Press Release: January 23, 2019

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

SAN FRANCISCO (January 23, 2019) – The Pahara Institute, together with the Aspen Institute, announced today the Winter 2019 cohort of the highly selective Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. These 24 leaders join a network of diverse and talented leaders who are reimagining America’s public schools.

“Now more than ever, it is important to invest in our leaders’ ability to engage in dialogue across historical divides, and to cultivate the courage to reflect deeply and act with integrity in the face of deep values tensions,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute Founder and CEO. “We are thrilled to support this new cohort of inspiring leaders, and to welcome them into the Pahara-Aspen 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 2,800 Fellows from over 60 countries who are collectively making tremendous positive change in the world.

The Winter 2019 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows are:

  • Vince Bertram, President and Chief Executive Officer, Project Lead The Way
  • Deborah Bigham, Chief Development Officer, Uplift Education
  • Kenya Bradshaw, Vice President, The New Teacher Project
  • Eduardo Briceño, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mindset Works
  • Ernesto Cantu, Executive Director, IDEA Pubic Schools – El Paso
  • Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation
  • Anne Douglass, Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation, UMass Boston
  • Michael Thomas Duffy, President, Great Oaks Foundation
  • Bree Dusseault, Executive Director, Green Dot Public Schools – Washington
  • Nora Flood, Education Director, Wend Ventures
  • Paula Garcia, Senior Vice President, Teach for America
  • Hanseul Kang, State Superintendent, DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education
  • Jessica Lindl, Global Head of Education, Unity Technologies
  • Tim Lord, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, DreamYard Project, Inc.
  • Jack Pannell, Founder and President, Five Smooth Stones Foundation, Inc.
  • Ebbie Parsons, Founder and Managing Partner, Yardstick Management
  • Charlene Reid, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Excellence Community Schools
  • Jason Rohloff, Vice President, Policy and Government Relations, The College Board
  • Eric Schwarz, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, College for Social Innovation
  • Stacey Shells, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ReGeneration Schools
  • Javaid Siddiqi, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hunt Institute
  • Kyle Wedberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, NOCCA
  • Amy Wilkins, Senior Vice President of Advocacy, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Ken Zeff, Executive Director, Learn4Life

“We are thrilled to welcome this new cohort of high-integrity Pahara-Aspen Fellows into the Aspen Global Leadership Network,” said David Langstaff, Interim Executive Vice President for the Aspen Global Leadership Network. “Our Fellows’ work to strengthen public education is what we need across America to uphold our commitment to democracy. We congratulate the new Fellows as they lead us into the second decade of the Pahara-Aspen Fellowship.”

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 2,800 Fellows from over 60 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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