Board and Advisors

Board of Directors

Kris Clerkin

Vice Chair

Kris is Managing Director at Volta Learning Group. Volta Learning Group is a consulting and advisory firm that catalyzes new learning models in postsecondary education. Kris was the founding Executive Director of College for America (CfA) at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). More

Erik Heyer

Treasurer

Erik Heyer is currently Executive in Residence at Bridges Ventures, a U.K.-based private equity investment manager that is entirely dedicated to sustainable and impact investing. He is a respected education leader, business manager and social entrepreneur. More

Lou Pugliese

Board Member

Lou is currently Senior Innovation Fellow at Arizona State University and Managing Director of the Teaching and Learning Action Lab. Previously, Lou was President of Quantum Thinking and Senior Fellow for Saylor Academy. Over the past twenty years, he has developed a strong track record managing growth stage businesses and acquiring and developing numerous education enterprise. More

Rufus Glasper, PhD

Board Member

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. He is also Chancellor Emeritus of the Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the nation’s largest multi-college community college systems, after serving as Chancellor for 13 years. More

Marco Davis

Board Member

Marco A. Davis is a Partner at New Profit, a pioneering nonprofit national venture philanthropy fund. In this role, he serves as Organizational Lead on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and he manages the Proximity accelerator, engaging innovative social entrepreneurs of color. More

Advisors

Kevin Clark, PhD

Advisor

Professor at George Mason University and current Director for the Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity, Kevin brings a host of online and digital learning experience to Education Design Lab. More

Ryan Craig

Advisor

University Ventures Co-Founder Ryan Craig’s commentary on “where the puck is going” in higher education regularly appears in Forbes, EdSurge, Inside Higher Education, TechCrunch and VentureBeat, among others. More

Tyler Cowen

Advisor

Tyler Cowen is Holbert L. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and also Director of the Mercatus Center. More

Erica Estrada

Advisor

A Levinthal Fellow and lecturer in 2008 and 2009 at Stanford University’s esteemed school of design, Erica has worked on a variety of teams including one which redesigned the shifting experience for Volkswagen — developing a foot-operated gear-shifting system for concept vehicles. More

Philip Auerswald, PhD

Advisor

Philip Auerswald is an associate professor at the School of Public Policy and (for 2013-2014) the Presidential Fellow at George Mason University. More

Susan Metros

Advisor

Susan offers over twenty years of experience as an educational technology executive and leader

and over thirty years of experience in higher education as a professor and scholar. She currently serves as an information technology and academic innovation consultant, career mentor and an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach. More

Jeffrey Selingo

Advisor

Jeffrey Selingo, an author, columnist, and speaker, has spent his journalism career covering the business of colleges and universities worldwide. Jeff’s work focuses on innovation in higher education and how students, parents, and employers should value one of the biggest purchases in life, the college degree. More

Oltac Unsal

Advisor

As a Senior Advisor to the World Bank, Oltac has designed a World Bank angel co-investment fund and a technical assistance facility that creates or enhances angel networks, increases the “investability” of developing world tech entrepreneurs through an incubator and mentoring ecosystem. More

Michelle Batt

 

Design Challenge Lead

Michelle is a Design Challenge Lead for the Lab’s Badging Challenge. Michelle is also the President of Lead by Experience, offering strategic and tactical consulting to help leadership teams across: business, health care and education improve their customer experience.

Through her coaching, Michelle loves to “gently” break up typical functional silos to stimulate collaboration and steer change management across organizations. She integrates new, cost effective, ways to capture and understand customers’ expectations, wants and needs.

Prior to establishing her own business, Michelle held executive positions in telecommunications at MCI and NII Holdings where she held the position of Senior Director of Customer Experience. Michelle earned a Masters of Arts degree in Education: Curriculum & Instruction from Loyola College in Maryland and completed an Executive Certification in Global Leadership from Georgetown University – the McDonough School of Business.

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Kevin Clark, PhD

 
Kevin Clark

Board Member

A Professor at George Mason University and current Director for the Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity, Kevin brings a host of online and digital learning experience to Education Design Lab.

