BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lisa Issroff, Chair
Issroff Family Charitable Foundation, Chairperson of the Board
Together with her husband David, Lisa founded and runs the Issroff Family Foundation, which provides support for children and youth across Africa and in New York City with a focus on education within a context of related services. Lisa is especially passionate about the nexus that unites youth, education, and empowerment and is committed to providing expertise and tangible support towards developing comprehensive youth focused organizations and schools primarily in Southern and East Africa.
Lisa is an involved leader and actively serves on the boards of the Agahozo Shalom, Youth Village, Educate!, Generation Citizen, Peace for Africa and Economic Development (PAD), the Advisory Board of Afrika Tikkun, and the Executive Advisors Circle of Echoing Green. She is also the New York Chapter Head and serves on the Advisory board of the African Leadership Academy.
Lisa was born and grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She graduated from Wesleyan University, spent time living in Zurich and in London and currently resides in New York City.
Gary Blank, Vice Chair
Senior Vice President of Policy, Planning and Strategy, Fidelity’s Public Affairs and Policy Group
Mr. Blank assumed his current title within the Public Affairs and Policy group in June 2012. He is responsible for setting and developing strategies across Fidelity’s public affairs functions and spearheads cross-department projects such as global public policy and coverage strategy, thought leadership, and community engagement. He also oversees a team responsible for identifying and evaluating a number of state, federal and international public policy issues – including policies related to financial services, retirement and tax. In his role, Mr. Blank helps determine what support Fidelity’s businesses and customers need from the Public Affairs and Policy Group.
Prior to joining Fidelity Investments in August 2007, Mr. Blank served as chief of staff at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President from 2005 to 2007. He was the top aide for three chairmen of the Council—Harvey Rosen, Ben Bernanke and Ed Lazear. The Council analyzes the state of the economy and advises the President and White House staff on the economic impact of various domestic and international policy issues. Mr. Blank also worked in Congress and on political campaigns for nine years in various capacities, specializing in economic and fiscal policy issues.
Director, People Strategy & Planning, Thomson Reuters
Jackie Cureton is the Director of People Strategy & Planning, reporting to the Chief People Officer at Thomson Reuters. Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya she started out her career at Barclays Bank of Kenya. She migrated to the US in 1994 and joined Thomson Reuters in June of 1998. She has continued to progress within the company holding various roles across different departments and working as Manager of Operations Effectiveness prior to her current role. In her current role, she supports the Chief People Officer and the People Function Leadership team in the achievement of the annual strategy and priorities. She has a strong background in Strategic Planning, Organizational Effectiveness, Change Management, Program Management and Collaboration across teams.
In addition to this Jackie is current co-chair for the Black Employee Network for the company. Under her combined leadership the resource group has streamlined its strategy, and launched initiatives to help build a diverse pipeline and establish TR as a choice for top diverse talent. She led the effort to bring diversity and inclusion programming and led awareness raising events over the years.
Her passion for Diversity and Inclusion expands far beyond this – she co-founded PEACC (Parents Encouraging Awareness and Community Conversations) at School of the Holy Child in Rye, NY. This group’s mission was to promote programs and activities that enriched the diversity initiatives at the school. She served as co-lead until 2014 when her daughter graduated from the school. She also served as a member of the Staff Parish Committee board for Valhalla United Methodist Church in NY. She has served on the board of Twana Twitu a non-for profit serving Aids orphans in Kenya.
Jackie lives in White Plains, NY with her daughter, Tyra, who is currently a sophomore at Wellesley College. She is deeply passionate about Africa realizing its strength and seeks opportunities to promote this agenda. She speaks English and Kiswahili fluently.
Jackie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Economics from Empire State College NY, and is currently pursuing her Executive MBA at Cornell University, class of 2017.
