Thomas R. Bailey
Dr. Thomas R. Bailey is the George and Abby O'Neill Professor of Economics and Education in the Department of International and Transcultural Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Bailey holds a Ph.D. in labor economics from MIT. He is an economist, with specialties in education, labor economics, and econometrics.
In 1996, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Dr. Bailey established the Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, which conducts a large portfolio of qualitative and quantitative research based on fieldwork at community colleges and analysis of national- and state-level datasets. The research focuses on access and student success at community college, with a particular focus on the experiences low income and minority students. In July 2006, Dr. Bailey became the Director of the National Center for Postsecondary Research (NCPR), funded by a five-year grant from the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. Since 1992, Dr. Bailey has also been the Director of the Institute on Education and the Economy (IEE) at Teachers College.
His articles have appeared in a wide variety of education, policy-oriented and academic journals, and he authored or co-authored several books on the employment and training of immigrants and the extent and effects of on-the-job training. His most recent book, co-edited with Vanessa Morest, is Defending the Community College Equity Agenda (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006). Other books include Working Knowledge: Work-Based Learning and Education Reform (Routledge, 2004), co-authored with Katherine Hughes and David Moore; Manufacturing Advantage (Cornell University Press, 2000), written with Eileen Appelbaum, Peter Berg, and Arne Kalleberg; and The Double Helix of Education and the Economy (IEE, 1992), co-authored with Sue Berryman.
Wayne M. Burton
Dr. Wayne M. Burton is president of North Shore Community College with campuses in Danvers, Lynn, and Beverly, Massachusetts. Dr. Burton served in several capacities at the University of New Hampshire, his last fourteen as Assistant Dean and Director of Accreditation for the Whittemore School of Business and Economics. From 1993 to 2000 he served as Dean of the School of Business at Salem State College. Dr. Burton was appointed president of North Shore Community College in 2000. He served on Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's Transition Committee in November 2006 and continues to advise the Governor through his membership on the Governor's Small Business Roundtable. He was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Commission on the Study of In-State Tuition, and is one of fifteen appointees to the U.S. Department of Education Committee on Measures of Student Success. Dr. Burton is a founding member and co-chair of the Community College Consortium on Autism and Intellectual Disabilities. He serves on many community affiliations, i.e. N.S. Chamber of Commerce (past chair) and founder of the North Shore Alliance for Economic Development. Born and raised in Belmont, MA, he earned his A.B. from Bowdoin College and after serving as a Captain in the U.S Army in Germany and Vietnam, an M.B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Burton is a New Hampshire resident and served two terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. He currently serves as a member of the Strafford Regional Planning Commission in Southern New Hampshire.
Dr. Margarita Benítez is an independent consultant and a Senior Associate with Excelencia in Education. She brings with her substantial experience and a particular focus on minority-serving institutions, gained from her years as a college president (1985-94), as a member of the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (1990-1996), as a senior official in the Office of Postsecondary Education in the U.S. Department of Education (1998-2003), as an advisor to the President of the University of Puerto Rico system (2003-2009), and a senior associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (2004-2007). She was director of higher education for The Education Trust (2007-2010) and coordinator of the Access to Success Initiative, a partnership of 23 state university systems designed to improve student success and to close by at least half the gaps in both college-going and college completion that separate low income and underrepresented minority students from other students.
Mr. Kevin Carey is the policy director of Education Sector, an independent think tank. He manages the organization's policy team and oversees policy development in K–12 and higher education. Mr. Carey has published articles in magazines including Washington Monthly, The New Republic, The American Prospect, Democracy, and Newsweek. He writes a monthly column for the Chronicle of Higher Education and serves as guest editor of Washington Monthly's annual college issue. His writing was anthologized in Best American Legal Writing 2009.
Mr. Carey's research at Education Sector includes higher education reform, improving college graduation rates, college rankings, community colleges, and NCLB. He regularly contributes to The Quick and the ED and Brainstorm blogs and provides expert commentary for media outlets including CNN, C-SPAN, PBS Frontline, and National Public Radio. He also teaches education policy at Johns Hopkins University.
Previously, Mr. Carey was director of policy research for The Education Trust and a policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Carey served as Indiana's Assistant State Budget Director for education, where he advised the governor on finance and policy issues in K–12 and higher education. He also served as a senior analyst for the Indiana Senate Finance Committee.