A leader in the role of gaming and media, in and out of school learning environments particularly with underserved populations, Kevin is expanding his work into children’s educational media, which includes television, video games, web-based environments, music, magazines, and books. He also serves as an advisor to PBS, Disney Junior, and the National Parks Service.

Kevin is a computer science graduate of North Carolina State University and a graduate of Penn State University where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Instructional Systems.

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Phil Auerswald, PhD

 

Advisor

Philip Auerswald is an associate professor at the School of Public Policy and (for 2013-2014) the Presidential Fellow at George Mason University. He is the author of The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs are Transforming the Global Economy.

Since 2010, Auerswald has served as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative on topics related to job creation, education, and market-based strategy. During 2011-2012 he was a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. He is the co-founder and co-editor of Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, a quarterly journal from MIT Press about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges, and an associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University.

Auerswald was also a lecturer and assistant director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government. In 2010 he organized the Presidents’ Symposium on the Future of Collegiate Education, held with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington and a B.A from Yale University.

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Erica Estrada

 

Adviser

A Levinthal Fellow and lecturer in 2008 and 2009 at Stanford University’s esteemed school of design, Erica has worked on a variety of teams including one which redesigned the shifting experience for Volkswagen — developing a foot-operated gear-shifting system for concept vehicles. By night, she soldered LEDs and cut PVC and Coke cans with her Extreme Affordability Team as they worked toward the goal of providing affordable lighting products to villagers in Burma.

After graduating from Stanford, her night job became her day job and her lighting team traveled to Burma and Cambodia prototyping lights and experimenting with batteries. Within a year, d.light design won $250k in venture capital funding from a business plan competition, and subsequently garnered the resources to officially incorporate. Erica spent another year traveling the world with her trusty travel sheets, lighting up dark villages with LED lights as a product designer and co-founder of d.light design.

Erica became an expert on need finding methods, rough prototyping and unusual in-the-field experiences. During this immersion, she made sure to carefully document d.light’s users’ stories, some of which can be found at http://www.dlightdesign.com/customers.html. Returning to academia, Erica spent two years as the Director, of the Social Entrepreneurship Lab at the HassoPlattner Institute of Design at Stanford.

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Raymond Rahbar

 

Adviser

Raymond is CEO and Founder of UberOffices. UberOffices is a shared office space for early-stage technology and creative companies in the Washington, D.C.metropolitan area.

A founding member of the NexGen Angels, an investing club of more than 50 Washington, DC-area angels who are 40 or younger, Raymond also serves on the Board of Advisors for John Marshall Bank and is a partner in American Majestic, a privately held Northern Virginia based real estate development company specializing in luxury homes for high net worth clients.

Raymond holds a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from George Mason School of Management and a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law.

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Oltac Unsal

 

Adviser

As a Senior Advisor to the World Bank, Oltac has designed a World Bank angel co-investment fund and a technical assistance facility that creates or enhances angel networks, increases the “investability” of developing world tech entrepreneurs through an incubator and mentoring ecosystem. He also has spearheaded establishing new educational paradigms in the developing world.

A movie producer, past Microsoft and Cisco executive, Oltac also spent his early career in banking with Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse First Boston and today serves as a Managing Director of Smyrna Capital.

An entrepreneur and founding member of NextGen Angels, Oltac and NextGen always keep the entrepreneur top of mind. Their motto is, “We aim to benefit the companies we work with, help build the DC area startup ecosystem, become an investment partner of choice for top entrepreneurs, and make the process enjoyable for everyone.”

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Jeffrey Selingo

 

Adviser

Jeffrey Selingo, an author, columnist, and speaker, has spent his journalism career covering the business of colleges and universities worldwide.

His best-selling new book, College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students, explores the college of tomorrow– how families will pay, what campuses will look like, how students will learn, and what skills will lead to success in the job market.

A contributing editor to The Chronicle of Higher Education and professor of practice at Arizona State University, Jeff’s work focuses on innovation in higher education and how students, parents, and employers should value one of the biggest purchases in life, the college degree.

