Russell Altenburg works on the foundation’s digital learning portfolio. Prior to joining the foundation, Altenburg was the chief operating officer of SummaED, an education technology start-up. He was also COO of Students Helping Honduras, and co-founder of a non-profit, The Global Playground, focused on children’s education in developing countries. Altenburg’s previous experience includes working as an associate at JPMorganChase in foreign exchange corporate derivative sales. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA.
Luis de la Fuente
Luis de la Fuente develops and manages a portfolio of grants to school districts, charter management organizations, and innovative non-profits working to improve urban public education. He leads the foundation’s “Personalized Learning” work to re-envision and transform today’s classroom into a more personalized, technology-enabled instructional delivery model. De la Fuente joined the foundation from McKinsey & Company, where he consulted for corporations in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and non-profit sectors. Prior to McKinsey, de la Fuente worked as a post-doctoral research associate at Stanford University. 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 portfolio of initiatives. Denne comes to the foundation after more than a decade in corporate communications and media relations in both the public and private sectors. She was vice president of public relations for Enron Corp., where she worked for seven years, most recently heading the company’s media relations, internal communications and acting as corporate spokeswoman. Denne 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. Denne received her bachelor’s degree in print journalism, English and international relations from the University of Southern California, where she also earned an M.P.A.
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. Glau 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.
Social Media and Communications Coordinator
Amy Jasper develops and executes social and online media strategy and blog outreach campaigns for The Broad Foundation and The Broad Center. Jasper most recently was the online media manager for the ACLU of Southern California, where she led the organization’s website redesign, managed its video production team and developed and implemented a social media strategy that tripled Facebook and Twitter following. She previously was a Fulbright scholar and served as an English teaching assistant at the University of Nicosia in Northern Cyprus. Jasper has a bachelor’s degree in political studies from Pitzer College.
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, Kato 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.
Dan Katzir worked with Eli Broad to develop the vision for The Broad Foundation’s education work and has been a part of the foundation since the education division formally launched in 1999. Early in his career, Katzir worked as a consultant to the international management consulting firm Bain & Company, where he developed and implemented business strategies for Fortune 500 companies. He later became chief operating officer for Teach For America, where he managed what was then an organization with a $7.5 million budget, 15 offices, 70 full-time staff and 1,200 teachers. Katzir went on to serve as the first executive director of the UCLA School Management Program, a joint venture of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Anderson School of Management. Katzir also served as the founding regional director of Sylvan Learning Systems in Los Angeles, managing 33 reading tutorial centers in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Katzir has a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
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Managing Director of Policy
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, McGinity 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, McGinity served as chief of staff to the California secretary of education. McGinity previously worked for U. S. Senator Thad Cochran as a legislative assistant and for U. S. Representative Lindsey O. Graham as legislative director. McGinity advised both members on education and training issues. Prior to that, McGinity served as a legislative liaison at the U.S. Department of Education during President George H.W. Bush’s administration. McGinity 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.
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Senior Director of Research and Evaluation
Sharon Meron oversees the foundation’s extensive grants evaluation process. She has extensive experience in managing geographically diverse businesses and using complex data to make business decisions. Meron previously served as chief operating officer for Advanced Monitored Caregiving, a New York-based healthcare provider, and as senior vice president of finance and planning for Marco Polo Networks. Prior to that, Meron worked in corporate development and acquisitions for RSL Communications, where she headed the company’s expansion into Latin America and worked on its successful initial public offering. Meron began her career as a consultant at Putnam, Hayes and Bartlett in London, specializing in the telecom and energy sectors. 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.
Isabel Oregón Acosta
Isabel Oregón Acosta is part of the foundation’s policy team. Oregón Acosta comes to the foundation from EdSource, where she worked as a research associate, conducting research, policy and data analysis on a variety of issues, including school finance. She has also worked 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 education topics such as teacher quality and a standard curriculum for all California high school students. Oregón Acosta also worked as a legislative intern for the House Committee on Higher Education in Austin and as a researcher at the Charles A. Dana Center. 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.
Director, The Broad Prize
Nancy Que oversees the data collection and evaluation process for The Broad Prize. Que previously worked with Green Dot Public Schools, where she prepared grant applications for new charter high schools in Los Angeles and managed the distribution and collection of annual reviews for 3,000 staff, parents and students. Que also worked for the Oakland Small Schools Foundation and developed a strategic plan for Think College Now Elementary School. She worked as a manager for Countrywide Financial Corporation’s Full Spectrum Lending Division, as a financial analyst for Countrywide Home Loans and as a consultant for FTI Consulting. Que has a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from Pomona College and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Molly Ryan supports the program investment team. She most recently worked as an assistant for Whittier College’s Office of Alumni Relations and as a contract web manager for the Tennessee Charter Schools Association. Ryan has also worked as a programs associate for the Hyde Family Foundations in Memphis and as a student associate in the president’s office of Rhodes College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
Sabrina Skinner Lehmann
Sabrina Skinner Lehmann develops and manages the foundation’s portfolio of investments that focus on urban school district redesign, public charter school expansion and national education reform organizations. Prior to joining the foundation, she served as director of the California Charter Schools Association’s efforts to provide a performance management technology platform to a quarter of California public charter schools. Skinner Lehmann previously worked at the New York City Department of Education, as chief of staff in the office of new schools, as an authorizer of public charter schools, and on the cabinet of the alternative schools division, District 79, where she managed the accountability and strategy team. While at the New York City Department of Education, Skinner Lehmann also was a resident in The Broad Residency. Her experience also includes conducting educational research for the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (now Pivot Learning Centers), educational advocacy for California’s EdVoice, and national and local political campaign roles. Skinner Lehmann earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Colorado College, and two master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, including a master’s in business administration from The Wharton School and a master’s in educational policy.
Director, Marketing and Communications
Rachel Smookler manages communications, marketing and branding initiatives across The Broad Foundations. Smookler comes to the foundation from the Broad Family Office, where she worked for seven years in various capacities. She most recently served as associate manager, overseeing special projects including Arts + Culture LA, an initiative to market the cultural assets of Los Angeles, as well as other projects ranging from aircraft management to non-foundation-related philanthropy. Prior to that, Smookler 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.
Rebecca Wolf DiBiase
Managing Director of Programs
Rebecca Wolf DiBiase manages the foundation’s investments in school districts and charter schools. Wolf DiBiase has significant experience improving the productivity and accountability of schools. She has worked as a consultant for schools, nonprofits and other public organizations on goal-setting, leadership and program evaluation. Previously, Wolf DiBiase was director of accountability for the Charter School Office of the Massachusetts Department of Education. She also worked for the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, where she focused on policy reforms in K-12 education and urban entrepreneurship. Earlier in her career, Wolf DiBiase taught middle school 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.
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