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Eye to Eye
David Flink is a social movement leader on the front lines of the emergent learning rights movement. He imagines a world where one day all learners will be recognized and all people will be free to succeed. Diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD at a young age, David struggled through much of his pre-college education, feeling hopeless and left out of education as a whole. Although his parents and teachers frequently told him he would be able to go to college, he would have found that message more believable if it had come from a person with a learning difference (LD) who had finished college. With that in mind, David founded Eye to Eye in 1998 while a student at Brown University. The only national mentoring movement run for and by people with LD / ADHD, Eye to Eye empowers young people with LD by giving them a mentor in school who shares that experience. It also sends them as Diplomats across the country to share their LD / ADHD stories and strategies for success and supports them as alumni as they make the transition from college to the workplace and beyond.
In addition to being Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of Eye to Eye, David sits on four national nonprofit boards: Hunt Alternatives, Generation Citizen, Dyslexic Advantage, and CAST. David was awarded a Prime Movers Fellowship sponsored by the Hunt Alternatives Fund and was elected to the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship. He was honored to receive the GQ Gentleman’s Fund Leader Award. In addition, he is an IF Hummingbird Foundation Visionary and an Advisor for The A2A Alliance and Story Shares. David holds a master’s degree in disability studies in education from Columbia University and bachelor’s degrees with honors in education and psychology from Brown University.
Chief Executive Officer, Saban Community Clinic
Julie Hudman is the Chief Executive Officer for the Saban Community Clinic, a federally qualified health center that provides comprehensive primary and preventive health and social services to underserved and low-income patients. She oversees a staff of 200 employees and three clinic locations throughout Los Angeles County. Prior to joining Saban, Dr. Hudman was the founder and principal of The Julie Hudman Group, a strategic consulting practice on health care and social policy issues with work in Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Mumbai, India. Her work encompassed program development, strategy, public policy, business development and fundraising, and communications and public awareness. Among her clients were the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Whitman-Walker Health, Kaiser Family Foundation, AccessHealth International, Reliance Foundation as well as a Visiting Professor and Member of the Board of Studies at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, India.
Dr. Hudman also worked with the District of Columbia government for Mayor Adrian Fenty — first as the Program Manager for Health and Human Services for the City Administrator and Mayor’s office, then as Director of the Department of Health Care Finance. While there, she utilized a $2 billion dollar budget while administering the District’s Medicaid Program, Children’s Health Insurance Program and the locally funded Alliance Program, which together provided health coverage to more than 225,000 residents. Dr. Hudman began her extensive health policy career working at the state level in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, as well at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, where she was Associate Director of The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and as a researcher at George Washington University’s Center for Health Policy Research.
Dr. Hudman is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and has a Masters in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. from John Hopkins University from the School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management.
Wells Fargo, Head of the Enterprise Patent Office
Michael Gallagher started his career at Wells Fargo in 1991 as a Community Development Officer sourcing construction loans for the bank’s affordable housing loan program. During a 25 year career, Michael has created and managed several businesses and programs for Wells Fargo. After building an SBA guaranteed loan program for small businesses, Michael built an “agent-banking” program through which Wells Fargo provided small business loan products to other financial institutions in the US and Canada on a private label basis. He subsequently launched small business lending in the UK for Wells Fargo. For four years 2003-2007 Michael was the senior bank executive in Asia managing teams in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In late 2012 he was selected to lead a new “intellectual property creation” program within Wells Fargo called the Enterprise Patent Office. Through the Enterprise Patent Office work, Wells Fargo has significantly increased the filing of patents on its technology and customer experience innovations.
Michael’s interest in civic engagement goes back to examples from his parents he saw growing up in New Jersey. His mother, Eleanor, pioneered as the first female member of the Bergenfield Board of Education in 1964 (when she had 4 children under the ages of 6!). Michael’s father, Arthur, served on Bergenfield’s town council in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In public middle and high schools, Michael was very active in student government, and that continued at Princeton University as an undergraduate.
As an adult, Michael’s first job was working at Ashoka-Innovators for the Public (1986-1989), after living and studying for a year in Cameroon, Africa, as a Rotary Scholar. During his financial services career, Michael has served on the following non-profit boards: a) Save the Bay (San Francisco), b) Opportunity Fund (San Jose), c) AFS-Hong Kong (American Foreign Service – student educational exchange), d) Ashoka-Japan, e) Ashoka-Korea, and, f) Generation Citizen – San Francisco.