Jeff is the former top editor of The Chronicle, where he worked for 16 years in a variety of reporting and editing roles. His writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post, and he is a contributor to the LinkedIn Influencer program where you can follow his blog posts on higher education.

Jeff’s work has been honored with awards from the Education Writers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and the Associated Press. He has been the keynote speaker before dozens of associations and universities and appears regularly on regional and national radio and television programs, including NPR, ABC, and CBS.

Jeff received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ithaca College and a master’s degree in government from the Johns Hopkins University.

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Donita Prakash

 

Director, Partnership & Development

Donita assists Education Design Lab in its efforts to develop and roll-out commercially viable solutions that have self-sustaining revenue streams. Prior to Education Design Lab, she served as Chief Marketing Officer of Acumen Solutions, Inc. where she helped the IT services firm double their revenues during her tenure.

Her team helped launch the award winning SchoolForce.com solution developed by Acumen Solutions for the K-12 education market working with leaders in charter schools in the District of Columbia and New York City Public Schools. Over the past 20 years, she has taken new products or services to market, many in their nascent stages (touch screen computing, mobile in the enterprise, cloud computing), across brands such as MCI, AOL, Dow Jones Telerate and Wells Fargo Bank.

Donita holds a B.A. in Economics from Mills College in Oakland, California.

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Erik Heyer

 

Board Member

Erik Heyer is currently Executive in Residence at Bridges Ventures, a U.K.-based private equity investment manager that is entirely dedicated to sustainable and impact investing.  He is a respected education leader, business manager and social entrepreneur.

Erik is founder and chairman of Capital Education Group, an autism services organization that operates The Auburn School network and the Little Leaves behavioral therapy programs. He is also founder and chairman of The Siena School, which is a leader in programs for students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences.

Previously, Erik was on the founding team and management committee of Victory Schools, a national leader in the charter school and public education reform movements. Victory was recognized for its accomplishments by the U.S. Department of Education (twice), TIME magazine, and numerous national and local leaders. In 2003, he was awarded a Broad Fellowship in the Broad Foundation Superintendents Academy.

He began his career in finance with Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, before joining New Mountain Capital, a leading private equity investment firm. Mr. Heyer holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in systems engineering with high honors from the University of Virginia. He has served as a trustee or director of the International Dyslexia Association, the Institute for Excellence & Ethics, the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County, and Calvert Education Services, one of the nation’s oldest homeschooling organizations and a leading online learning platform.

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Lou Pugliese

 

lou headshot

Board Member

Lou is currently Senior Innovation Fellow at Arizona State University and Managing Director of the Teaching and Learning Action Lab. Previously, Lou was the President of Quantum Thinking and Senior Fellow for Saylor Academy. Over the past twenty years, he has developed a strong track record managing growth stage businesses and acquiring and developing numerous education enterprises. Lou is a noted international speaker on educational technology and has addressed a wide range of issues in education and education policy. Prior to the recent acquisition by Blackboard, he was the former Chairman and CEO of Moodlerooms.

Prior to Moodlerooms, Lou was President of Learning Diagnostics Inc., an education a consulting practice, and vice president of corporate development and company director at Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Prior to ETS, Lou was an entrepreneur in residence at Novak Biddle Venture Partners, an equity financing firm established in 1997 to provide assistance to the management of young, information technology businesses. There he shaped the strategy for private equity investments in early stage educational technology companies. While working with Novak Biddle, Pugliese was named CEO of AnswerLogic, a software company that delivers online question answering solutions for business through its innovative natural language processing technology. Lou’s affiliation with Novak Biddle began with the firm’s early stage lead position in Blackboard, Inc., where he was founding CEO. Under his leadership, Blackboard experienced 500 percent annual revenue growth rates, international customer expansion to more than three million individuals teaching and learning on Blackboard, the roll out of multiple products and services and attainment over $50 million in private financing.

