Advisory Board

RODERICK R. PAIGE
FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION
  • U.S. Secretary of Education, 2001-2005
  • Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University. Established The Center for Excellence in Urban Education, a research facility that concentrates on issues related to instruction and management in urban school systems.
  • Trustee and an officer of the Board of Education of the Houston Independent School District (HISD), later superintendent of HISD, the nation's seventh largest school district. Inside Houston Magazine named Paige one of \"Houston's 25 most powerful people\". In 2001, he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators.
  • Spearheaded the implementation of the historic No Child Left Behind Act, with its goal of reinvigorating America's education system.
  • Active member of several highly respected boards, including the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, The Broad Foundation, the American College of Education, the New England College of Finance and Business, the National Council on Economic Education’s Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. Former board member of News Corporation.
  • Author of two books on education – most recently, “The Black-White Achievement Gap: Why Closing it is the Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time”.
  • Bachelor's degree from Jackson State University. Master's and a doctoral degree from Indiana University.

JAMES H. LOWRY
SENIOR ADVISOR AT THE BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP

  • Senior Advisor, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Previously a SVP and Global Diversity Director at BCG where he led the firm’s workforce diversity, ethnic marketing and minority business development consulting practice. Prior to joining BCG, had his own firm, James H. Lowry & Associates (JHLA), which was established in 1975.
  • Has held various positions within the U.S. Peace Corps, including Associate Director in Lima, Peru. He later was Assistant to the President of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corp.
  • Honored in the Inaugural class of the Minority Business Hall of Fame and was recently awarded an honorary Doctors of Laws degree from Grinnell College.
  • Adjunct Professor at J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management; on the Northwestern University Board of Directors; Chairman, Durban, South Africa/Chicago Sisters Cities Committee; former Chairman of the Chicago Public Library Board, and a former member of the Kraft Multicultural Council. He is presently a member of the Howard University School of Business board, serves as Chairman for the Howard University Entrepreneurship Center, Chairman of the Executive Network of the RLJ Equity Fund, and a Member of Toyota Diversity Advisory Board.
  • Undergraduate degree in political science from Grinnell College. Master’s degree in public international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Attended the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School and was elected president of his class.

KAREN SCHUSTER WEBB
EDUCATOR

  • Associate Provost and Founding Dean of the Shirley M. Hufstedler School of Education at Alliant International University.
  • Career highlights delineate consultancies with the United States Department of Education, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at Goddard Space Flight Center, the National Science Foundation, the Educational Testing Service, and Departments of Education in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia.
  • Visionary decision maker who is internationally recognized for her strategic thinking and expertise in policy making, professional development, and fiscal planning, with extensive knowledge of HBCUs.
  • Board memberships include Board of Examiners for the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the largest and most prestigious accreditation body of colleges and universities offering education programs in the United States and internationally, as well as with the William Tubman University (Liberia) Foundation.

LOUIS A. PICONI
FOUNDER – APANGEA LEARNING

  • Founder of Apangea Learning Inc., a tutoring company that is pioneering the use of artificial intelligence software, which is seamlessly integrated with online teachers to reduce the cost of tutoring while maintaining the effectiveness of live tutorial support. Led the development of tools which use data to drive differentiated academic experiences for students in “micro” content areas. Apangea serves over 150,000 students in 1,200 schools across 35 states.
  • Previously, Chief Operating Officer for CommNav Inc, a portal infrastructure company, focusing on technology deployment to small and medium sized businesses. Additionally, Chief Executive Officer for WiredOrg.com.
  • Elected Director for the Upper St. Clair, PA School Board which serves 4,000 students in Western PA. Served as a delegate to the Pennsylvania School Boards Association annual conference and a panelist on human capital efficiency for the Charter School Growth Fund Annual Conference.
  • Advisor to the Family Education Clubs Inc., where he has helped design the first system that uses student data, parent preferences, and vendor profiles to make intelligent recommendations on products and services that match student needs and learning styles.
  • Named a “Business Fast Tracker 50” in 2008. Apangea Learning was a finalist for the Pittsburgh Technology Company of the Year in 2009. Additional awards include: 2009 Tech & Learning Award of Excellence for Writing Product; 2007 Tech & Learning Award of Excellence for Math Product – Top Winner; 2008 District Administrator’s Magazine Top 100 Product in Education; 2008 Codie Award Finalist for Instructional Platform.

MARGARET D. TYLER
BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION

  • Senior program officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S. Special Initiatives, Postsecondary Success.
  • Formerly the Vice President and Executive Director of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program, a $1B initiative administered by the United Negro College Fund to promote academic excellence and opportunity for thousands of students of color with significant financial need.
  • Manager of Global Diversity for the BCSS initiative at McKinsey & Company, Chief of Staff to the President of Norfolk State University, and in several positions over almost two decades at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology including Director of Masters Admission for the Sloan School of Management, and Associate Dean of Graduate Education.
  • A graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School with a Master of Public Administration degree, and Boston University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education.

SHERYLL D. CASHIN
PROFESSOR OF LAW AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY LAW CENTER

  • Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and nationally recognized expert on race and opportunity. Cashin’s writings on race, race relations, and public policy have appeared in a wide variety of publications.
  • Author of two critically-acclaimed books, including “The Agitator’s Daughter,” which chronicles generations of academic achievers and political agitators in her family and celebrates the cultural values that propel all African-American strivers.
  • Board memberships include the Vanderbilt University Board of Trust; the Poverty & Race Research Action Council (a national civil rights organization committed to expanding mobility for low-income minorities); and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Past board memberships include St. Catherine’s College, Oxford (American Foundation) and the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy.
  • Economic Policy Advisor, The White House, 1993-96, specializing in community empowerment initiatives for distressed urban and rural areas.
  • Law Clerk to Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Vanderbilt University (summa cum laude); Master’s degree in English Law from Oxford University (with honors); J.D. from Harvard Law School (with honors).