When Michael learned that the “action civics” model of Generation Citizen requires students choose the school or local problem they will study and take action on, Michael quickly accepted the invitation to be a volunteer “judge” at a “Civics Day”. Seeing 7th grade and high school student teams in action, presenting their work at Civics Day, was both powerful and impressive. Shortly after that Civics Day, Michael began to recruit friends and colleagues to be volunteer judges. And soon joined the San Francisco local board to help Generation Citizen’s important work spread to more students and more classrooms.
Director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement
Kei is the Director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, part of Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. Kei directs CIRCLE’s mission and strategies by working with various stakeholders and overseeing CIRCLE’s key research and dissemination efforts. Kei was a key author of CIRCLE reports such as Taking the Lead: How Educators Can Help Close the Gender Leadership Gap (with NEA and AAUW), All Together Now: Collaboration and Innovation for Youth Engagement (with Commission on Youth Voting and Civic Knowledge), Pathways into Leadership: A Study of YouthBuild Graduates (with YouthBuild USA), and Civic Health and Unemployment II: The Case Builds (with NCOC), and has published in various peer-reviewed journals and books.
Kei applies her expertise in positive youth development and community psychology to youth civic and political development, and how young people of diverse backgrounds and lived experiences interact with the community and cultural contexts as they learn to participate in civic life. Kei is especially interested in providing people, organizations and communities with research that would help increase civic and political engagement opportunities for diverse and marginalized youth. Kei earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with specialization in Family and Children from Loyola University Chicago.
CEO, Peer Health Exchange
Louise serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of Peer Health Exchange (PHE), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to give teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions. They do this by training college students to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools that lack health education. Since 2003, PHE has trained 5,000 college student volunteers to reach 57,000 high school students across five cities, seeing strong initial results. Today, PHE is working to deepen impact on every teen it serves, evaluate its effect more robustly, and develop and test additional methods for impact.
Louise graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in History while co-founding Community Health Educators, the student volunteer program out of which PHE grew. She is still actively involved in Yale’s public service center, Dwight Hall, and sits on the Board of Directors of America Achieves. Louise is an Ashoka and Aspen Education fellow.
Management Consultant, McKinsey & Company
Kunal Modi is a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in San Francisco, advising organizations across sectors on strategic issues. Recently, Kunal worked through a secondment for the Obama Foundation as an advisor on program development.
Previously, Kunal worked at the national office of Teach For America and served as an AmeriCorps national service member with LIFT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping low-income Americans break the cycle of poverty. Kunal has been a vocal advocate for gender equity in the workplace. He wrote a chapter in Sheryl Sandberg’s latest book, Lean In for Graduates, called “Man Up and Lean In,” that offers observations on gender dynamics at work and what to do about them as a man.
Kunal holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, MPP from Harvard Kennedy School, and B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University.
Thomas J. Panitz
Managing Director, DebtX
Chief Operating Officer, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Margaret Poster is a senior executive with many years of experience in public and private companies, as well as in the nonprofit sector. For the past 25 years, Ms. Poster has been the Chief Operating Officer of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, a leading international law firm. Her corporate experience includes leadership and management roles for Workbench Inc., a retail chain of contemporary furniture stores, Barnes & Noble Bookstores Inc., and W.R. Grace (then a Fortune 50 company), as well as public accounting experience at PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
In the nonprofit sector, Ms. Poster served on the board of Blythedale Childrens’ Hospital from 1992 to 2011. She has also been an annual dinner vice chair for Her Justice (formerly known as inMotion) for over 15 years. Ms. Poster’s volunteer activities include numerous pro bono consulting projects on behalf of Harvard Business School Club of NY Community Partners, where she is a member of the education committee and project coordinator in that sector. She has also participated in several brainstorming sessions on behalf of Echoing Green and has been an application reviewer for its fellowship recipients.
