Isabel Oregón Acosta
Isabel Oregón Acosta works with the senior managing director 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.
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.
Carl Christopher manages a portfolio of investments focused on developing and supporting cohesive and empowered schools. Christopher spent three years at the Partnership for L.A. Schools where he served as senior director of operations and impact. Previously he held positions as executive director at Kaplan College, senior partner of Christopher Enterprises, summer associate at Kraft Foods North America, associate director at Stanford University, and project manager at the Economic Development Board of Sonoma County. Christopher has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a member of The Broad Residency Class of 2012-2014.
Luis de la Fuente
Luis de la Fuente partners with the senior managing director and president in overseeing the foundation’s work to reimagine k-12 public education. Prior to this leadership role, Luis developed and oversaw the foundation’s efforts to re-envision the American classroom through a more personalized learning 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.
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 MBA 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, 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.
Tina Larsen is an executive assistant, supporting both the founder’s office and the education team. Larsen spent eight years as executive assistant to U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier and previously worked as a field organizer for the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. John Kerry. She has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Wright State University.
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 MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he was a Sigoloff Fellow.
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.
President, Education Initiatives
Paul Pastorek oversees the foundation’s education work. He served as the Louisiana state superintendent from 2007 to 2011, leading the state's department of education as it raised the bar on standards and accountability for all schools in Louisiana. He also directed the state's efforts to turn around more than 100 of Louisiana's most challenged schools, including the rebuilding of elementary and secondary schools in New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Paul most recently served as chief administrative officer, chief counsel and corporate secretary for the defense, aviation and telecommunications company EADS North America. He also was a partner, litigator and corporate attorney for 27 years in Louisiana and Washington, D.C., and in 2002, Paul was appointed as general counsel of NASA, where he directed a 150-attorney legal team and served as the agency's chief ethics officer.
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 MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.
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 MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.