Isabel Oregón Acosta
Isabel Oregón Acosta works with Gregory McGinity to manage the foundation’s public policy and advocacy work to sustain effective and innovative practices, policies, and institutions. Isabel began her career in public policy working for the Congressional Research Service in Washington, DC, where she decided to focus on education policy. During graduate school she honed in on issues of equity in education as a legislative intern for the House Committee on Higher Education in Austin, and as a researcher at the Charles A. Dana Center. She went on to serve as a graduate research assistant for the Texas speaker of the House of Representatives in Austin, as a research team leader for Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, and as a policy intern for The Education Trust-West, where she researched and co-authored briefs on teacher quality and a standard curriculum for all California high school students. Immediately before joining The Broad Foundation, Isabel conducted research, policy and data analysis on school finance, among other issues in California, for EdSource. In 2009, Isabel took a yearlong sabbatical from the foundation to work for the U.S. Department of Education in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin.
Russ Altenburg supports a portfolio of grants in the areas of personalized learning, new school models, and state policy. Prior to joining the foundation, he was an Education Pioneers Fellow at NewSchools Venture Fund. He was also part of the founding team of SummaED, a blended learning program in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Before pursuing his MBA, Russ worked on various international development and education projects as a co-founder of the nonprofit Global Playground and Chief Operating Officer of the nonprofit Students Helping Honduras. He previously worked at JPMorgan advising corporate clients on currency risk management. Russ holds a BSc in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was awarded the John Wooden Leadership Fellowship.
Cori Carlson is the executive assistant to Gregory McGinity, the Managing Director of Policy. She also provides support for the communications and grants management teams and assists with coordinating The Broad Prize. She joined the foundation after working 13 years for Hogan Moorhouse Pictures. Cori has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Acadia University and a California multiple subjects teaching credential.
Sue Y. Chi
Sue Yun Chi manages the foundation’s charter and district work. Prior to joining the foundation, she was a Vice President at SeaChange Capital Partners, a nonprofit financial intermediary that enables transactions to increase the impact of nonprofits. There, she managed the group’s advisory services projects with education and youth development nonprofit organizations, and was part of the diligence team involved in sourcing, selecting, and stewarding philanthropic investments in education reform organizations. Prior to graduate school, she was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs Asia, based in Hong Kong. Sue has a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, a master’s degree in international economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Luis de la Fuente
Luis de la Fuente develops and manages grants to school districts, charter management organizations, and innovative non-profits working to improve urban public education. He leads the foundation’s work to re-envision and transform today’s classroom to offer a more personalized experience for every teacher and student. Luis joined the foundation from McKinsey & Company, where he developed and implemented business strategies for fortune 500 companies. He has a bachelor's degree in molecular and cell biology from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of California, San Francisco.
Chief Communications Officer
Karen Denne oversees all marketing and communications efforts across The Broad Foundations’ work in education, scientific and medical research, and the arts. Karen has more than two decades of experience in corporate communications and media relations in both the public and private sectors. She came to the foundation after working for seven years at Enron Corp., serving as vice president of public relations, acting as corporate spokeswoman and heading the company’s media relations and internal communications. Karen previously worked as communications director for the general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. She began her career as a reporter, writing for City News Service, the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has served as an adjunct professor of public relations at the USC Annenberg School for Communication. Karen received a bachelor’s degree in print journalism, English and international relations from the University of Southern California, where she also earned a master’s degree in public administration.
Rebecca Wolf DiBiase
Rebecca Wolf DiBiase oversees members of the foundation team who invest in innovative school systems—from local charter networks to statewide turnaround districts—and helps manage the foundation’s day-to-day operations. Experienced in improving the productivity and accountability of schools, Rebecca has worked as a consultant for schools, nonprofits and other public organizations on goal-setting, leadership and program evaluation. Before launching her consulting career, Rebecca was director of accountability for the Charter School Office of the Massachusetts Department of Education, worked on issues of urban entrepreneurship and charter schools at a state-based think tank, and served as a middle school teacher in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. She has a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Spanish from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Emily Gerry supports grantees in the areas of digital and personalized learning, research, and advocacy. Emily joins the foundation after several years at international organizations and nonprofits that promote education and entrepreneurship in the developing world. Emily began her career as an educator, teaching high school and college students and adult continuing education classes in Ecuador. Emily has also worked for the nonprofit microfinance organization FINCA International and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, both of which help alleviate poverty through economic growth and job creation. Emily has a bachelor’s degree in policy analysis and management from Cornell University, a master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Manager, Grants and Program Administration
Kaitlin Glau supports the foundation’s program investment team. She most recently worked as a publicity assistant for Apparition, LLC, an independent film distributor in Los Angeles. Kaitlin has also worked as assistant news editor for The Women’s Conference, presented annually by California First Lady Maria Shriver, and as an editorial intern at Rolling Stone magazine. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations and in French studies from Scripps College in Claremont, Calif.