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Michael Meotti photo-2

Michael Meotti

Higher Ed Fellow

Mike brings extensive experience in higher education policy, innovation and management to Education Design Lab’s work.   Mike has a broad perspective on the challenges facing colleges and universities based on his past leadership positions in state government, nonprofit organizations and higher education systems. He has led transformation initiatives in all of these sectors.

Mike served as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Higher Education and Executive Vice President and chief operating officer of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. 

Mike was a member of the Executive Committee and Vice Chair of the Federal Relations Committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO).  He led the Connecticut delegation in the National Governors Association Best Practices Academy “Complete to Compete” and in Complete College America.  Michael was also active in the state policy track of Achieving the Dream and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Coalition for the Common Core Standards.  He earned his J.D. and B.S. degrees from Georgetown University.

Prior to his work in higher education, Mike led several nonprofit organizations that provided services addressing the needs of many “first generation” and returning adult students.

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Kevin Clark, PhD

 
Kevin Clark

Board Member

A Professor at George Mason University and current Director for the Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity, Kevin brings a host of online and digital learning experience to Education Design Lab.

A leader in the role of gaming and media, in and out of school learning environments particularly with underserved populations, Kevin is expanding his work into children’s educational media, which includes television, video games, web-based environments, music, magazines, and books. He also serves as an advisor to PBS, Disney Junior, and the National Parks Service.

Kevin is a computer science graduate of North Carolina State University and a graduate of Penn State University where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Instructional Systems.

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Kris Clerkin

 

Board Member

Kris is Managing Director at Volta Learning Group. Volta Learning Group is a consulting and advisory firm that catalyzes new learning models in postsecondary education. Kris was the founding Executive Director of College for America (CfA) at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).  CfA is the workforce-focused unit of SNHU offering affordable, ($3,000/year), competency-based Certificate, AA, and BA programs that enrolled nearly 5,000 students and 1,000 graduates after three years.  Under Kris’ leadership, CfA introduced an innovative project-based learning curriculum, built a learning management platform on Salesforce, introduced new student support models, innovated to drive down costs, and used data in new ways to help working adult learners be successful.  CfA introduced an innovative business-to-business partnership model that engaged over 100 employers, non-profits, and public agencies in sponsoring its programs for their employees.  Kris has many years of senior leadership experience in the higher education industry including roles as President of Houghton Mifflin’s Higher Education Division and General Manager of Wolters Kluwer Legal Education. She has an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

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Ryan Craig

 

Adviser

University Ventures Co-Founder Ryan Craig’s commentary on “where the puck is going” in higher education regularly appears in Forbes, EdSurge, Inside Higher Education, TechCrunch and VentureBeat, among others. He is the author of College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), which profiles the emergence of shorter, less expensive pathways to education credentials – and the coming shift toward competency-based education and hiring.

Prior to founding University Ventures, Ryan led the Education & Training sector at Warburg Pincus from where he was the founding Director of Bridgepoint Education (NYSE: BPI), one of the largest online universities in the United States. Ryan has also served as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Education, UCLA extension, and as Vice President for Columbia University’s online education company. From 2004 to 2010, Ryan founded and built Wellspring, a national network of treatment programs for overweight and obese children, adolescents, and young adults. He began his career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co.

As Managing Director of University Ventures, Ryan leads the firm’s investments in Revature, Credly, Portfolium, ProSky, and ReUp Education. He received bachelor’s degrees summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University, and his law degree from the Yale Law School.

 

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Phil Auerswald, PhD

 

Advisor

Philip Auerswald is an associate professor at the School of Public Policy and (for 2013-2014) the Presidential Fellow at George Mason University. He is the author of The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs are Transforming the Global Economy.

Since 2010, Auerswald has served as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative on topics related to job creation, education, and market-based strategy. During 2011-2012 he was a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. He is the co-founder and co-editor of Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, a quarterly journal from MIT Press about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges, and an associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University.

Auerswald was also a lecturer and assistant director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School of Government. In 2010 he organized the Presidents’ Symposium on the Future of Collegiate Education, held with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Washington and a B.A from Yale University.

