
  • Nithya Rajan, Vice President of Strategic Planning, Green Dot Public Schools
  • Vanessa Ramirez, Chief Operating Officer, SER-Jobs for Progress
  • Neils Ribeiro-Yemofio, Managing Director of Recruitment & Admissions, City Year – Mid-Atlantic
  • Anthony Richardson, Associate Director, Nord Family Foundation
  • Armando Somoza, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Rapport Studios
  • Vanessa Threatte, Executive Deputy Director for Best Practices & Partnerships, State University of New York Charter Schools Institute
  • Yinnie Tse, Chief of Staff, Office of Innovation & Systems Improvement, District of Columbia Public Schools
  • D’Andre Weaver, Community Superintendent, Spring Branch Independent School District
  • Joe White, Vice President of School Supports, The Mind Trust
  • Paris Woods, Co-Founder & Executive Director, College Beyond

For more detailed biographies of these NextGen Fellows, click here.

For more Information please contact: Idrissa Simmonds-Nastili, NextGen Director, Pahara Institute,

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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