Advisory Board

Michael Barth
Chairman, The King's Challenge
Founder and Former Chief Executive Officer, upublic

Michael has over 15 years experience in the global education space as an innovator, entrepreneur, and strategy consultant to leaders of international governments, organizations and companies. While at upublic, Michael developed and advised on education initiatives with a cumulative budget in excess of $1.2 billion in the US, Asia, and the Middle East.

Michael is currently the Chairman of The King's Challenge, a company that develops and funds sustainable economic initiatives around the world related to environmental conservation, cultural preservation and youth engagement. Michael is a trustee of the City Parks Foundation, an active member of the Explorers Club, and holds an Ed.M. from Columbia University, an M.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis and a B.A. from Clark University.

Ross Hiatt
Capital Markets, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Mr. Hiatt is a member of the Equity Capital Markets team in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he focuses on equity-linked transactions. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Mr. Hiatt worked at J.P. Morgan Securities in High Yield Capital Markets focusing on highly leveraged capital raisings, restructurings and leveraged buy outs. Throughout his career, he has been involved in capital raising from a variety of markets across a broad range of industries and has worked on more than 30 transactions raising over $15 billion in proceeds. Mr. Hiatt holds a BBA from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and has studied internationally at HEC in Paris and Fudan University in Shanghai.

Naomi Housman
Director, National High School Alliance

Ms. Housman is the Director the National High School Alliance and facilitates the work of the Steering Committee and partner organizations to achieve NHSA's mission: to mobilize the resources, knowledge, and capacity of individuals and organizations to work collectively in shaping policy, research, practice, and public engagement that foster high achievement, close the achievement gap, and promote civic and personal growth among all youth in our high schools communities.

Ms. Housman has focused her career on serving public school systems in high poverty, urban communities, with a particular emphasis on secondary education. At the Institute for Educational Leadership, she served as the assistant director of outreach for the National Clearinghouse for Comprehensive School Reform, where she helped to provide tailored assistance to national, state, district and school leaders focused on schoolwide improvement. Prior to her work in Washington, Ms. Housman taught in innovative programs serving middle and high school students, and helped to develop and implement a pilot academic program for the Steppingstone Foundation to prepare low-income minority students from Boston's lowest performing schools for entrance and successful transition into the district's public exam schools.

Lev Kaye
Chief Operating Officer, Teachscape

Lev Kaye joined Teachscape as Chief Operating Officer in July 2008, after several years in operating roles in education and youth services firms. Most recently, Lev was Managing Director of the after-school division of Wellspring, the leader in youth weight loss treatment, where he launched Wellspring's first outpatient obesity treatment programs in partnership with schools and local agencies. Prior to Wellspring, Lev spent 2003-2007 at Kaplan, Inc. in a variety of roles, most recently as General Manager of Kaplan's K12 Learning Services division, where he was responsible for Kaplan's supplemental products and services delivered to school districts nationwide, including 8 of the 10 largest. In that role, Lev led the analysis, planning, development and successful launch of Kaplan's Momentum Math middle school intervention curriculum, which was adopted by the California Department of Education in 2007.

Before finding his home in the education services sector, Lev spent 10 years in a variety of sales and product marketing roles with technology and information companies, including Reuters, Ameritech (now AT&T), and US Robotics, including from 1994-1997 as a principal and part-owner of InterAccess Company, the first Internet provider in his hometown of Chicago. Lev holds a BA in History from Grinnell College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was elected president of his section.

Cary Levine
Co-Founder and Former Director of Policy, upublic

Prior to assuming his current position at upublic, Cary’s principal work was in international law and human rights. He was Program Director for the International Bill of Rights Project (IBOR) at the University of California and served as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission at the 2003 Geneva Convention in Geneva, Switzerland. The culmination of his work with IBOR included the drafting of the Youth Involvement Educational Leadership Directive (YIELD Program), a civic education program for high school seniors in California public schools.

Cary was a 2004-2005 Educational Policy Fellow at Columbia University, Teachers College, where he also earned an M.A. in Leadership, Policy and Politics. He holds a B.A. in Law and Society from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Dr. Robert Monson
Senior Lecturer and Director of Educational Policy Fellowship Program
Teachers College, Columbia University

Professor Monson is currently the director of the Education Policy Fellowship Program at Columbia University, Teachers College. His interests lie in curriculum, Federal education policy, accountability systems, and public engagement. He has co-authored two volumes on performance assessment and published numerous journal articles on curriculum, assessment, and literacy education.

In recent years Professor Monson has served as a consultant for A.S.C.D., Public Agenda, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the Tri-States Standards Consortium, and school systems in the United States and South America. He was also a senior lecturer in Lesley College's national curriculum and instruction program, a member of the advisory board of the Harvard Principals Center, and a visiting faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Throughout his career in education, Professor Monson has served public school children in the capacities of teacher, high school assistant principal, high school principal, and superintendent.

Chris Muller
Director, American International School

Mr. Muller is Director of the American International School of Lusaka in Zambia. Prior to his current position in Africa, he was Middle School Principal at the United Nations International School in New York and Secondary School Principal at the American International School of Bucharest in Romania. He was born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia, and began his career teaching high school Mathematics in Cape Town, and English as a foreign language to adults in London. Mr. Muller entered the world of International Schools as a high school English and Mathematics teacher in Paris, and then as a teacher and administrator in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Mr. Muller has chaired several committees for the European Council of International Schools, conducted workshops and accreditation visits for the International Baccalaureate Organization, and is presently writing his doctoral dissertation at Columbia University.

James Potter
Co-Founder and Former Managing Director, upublic

Before joining the upublic team, James was an associate at LarraineVial in structured products, including work on the first bond index for the Chilean fixed income market. James also directed new business initiatives for two successful interactive media start-ups in Manhattan, and most recently worked with the newly formed Leadership Academy of the New York City Department of Education to design a best practices sharing system for public school principals.

James holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, with a focus on education and finance, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Vermont.

Dr. Susan Sclafani
U.S. Counselor to the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of Education, 2001-2005
Director of State Services, National Center for Education and the Economy

Dr. Sclafani retired from the United States Department of Education as Assistant Secretary of Education for Vocational and Adult Education, prior to which she served as Counselor to the Secretary of Education, where she was the U.S. representative to OECD, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and APEC, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Dr. Sclafani is an active Board member of upublic and is currently collaborating with them on projects in the U.S., China, India and the Middle East.

Before championing education at the national and international level, Dr. Sclafani worked alongside former United States Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, in the Houston public school system. Together their strong leadership and implementation of innovative programs led a district lagging behind in student performance to win the first Broad Prize for Urban Education. Propelled by her passion for improving the lives of children and adults through learning, from teaching math and computers in Houston classrooms to chief academic officer to her service at the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Sclafani has always promoted and ensured the highest standards in education.

Dr. Michael Usdan
Senior Fellow, Institute for Educational Leadership

Michael Usdan served as President of the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) from 1981 through 2001 before becoming a Senior Fellow at the organization. Prior to joining IEL, Mr. Usdan was Connecticut's Commissioner of Higher Education and the President of the Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Usdan has taught at Columbia University, the City University of New York, Northwestern and Fordham Universities, and in schools in New York City and White Plains. He also served as a member and president of the school board in the city of New Rochelle.