Ms. Poster holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the University of Vermont. She is a licensed CPA in New York State and is a member of the NYS Society of CPAs and the American Institute of CPAs. She is also a member of the Financial Executives Institute and Women Corporate Directors.
Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar, Ph.D, Ed.D
Senior Advisor for Strategy and Planning at Dominican University of California
Hanna is Senior Advisor for Strategy and Planning at Dominican University of California. In this role, she is the senior officer responsible for coordinating Dominican’s planning process and directing its strategic initiatives. She also oversees Student Life, Athletics, Information Technology Services, and Institutional Research. Currently, she is developing and creating College Debate 2016, a national, nonpartisan, social media and technology program, designed to empower young voters to identify issues and help influence the national debate. The program is the result of being named a Voter Education Partner for the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Prior to her current role, she was Assistant to President at Brown University, reporting directly to President Ruth Simmons and serving on her Cabinet. Previously she worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School, and co-authored a number of business school case studies on companies such as eBay, First Union, Oracle Corporation, and Progressive Insurance. She also worked as the Assistant Director for Education at Brown’s Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. Finally, she served as President of the Brown Alumni Association from 2005 to 2007 and on Brown’s Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2009.
Hanna graduated from Brown University and later earned an A.M. and Ph.D. from Brown. She also received an Ed.M. and Ed.D. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Sylvia Rousseau
Professor of Clinical Education, USC Rossier School of Education
Dr. Sylvia Rousseau has been a professor of clinical education and urban scholar for the USC Rossier School of Education since 2006, where she teaches in the Ed.D. program, focusing on instructional leadership, diversity, and organization in the K-1 concentration. Her research interests include reforming systems and structures to organize urban schools for learning; the relationship between culture and cognition in promoting learning for all students; deepening understandings of literacy acquisition in urban schools; secondary literacy; and exploring and developing university and K-12 partnerships.
Rousseau held the title of Superintendent of Local District 7 in LAUSD from 2001 to 2005. During her tenure as Superintendent, Rousseau led four years of consistent improvement in students’ academic performance; Prior to that appointment, Rousseau held the posts of Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction and School Services, Co-Director of University-School Partnerships at UCLA, and Adjunct Professor for the Principals Institute & Teacher Education Program at UCLA. She was also appointed to the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on school reform.
From 1993 to 2000 she was the principal of Santa Monica High School, which under her leadership achieved one of the largest API gains in California. She reduced the school’s drop out rate and increased graduation and college entrance among African American and Latino students. She was lauded by teachers, students and parents for building a strong sense of community on the campus, promoting intercultural understanding and nonviolent conflict resolution, and raising academic expectations and achievement.
Director of Social Enterprise, Harvard Business School
Matt Segneri is the Director of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI). SEI‘s mission is to educate, support, and inspire leaders across all sectors to tackle society’s toughest challenges and make a difference in the world. Matt oversees the Initiative’s strategy and operations, including MBA and executive education programming, alumni and practitioner engagement, and social enterprise faculty research and curriculum support.
Prior to joining HBS, Matt served as a senior leader on the Government Innovation team at Bloomberg Philanthropies, where he led initiatives to promote public sector innovation and spread ideas among cities. He co-led the inaugural Mayors Challenge, a $9 million prize competition to inspire American cities to develop bold solutions to common challenges that expanded to Europe in 2013. He also developed and oversaw initiatives on cross-sector collaboration, evidence-based government, and innovation teams in governments around the world.
Previously, Matt served as a senior advisor to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. He joined the Mayor’s Office as an HBS Leadership Fellow and focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, service and civic engagement, and safety and security. He also worked in the Special Advisor Program at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and led projects at Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte) and Bennett Midland for clients across the private, public, and social sectors.
Matt holds an A.B. with honors in Psychology from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He led large service / social enterprise organizations at both schools. He serves on the board of directors of Generation Citizen and is a Truman Security Fellow and a Fuse Corps Advisor. He lives in Boston with his wife and two children.