Mr. Carey holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Binghamton University and a master of public administration from the Ohio State University. He lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, D.C
Alisa F. Cunningham
Ms. Alisa Federico Cunningham is vice president of research and programs at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization located in Washington, D.C. that focuses on access to and success in postsecondary education. She oversees the organization’s research studies, project evaluations, and programmatic work. In addition, Ms. Cunningham conducts her own research related to disadvantaged populations around the world. Since joining IHEP in 1997, Ms. Cunningham’s work has addressed a broad array of topics, including higher education financing, student financial aid, minority-serving institutions, student persistence and attainment, and opportunities for student access and success. Her experience in policy research and analysis includes both domestic and international fields, and during her tenure at the organization, she has been involved in several cutting-edge national studies on college costs and prices as well as measurements of student persistence. In addition to research presentations at numerous conferences and articles published in various journals and magazines, Ms. Cunningham is the author or co-author of many of IHEP’s publications. Most recently, she co-authored a chapter in "Recognizing and serving low income students in postsecondary education." She also was awarded the 2010 Robert P. Huff Golden Quill Award for her contributions to literature on student financial aid.
Mr. Jacob Fraire worked as an education lobbyist in Washington, DC, representing institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations in the secondary and higher education sectors. He provided federal relations representation to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), National Association of Student Employment Administrators, National Association for Migrant Education, Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and guaranty agencies participating in the federal student loan programs.
He served as director of legislation and policy analysis for HACU and later as senior legislative coordinator for the law firm of Jorden, Burt, Berenson, & Johnson, LLP, where he represented research universities and institutes. His areas of expertise extend to elementary and secondary education and higher education authorization statutes and the budget and appropriations processes.
Since 1998, Mr. Fraire has served as assistant vice president at the non-profit Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation (TG), leading the company’s philanthropic and community service department. He oversees TG’s national and state efforts in pre-collegiate outreach, financial literacy, community college policy and practice, enrollment management services, philanthropy, and an academic journal. He designed and leads TG’s Public Benefit Program, which provides grant funding to advance college access and success, need-based grant aid, and education research. Since 2005, TG’s Public Benefit program has awarded a combined $37 million in competitive grants to non-profit organizations and direct grant aid to college students.
The son of migrant farm-workers, Mr. Fraire was raised in El Paso, Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin and a master’s degree in public affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Jacob is married to Dr. Virginia Murillo Fraire; they have five children
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Woods Hole, Massachusetts, Ms. Isabel Friedman has made her mark as a youth leader, champion for girls and women, and political activist.
As a member of the class of 2008 at the Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, Ms. Friedman served as student government president, peer mentor and writing tutor, alumnae representative, and blood drive leader; and she has won honors for leadership and community service. She served as an assistant teacher at The Children’s’ School of Science in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (summers 2006-2007), upon completion of its full 8-year curriculum. She co-developed and and conducted in-school Basic Breast Health Assembly programs, reaching over 5,000 middle and high school girls, and their mothers. Following, she co-authored the book, Taking Care of Your 'Girls:' A Breast Health Guide for Girls, Teens, and In-Betweens, published by Random House in September of 2008. During her gap year before starting college at University of Pennsylvania, she worked as a Field Organizer on Barack Obama's Presidential Campaign in Philadelphia. After inauguration, she studied Hindi and texttile design and volunteered in India for a semester. She served as an intern in the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
At Penn, Ms. Friedman serves on the board of Penn Democrats, plays an active role at the Penn Women's Center, and was selected to be a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters in West Philadelphia. She is majoring in Health and Societies and is looking forward to starting her sophomore year.
Dr. Mildred García is president of California State University (CSU), Dominguez Hills, a comprehensive university in Los Angeles County. She arrived in 2007, after serving as President of Berkeley College in New York and New Jersey.
Dr. García began her career as faculty and is a tenured professor in Graduate Education at CSU Dominguez Hills. She has taught at numerous community colleges, comprehensive institutions and research universities, and is a scholar of higher education. Her research concentrates on equity in higher education and its impact on policy and practice, and has written and published more than thirty books, articles, book reviews and commissioned reports.
Dr. García serves on the Boards of Directors for: Association of American Colleges and Universities; American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education; Advisory Board of Higher Education Abstracts; Editorial Advisory Board of Peer Review; Advisory Board for Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education; Board of Trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning; Board of Visitors for Air University; is a founding member of National Council for Community and Education Partnerships; appointed to the U.S. Committee on Measures of Student Success and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s, Blue Ribbon Committee.
Dr. García received an Ed.D. and M.A. in higher education administration from Teachers College, Columbia University; M.A. in business education/higher education from New York University; B.S. in business education from Bernard Baruch College, CUNY; and an A.A.S. in legal secretarial sciences in business from New York City Community College, CUNY.
