December 18, 2012

For More Information:
Saamra Mekuria-Grillo, Deputy Director, Pahara Institute
(510) 984-2513, saamra@pahara.org

SAN FRANCISCO (December 18, 2012) – The Pahara Institute – a national nonprofit that is focused on supporting the sustainability, diversity, and quality of leadership for education reform - announced today the selection of a new cohort of its highly selective Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows Program. These 24 accomplished leaders join the roughly 100 exceptional leaders who have previously participated in the fellowship, which is designed to support extraordinary entrepreneurial leaders who are committed to transforming public education. The guiding principle of the Pahara Institute is that bold transformational leaders are needed to reform public education so that every child in America has access to an excellent public school.

"We are excited and energized by the extraordinary leadership talent represented in this new cohort of Fellows,” said Kim Smith, Pahara Institute Founder and CEO. "These leaders are working tirelessly to create equity and excellence in our public schools, and we are honored to be able to support them in this work."

The Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship (formerly the Aspen-New Schools Fellowship) is a two-year, cohort-based program that is modeled after the renowned Henry Crown Fellowship at the Aspen Institute.  Its goals are to identify transformational leaders in education reform, facilitate their dynamic growth, and strengthen their collective efforts to dramatically improve public education.

The 24 Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows who have been selected to begin in the spring of 2013 are:

  • Jay Altman, Chief Executive Officer, FirstLine Schools
  • Susan Asiyanbi, Executive Vice President, Teacher Preparation, Support, and Development, Teach For America
  • Jim Blew, Director of K-12 Education Reform, Walton Family Foundation
  • Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Denver Public Schools
  • Stacey Childress, Deputy Director of Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • J. Kristean Dragon, Chief Executive Officer, Citizens of the World Charter Schools
  • Mike Feinberg, Co-Founder, KIPP Foundation & Executive Vice Chair, KIPP Houston
  • Joe Ferguson, Chief Operating Officer, Mastery Charter Schools
  • Karen Symms Gallagher, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California
  • Ron Gonzales, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley
  • Aimee Guidera, Founder & Executive Director, Data Quality Campaign
  • Christina Heitz, Managing Director, The Broad Superintendents Academy, The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems
  • Mike Johnston, State Senator, Colorado State Senate
  • David Keeling, Vice President for Communications, TNTP
  • Emily Lawson, Founder, DC Prep
  • Michael Magee, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Rhode Island Mayoral Academies
  • Trish Millines Dziko, Founder and CEO, Technology Access Foundation
  • Vanessa Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer, District 79 Alternative Schools and Programs, New York City Department of Education
  • Joel Rose, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, New Classroom Innovation Partners
  • Aylon Samouha, Chief Executive Officer, Lighthouse Academies
  • Brian Sims, Managing Director for Training Academies and Teacher Development, Academy for Urban School Leadership
  • Kimberly A. Smith, President, K12 digimedia
  • Diane Tavenner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Summit Public Schools
  • Gregory White, President and Chief Executive Officer, LEARN Charter School Network

"The Aspen Institute is thrilled to continue partnering with Pahara, bringing the Aspen Institute methodology and curriculum to Pahara’s important work in supporting the next generation of education entrepreneurs focused on educational excellence for all children in America,” said Peter Reiling, Executive Vice President, Leadership and Seminar Programs at the Aspen Institute. "We also welcome this truly exceptional cohort of leaders into the Aspen Global Leadership Network, where they join a powerful global community of more than 1,500 other Fellows who are using their resources and talents to create change in their spheres of influence."

The Pahara-Aspen Fellowship provides exceptional 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 collectively 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, and Pahara-Aspen Fellows are members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

For more information about the Pahara Institute, the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, or to access bios and photos of Pahara-Aspen Fellows, please visit www.pahara.org.

About the Pahara Institute
The Pahara Institute is a national nonprofit organization focused on supporting and developing transformational leaders for education reform. Its programs, including the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, are designed to identify seasoned leaders in education reform, and through a time-tested dialogue approach, strengthen and sustain their efforts to bring about transformational improvements to our public schools. Pahara’s work strives to overcome inequalities in our society by accelerating innovations and reforms that increase access to high-quality education for all children, particularly those in low-income and underserved communities. For more information, please visit www.pahara.org.

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, nearly 1,600 "Fellows" from 45 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 and the Middle East.