Betsy Smith started her career at JP Morgan in corporate finance. She subsequently moved into the private equity business where she remained for over 15 years, first at the Prospect Group and then as managing director of the New York family office of Harry F. Oppenheimer. After a brief stint at Sotheby’s where she ran the Client Services and Finance Divisions, Betsy joined the then-new Bloomberg Administration in 2002 and stayed for the Mayor’s entire 12-year term, working closely with Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and with City Hall on a growing portfolio of public private partnerships and other private sector initiatives, as well as on a highly diversified concession and major special event portfolio. While at Parks, she also managed a number of special projects including 2 strategic planning initiatives as well as a re-branding project for the agency. Betsy retired from public service at the end of the Administration in December 2013, but has remained involved in a number of parks organizations in the city, serving on the boards of the Central Park Conservancy, Friends of the High Line, New Yorkers For Parks, and the Open Space Institute. She is also Chair of the Library of America, a not-for- profit publisher of American literature, and Vice Chair of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Betsy lives in New York with her husband Rick Cotton, formerly General Counsel at NBC Universal, and now recently appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Betsy has two daughters.
Community Volunteer in Education and the Arts
Mary Vascellaro, a 1974 graduate of Brown University and 1976 graduate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has an extensive background in retail buying and management, working for organizations such as Filenes and Lord and Taylor. She also has extensive non-profit Board experience, serving as a member of the Bay Area Advisory Board of Teach for America, a member and past chair of the Pembroke Associates Council at Brown University, a member of the Women’s Leadership Council, a presidential advisory group at Brown, a Board Member of Curving Road, a London-based organization supporting artists in their first public endeavors, and various other pursuits.
Ed currently manages Carlin Ventures, Inc. in New York City and is a founder of the Echoing Green Foundation, New Leaders, and the Four Times Foundation. He initiated and funded Dartmouth Medical School’s efforts to promote the effective functioning of the medical school in Pristina, Kosova. He served as President and Chairman of the Manhattan Theatre Club, Co-Chairman of The McDowell Colony, and Chairman of City Year. He currently serves on the board of New Profit in Boston.
Ed served as President and CEO of the New York State Urban Development Corporation from 1975 to 1977. He became a partner in McKinsey & Company in 1977, and in 1980 he was recruited to start the organization that became General Atlantic Partners. He was Managing Partner from 1980 to 1992 and Chairman from 1992 to 1995. Prior, he was an associate at Davis Polk in New York for two years and became General Counsel at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette at the age of 26. Ed received his B.A. from Amherst College in 1964 and his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1967
Chief Executive Officer, Generation Citizen
Scott is the Chief Executive Officer of Generation Citizen. He co-founded the organization at Brown University with fellow student Anna Ninan during their senior year in 2009, and has worked the last seven years to build up GC’s programming and work to expand action civics throughout the country.
Scott’s passion for the importance of youth political engagement stems from his experience growing up abroad. After his father joined the State Department, Scott lived throughout Latin America and Africa, learning about diverse cultures and peoples. In 2002, Scott served as an observer in the first truly democratic elections in Kenya’s history, where he began to recognize the transformative potential of democracy. He also witnessed a coup in Ecuador in 2005, and met with opposition members during run-off elections in Zimbabwe in 2008.
During college he served as the Student Director of STAND, a national student anti-genocide coalition. STAND worked with over 800 high school and college chapters to advocate US action to prevent and end genocide, and create a permanent student anti-genocide constituency. Scott also helped lead successful campaigns to divest Brown University, the City of Providence, and the State of Rhode Island from companies conducting business in Sudan.
Scott was named an Echoing Green Fellow in 2010, and a Draper Richards Kaplan Fellow in 2012. He continues to write on subjects ranging youth political engagement to African politic to sports, and has been published in the Christian Science Monitor, New York Daily News, Huffington Post, San Diego Union Tribune, Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Providence Journal.
In his spare time, Scott enjoys running, traveling, and religiously following his hometown teams: the San Diego Padres and Chargers.