Dr. Sharon Kristovich has had more than 20 years experience in research and statistical support. The last twelve of these years were in community college institutional research; most of the time in leadership positions. She is presently self-employed as a higher educational consultant, specializing in program and institutional evaluation, federal and state accountability, retention/persistence, student success, student engagement, enrollment trends, assessment methods, program evaluation, data warehousing and management, statistical analyses, and human subjects review (you name it, she can do it!). Dr. Kristovich has authored or co-authored five papers and over 30 presentations (some of them award-winning) in community college institutional research.
Dr. Kristovich’s educational background includes a B.A. in Psychology from Cook College, Rutgers University in 1985. She has a master’s degree (1988) and a Ph.D. (1995) in Cognitive/Academic Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Mr. Harold Levy is best known for having been New York City Schools Chancellor from 2000 to 2002. He has also been Director of Global Compliance of Citigroup and Litigation Counsel of Salomon Brothers. He currently works for a family office that invests in education businesses.
Geri D. Palast
The Honorable Geri D. Palast is the Executive Director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE). During her tenure, CFE successfully completed litigation and legislation that established the right to a sound basic education in the New York State Constitution and reformed the state school finance and accountability laws. CFE now oversees the implementation of the settlement, and co-leads the statewide education advocacy coalition that addresses ongoing funding, policy, and public education efforts to ensure a quality education for every public school student. Previously, Palast was the founder and executive director of the Justice at Stake Campaign, the national organization working to ensure fair and impartial courts, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs under President Clinton, and national Political and Legislative Director of Service Employees International Union. She is an attorney, a Root-Tilden Public Service Law Scholar from NYU School of Law, and an honors graduate of Stanford University. She is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and California.
As the appointed Vice Chancellor of Technology, Research, and Information Systems for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, Mr. Patrick Perry oversees both the collection of all unitary student records for California's 112-campus system and the Institutional Research function responsible for all system accountability reporting. In this capacity, he has negotiated data matching agreements and leveraged the systems' educational data warehouse to fully capture student progress, transfer movement, institutional peer grouping, and wage outcomes to create a comprehensive reporting and accountability framework for two-year institutions and their student populations. He has worked for over a decade on capturing the complexities of measuring student intent in a community college environment and translating this to approriate success rate and output volume measurements. Mr. Perry is a regular contributor at IPEDS Technical Review Panels, is a former member of the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC), and currently serves as an advisor to the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in the development of their Voluntary Framework of Accountbility (VFA).
Dr. Lashawn Richburg-Hayes is a Senior Research Associate and the Deputy Director of the Young Adults Postsecondary Education policy area within MDRC. Dr. Richburg-Hayes’ current research focuses on measuring various effects of new forms of financial aid, enhanced student services, and curricular and instructional innovations on community college retention and credit accumulation, as well as nonexperimental methods of data analysis. Dr. Richburg-Hayes was a lead investigator of MDRC’s Opening Doors Project, a demonstration that is designed to help nontraditional students—at-risk youth, low-wage working parents, and unemployed individuals—earn college credentials on the pathway to better jobs with higher pay. She is a lead investigator of Achieving the Dream, a comprehensive initiative being led by the Lumina Foundation that targets students of color and low-income students, aiming to boost academic achievement and “close the gap” between these and other community college enrollees. Dr. Richburg-Hayes earned a bachelor’s degree from the Industrial and Labor Relations School of Cornell University. She received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Economics from Princeton University.Linda M. Thor
Dr. Linda M. Thor is chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District (FHDA). A nationally recognized innovator in education, before joining FHDA in February, Dr. Thor served for nearly 20 years as president of Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona, a college known for serving working adults through online education and worksite training. Prior to becoming Rio Salado’s president in 1990, Dr. Thor was president of West Los Angeles College (WLAC) in Culver City, California. Dr. Thor’s appointment as WLAC president in March 1986 followed a successful tenure as senior director of occupational and technical education and director of communications services for the Los Angeles Community College District.
Active at the national level, she serves on the boards of the League for Innovation in the Community College, EDUCAUSE, the executive council of the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET), the Commission on Lifelong Learning for the American Council of Education, the board of the Comprehensive College Baccalaureate Association and is a member of the Leadership Circle of the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.
Dr. Thor holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pepperdine University, a master of public administration degree from California State University–Los Angeles, and a doctor of education degree in community college administration from Pepperdine University.
Belle S. Wheelan
Dr. Belle S. Wheelan currently serves as President of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is the first African American and the first woman to serve in this capacity. Her career spans over 30 years and includes the roles of faculty member, chief student services officer, campus provost, college president, and Secretary of Education. In several of those roles she was the first African American and/or woman to serve in those capacities. Dr. Wheelan received her bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in Texas (1972) with a double major in Psychology and Sociology; her master’s degree from Louisiana State University (1974) in Developmental Educational Psychology; and her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin (1984) in Educational Administration with a special concentration in community college leadership.