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Kevin Clark, PhD

 
Kevin Clark

Board Member

A Professor at George Mason University and current Director for the Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity, Kevin brings a host of online and digital learning experience to Education Design Lab.

A leader in the role of gaming and media, in and out of school learning environments particularly with underserved populations, Kevin is expanding his work into children’s educational media, which includes television, video games, web-based environments, music, magazines, and books. He also serves as an advisor to PBS, Disney Junior, and the National Parks Service.

Kevin is a computer science graduate of North Carolina State University and a graduate of Penn State University where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Instructional Systems.

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Susan E Metros

 
Susan Metros

Advisor

Susan E. Metros offers over twenty years of experience as an educational technology executive and leader and over thirty years of experience in higher education as a professor and scholar. She currently serves as an information technology and academic innovation consultant, career mentor and an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach.

Susan has held Chief Information Officer positions at The Ohio State University and University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. She has served as the University of Tennessee’s Assistant Vice President for Educational Technology, OSU’s Deputy Chief Information Officer for eLearning and USC’s Associate Vice Provost for Technology Enhanced Learning. She was appointed as Associate Dean for USC’s Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation and helped conceive and develop the Academy’s undergraduate program and the online Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology.

Susan’s portfolio includes university-wide oversight for educational technologies, online learning, learning environments, web services and research computing. As an independent consultant, she is committed to helping educational institutions, non-profit organizations and edtech companies with strategic planning and initiating new or assessing existing online programs and educational technology processes, products and services. In her coaching and mentoring role, Susan helps individuals and teams identify, meet and exceed their professional and personal goals. Susan publishes and presents on leadership and mentoring, creativity and innovation, visual and multimedia literacy, and the role of educational technology in transforming higher education to be multi-modal, interactive and learner-centered.

Susan was elected to executive roles on the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Board of Directors. She currently sits on numerous boards and advisory committees including Colorado State University’s Global Campus Board of Directors. Recently, she was appointed as Senior Fellow for the Center of Digital Education and was the recipient of the EDUCAUSE 2017 Leadership Award.

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Rufus Glasper

 
Rufus Glasper

Board Member

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to catalyzing the community college movement. He is also Chancellor Emeritus of the Maricopa Community Colleges, one of the nation’s largest multi-college community college systems, after serving as Chancellor for 13 years.

Dr. Glasper serves on the Air University Board of Visitors, the intellectual and leadership center of the Air Force that provides dynamic comprehensive education to prepare graduates to develop, employ, command, research and champion air, space, and cyberspace power at all levels, and the American Council on Education. Dr. Glasper also serves on the boards of the Arizona Community Foundation, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences and The O’Connor Institute.

Dr. Glasper earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College (Decorah, Iowa), and a master’s and advanced degrees in school business administration from Northern Illinois University. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in higher education finance from the University of Arizona. 

 

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Marco Davis

 

Board Member

Marco A. Davis is a Partner at New Profit, a pioneering nonprofit national venture philanthropy fund. In this role, he serves as Organizational Lead on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and he manages the Proximity accelerator, engaging innovative social entrepreneurs of color. 

Before joining New Profit, Mr. Davis served under President Barack Obama as Deputy Director and Acting Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, which included leading engagement with the Hispanic community on the President’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Initiative. He also served as Director of Public Engagement for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Previously, he was Director of Global Fellowship and Regional Manager for Latin America at Ashoka’s Youth Venture. Earlier in his career, he was Director of Leadership Development at UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza).

Mr. Davis is a frequent speaker on the Latino community, diverse leadership in the nonprofit sector, and education in the United States. He serves on the board of directors at Educators for Excellence and Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC). He has been awarded the Hispanics in Philanthropy NGen Fellowship and the Presidio Institute Cross Sector Leadership Fellowship. In spring 2017, he was named a Pahara-Aspen Fellow.

Mr. Davis received a B.A. in History and Latin American Studies from Yale University, and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Originally from the New York City area, he lives in the District of Columbia with his wife and daughter.

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