Advisory Board

EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WHICH YOU CAN USE TO CHANGE THE WORLD
- NELSON MANDELA

Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan

FOUNDER – EDUCATION PIONEERS

Scott Morgan is Education Pioneers’ Founder & former CEO, based out of the Oakland office, where he led the organization to realize its vision to identify, train, connect, and inspire 10,000 diverse leaders and managers working to accelerate systemic change across the education sector by EP’s 20th anniversary in 2023.

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Carmita Semaan

Carmita Semaan

FOUNDER & PRESIDENT – SURGE INSTITUTE

Carmita Vaughan is Founder and President of The Surge Institute. Surge, as it is affectionately called, was established to broadly address issues of race and class in urban education through leadership development, technical assistance and advocacy. The Surge Fellowship, the Institute’s signature program, is transforming education by identifying and grooming emerging education leaders of color.

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Amanda Fernandez

Amanda Fernandez

FOUNDER & CEO – LATINOS FOR EDUCATION

Amanda has 25 years of experience in the areas of recruiting, diversity, organization development, change management, strategic planning and Latino community relations. She has recently founded Latinos for Education, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, place and connect essential Latino leadership in the education sector. Prior to this, she was the Vice President of Latino Community Partnerships at Teach for America, where she developed relationships with national Latino serving organizations to advance recruitment of Latino teachers and support Latino alumni.

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Kerrien Suarez

Kerrien Suarez

DIRECTOR, EQUITY IN THE CENTER

Kay is the Executive Director of Equity in the Center, which seeks to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase equity in the social sector. As a former independent consultant, Kerrien facilitates leadership teams in bold decision making to solve strategic and operational challenges. She has expertise in leading senior executives and managers through strategic planning, business case analysis and change management initiatives. Kerrien also supports chief executives and senior leadership teams, through thought partnership and management coaching, in building organizational capacity to achieve measurable outcomes.

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Rita Raichoudhuri, Ed. D.

Rita Raichoudhuri, Ed. D.

SUPERINTENDENT, KALAMAZOO PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Rita Raichoudhuri is the former Executive Director of Early College in Chicago Public Schools and currently Superintendent of Kalamazoo Public Schools. As an educational leader, she strives to provide students with a well-rounded education with attention to rigorous academics, social-emotional learning and robust opportunities for post-secondary success. She effectively engages all stakeholders in accomplishing this task. Her versatility and knowledge has elevated the schools, districts and communities she has served in the past and she is now focusing on bringing the same success to Kalamazoo.

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Lauren Albani, Ed. D.

Lauren Albani, Ed. D.

PRINCIPAL - LASALLE II MAGNET SCHOOL

Lauren Albani is the current principal at LaSalle II Magnet School. The mission at LaSalle II is to not only provide the highest quality of programs across the core subject areas, but to also educate students about other cultures and to teach them to communicate in critical languages spoken around the world. As part of the daily curriculum, students participate in world language instruction in Arabic, French, Chinese, or Spanish. Under her leadership, LaSalle II has experienced significant academic success and developed into a vibrant school community for students and their families.

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Chris McGowan

Chris McGowan

Managing Director - CJM Ventures, LLC / OPTO Holdings, L.P.

Chris McGowan is the General Partner of CJM Ventures (“CJMV”), a Chicago private-equity investment firm.

McGowan’s private equity career began 25 years ago with AEA Investors in New York City, after earning an undergraduate degree in theoretical mathematics from Columbia University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and following two years of mergers and acquisitions training at Morgan Stanley.

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Andrea Sáenz

Andrea Sáenz

Chief Operating Officer - The Chicago Community Trust

Andrea Sáenz serves as The Chicago Community Trust’s first Chief Operating Officer. Previously, she was First Deputy Commissioner & Chief Strategy Officer for Chicago Public Library, a system of 80 neighborhood branches. In this role, she led strategy, program design, evaluation, innovation and organizational development. Before joining the Library, Andrea served as Chief of Staff to Chicago Public Schools CEO, coordinating strategy and implementation of district-wide initiatives. Sáenz was previously policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Career, Technical and Adult Education at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC and executive director of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), a national non-profit working collaboratively with employers, universities and schools to increase Latinos' entry and success in professional careers.

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