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National and Regional Boards

Roch Hillenbrand, Chairman
Managing Director, Stony Brook Investments, LLC
M. Roch Hillenbrand, after retiring as a Partner at Goldman Sachs in 2004, founded Stony Brook Investments, LLC to invest in private equity and hedge funds. At Goldman, Roch served as President of Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Strategies LLC after initiating and arranging its acquisition In 1997 of Commodities Corporation an investor in, and manager of, hedge funds. At Commodities Corp since 1980, he held various senior executive positions, serving as its President since 1994. At Goldman, Roch also served as the Head of Global Active Equity within its Asset Management division overseeing portfolio managers based in New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Tampa, Florida who collectively managed over $60 billion in assets. Roch received an M.B.A. with distinction from New York University Graduate School of Business in 1974 and graduated from Boston College in 1972 with a major in Economics. In 2016, Roch was a Fellow at the Distinguished Career Institute at Stanford University. Roch formerly served on the Board of College Summit, Washington, DC and as Chairman of the Board of All Kinds of Minds, Chapel Hill, NC.

Ruth Altchek
Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, News Corp
Ruth Altchek is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at News Corp. She was formerly Editorial Director of Wall Street Journal Weekend, Senior Editor at Martha Stewart Living, and Editorial Projects Director at Domino Magazine. Ms. Altchek holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.

Carolyn Blankenship
General Counsel and Secretary,
Carolyn Blankenship is General Counsel and Secretary at Her prior role was SVP, Associate General Counsel, Intellectual Property for Thomson Reuters. She joined Reuters in 2001 and before that held a variety of IP-related positions as both in-house and outside counsel, including stints at Skadden, Arps and Ms. Blankenship leads the Global Corporate Legal IP Practice Group for Thomson Reuters, creating an IP practice that allows Thomson Reuters to leverage the innovations created throughout the company. She also created and oversees the company’s open source software policy. In addition, Ms. Blankenship oversees all patent litigation, trademark and domain names efforts and supports the IP aspects of the company’s M&A activity. She is also a frequent lecturer at the Practicing Law Institute on various aspects of patent law and open source software and has written many articles on these subjects. As an undergraduate, Ms. Blankenship attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for two years and went on to earn a B.A. in Biology from Harvard College. She has a J.D. from Arizona State University College of Law and clerked for the Hon. Noel Fidel of the Arizona State Court of Appeals.

Michael J. Critelli
President and CEO, Dossia Service Corporation
Michael J. Critelli, who retired from Pitney Bowes, a global mailstream and e-commerce solutions provider in 2008, has been an industry leader in mailing industry reform and innovation in diversity and inclusion programs, leadership development, transportation and environmental sustainability strategies, education and literacy philanthropy, and workplace-driven health programs. He has been a feature film producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor in multiple high-tech businesses since his retirement.

Jared Crooks 
Head of People Operations, ONE
Jared A. Crooks is Head of People Operations at ONE, where he joined in 2022. Previously, he served as Vice President of Two Sigma Impact. He focuses on value creation and implementing high impact workforce strategies at companies. In his prior role as Manager of Science Investments at Schmidt Futures, he developed the strategy for supporting innovative scientific research, technologies and people to address pressing issues and advance cutting-edge programs. Prior to Schmidt Futures, Jared worked at McKinsey & Company, spinning out internal ventures into new businesses verticals for McKinsey. He led a team responsible for the development of an Innovation Lab, building the overlying framework of how McKinsey can innovate and experiment at the intersection of transformational change, neuroscience, and technology to deliver the impact for clients. He also managed teams to create multi-course leadership and capability learning programs. Jared was previously a member of the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA. Jared serves on the Executive Committee for Math and Science for Minority Students, a 3- summer intensive academic program for talented diverse youth held at Phillips Academy. He also loves the arts and is on the Associate Board for the Harlem School of the Arts. Jared holds three degrees from Princeton University; a M.P.A from Princeton School of International and Public Affairs, M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering and a B.A. in Astrophysical Sciences.