Senior Director of Grants and Administration
Heidi Kato manages the foundation’s core support team and oversees the grants management process. She comes to the foundation from the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, where she was the office manager and assistant to the dean. Prior to that, Heidi served as a project consultant for the Getty Conservation Institute and spent nearly 10 years in marketing, special events, and administrative roles at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. She has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Senior Managing Director
Gregory McGinity oversees the foundation’s policy investments to improve the K-12 education operating and policy environment. His career includes extensive work at the federal and state level on education policy. Prior to joining the foundation, Gregory was the senior education policy consultant to the California State Board of Education, where he worked on the creation of California’s academic content standards and assessment system. In 2005, on leave from the foundation, Gregory served as chief of staff to the California secretary of education. Gregory previously worked for U. S. Senator Thad Cochran as a legislative assistant and for U. S. Representative Lindsey O. Graham as legislative director. Gregory advised both members on education and training issues. Prior to that, Gregory served as a legislative liaison at the U.S. Department of Education during President George H.W. Bush’s administration. Gregory received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was a Sigoloff Fellow.
Senior Director of Research and Evaluation
Sharon Meron oversees the foundation’s extensive grants evaluation process, drawing on her experience managing geographically diverse operations and using complex data to make decisions. Sharon began her career as a consultant at Putnam, Hayes and Bartlett in London, specializing in the telecom and energy sectors, before moving on to work in development and acquisitions for RSL Communications, spearheading that company’s expansion into Latin America and collaborating on its successful IPO. Sharon went on to serve as senior vice president of finance and planning for Marco Polo Networks. After that, she worked closely with the CEO at Advanced Monitored Caregiving, a New York-based healthcare services provider, to refine and implement the company’s business plan. She received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Amherst College and earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Swati Pandey provides communications support to the education team. She worked with Eli Broad for two years, collaborating on The Art of Being Unreasonable and writing his internal biography. She previously was managing editor for Zocalo Public Square and worked for three years as a researcher, writer and assistant articles editor at the Los Angeles Times. She has a bachelor’s degree in ethics, politics and economics from Yale University.
Nancy Chen Que
Director, The Broad Prize
Nancy Que oversees the extensive data collection and evaluation process for The Broad Prizes, covering the quantitative student achievement analysis conducted for eligible districts and charter management organizations as well as the qualitative site visit evaluations conducted at finalist districts and the winning charter system. Nancy came to The Broad Foundation as an Education Pioneer Fellow, spending her fellowship analyzing student achievement data for the Foundation’s flagship grants. Before starting her career working to improve public schools—which included projects at Green Dot Public Schools and Think College Now Elementary School—Nancy managed the internal process improvement system for Countrywide Financial Corporation’s Full Spectrum Lending Division. She has also served as a consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and FTI Consulting in the telecommunications practice. Nancy has a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from Pomona College and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Bruce Reed is the first president of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. The son of a former Idaho state senator, Bruce has a long record of public service, including most recently serving as an assistant to President Barack Obama and chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden. In that role, Bruce focused his work on economic and domestic issues including deficit reduction, the fiscal cliff, entitlement and tax reform, education and gun safety. He previously served as executive director of the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission and lead author of its report, The Moment of Truth. Earlier in his career, Bruce was President Clinton's chief domestic policy advisor from 1996 to 2001, overseeing numerous issues in the Clinton administration, including the landmark 1996 welfare reform law and the Clinton education agenda. He was deputy campaign manager for policy in the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and previously was chief speechwriter for then-Sen. Al Gore from 1985 to 1989. An accomplished writer, Bruce was a longtime contributor to Slate and the New Republic and co-authored with then-U.S. Rep. Rahm Emanuel The Plan: Big Ideas for Change in America. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Princeton University and master's of philosophy in English studies that he earned as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
Director, Marketing and Communications
Rachel Smookler manages communications, marketing and branding initiatives across The Broad Foundations. Previously, Rachel worked for the Broad family for seven years, serving as associate manager handling special projects, including aircraft management, personal and political philanthropy, and Arts + Culture LA, an initiative to market the cultural assets of Los Angeles. Prior to that, Rachel served as director of administration for the Hollywood Entertainment Museum, a nonprofit organization that served as a visitor destination and a vocational training campus for the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s at-risk youth population. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication studies and sociology from UCLA and an M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.