Carol Y. Cunningham
Managing Director, Human Experiences, Shopper Insights & Innovation, Anheuser Busch 
Carol Y. Cunningham is the Managing Director, Human Experiences, Shopper Insights & Innovation at Anheuser Busch. Previously, she was Vice President, Consumer Insights and Business Strategy Analytics at BET Networks. With more than two decades of research experience, Cunningham joined BET Networks’ Corporate Market Research team in September 2007. Cunningham’s responsibilities include leading the charge on all consumer insights, trend spotting, questionnaire design and primary analysis for all qualitative and quantitative studies. Previously, Cunningham served as head of Strategic Research for Scripps Interactive (HGTV, Food Network, GAC, DIY and Fine Living) where she worked on all aspects of brand and media engagement, emerging technologies, streaming media and custom research special projects. Prior to her stint at Scripps Networks, she also led all affiliate strategic initiatives for A&E Television Networks, ESPN and has extensive expertise in network, syndication and local broadcast having served as Head of Research for Univision’s WLTV, Fox Broadcasting’s KTTV, NBC Universal’s O & O–NBC 4 and as Director of Syndication Research for MGM United Artists. Cunningham works on the Diversity Alumni Task Force, Office of Program Development and the Newhouse Network Board of Directors at Syracuse University; she’s also on the National Board for Elon University’s Communications School. She completed these programs VIACOM’S RISING STAR THRIVE, CTAMU’s Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School, and the NAMIC Executive Development Leadership Program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Jean DeSombre
Founder and CEO, Paragon Global Ventures LLC
Jean DeSombre is the founder and CEO of Paragon Global Ventures LLC, a venture capital firm focused on investing in underrepresented industries and promoting diversity in venture investing. With over 20 years of experience in international legal and business operations, Jean is a highly strategic and empathetic leader with a strong commitment to employee mentoring and talent development. Previously, as the Chief Operating Officer of Care Delivery International at Fresenius Medical Care, Jean was responsible for US$3B+ revenue and 40,000+ employees across multiple business units in over 50 countries. Jean is also a speaker and lecturer, with a focus on women's empowerment and corporate governance.  Jean earned a BA in Chemistry from Harvard College and a JD from Harvard Law School.

David C. Foley
Vice President and Quantitative Analyst, Capital Group
David C. Foley is a vice president and quantitative analyst at Capital Group, with fund/mandate research and analytics responsibilities. He has 15 years of investment experience, all with Capital Group. Earlier in his career at Capital, he was a results analyst. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Boston College. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. David is passionate about advancing educational equity, particularly in Los Angeles, where he has spent most of his life.

Eric Gural, Former Board Chairman of PowerMyLearning
Co-CEO, GFP Real Estate
Eric Gural is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of GFP Real Estate. Formerly, Eric served as the Executive Managing Director of Newmark Knight Frank—the fifth largest real estate company in the world. He joined Newmark in 1991, first working in commercial real estate, and today supervises the leasing and management of approximately 8 million square feet of property. Mr. Gural is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and the Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association.

Jamie Joyce
Executive Vice President, Rubenstein
Jamie Joyce is an Executive Vice President at Rubenstein. His expertise is in digital strategy, social media strategy, website strategy, marketing, digital advertising, digital advocacy, influencer marketing, email marketing, experiential marketing, and capacity building. Prior to joining Rubenstein, he was Senior Vice President of Digital at Fenton and Vice President of Interactive Marketing at Girl Scouts of the USA.

Beth Mejia
Partner at EdSolutions, Co-Founder The Center for Education Market Dynamics
Beth Mejia has spent 25 years in the education space specializing in the acquisition, development, marketing and deployment of high quality, educational content and courseware. Beth has served in leadership positions in marketing and editorial at Pearson and McGraw- Hill Higher Ed as well as partnership development for Triumph Learning in K-12. Beth has managed large cross-functional teams in both product development and marketing where she consistently met and exceeded revenue goals. As a former Executive Director for Developmental Education and Readiness, Beth Mejia brings a deep personal understanding in the readiness, student success and retention arena. Beth brings both a product and pedagogical perspective to every project. Beth has an MA in Teaching from the University of West Alabama and a BA in English from Bethany College.

Rhonda Powell
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Strada Education Foundation
Rhonda Powell is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Strada Education Foundation. Formerly, Ms. Powell served as General Counsel at Buzzfeed. Prior roles include Senior Vice President Business and Legal Affairs, Chief Legal Officer at Complex (dba Complex Media, Inc.); Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Scripps Network Interactive; and Senior Counsel at Reuters. Ms. Powell earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Harvard University and a J.D. from University of Michigan Law School.

Elisabeth Stock, (non-voting member)
CEO and Co-Founder, PowerMyLearning
Elisabeth Stock’s biography is available to read here.

José Luis Vilson
Executive Director, Co-Founder, EduColor
José Luis Vilson is a veteran educator, writer, speaker, and activist in New York City, NY. He is the author of This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education. He has spoken about education, math, and race for a number of organizations and publications, including the New York Times, The Guardian, TED, El Diario / La Prensa and The Atlantic. He’s a National Board-Certified teacher, a Math for America Master Teacher, and the executive director of EduColor, an organization dedicated to race and social justice issues in education. He is now on the board of directors for the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.