Conference Speakers

Mr. Bryonn Bain

Activist, Artist, Professor, Department of African American Studies, UCLA    

Bryonn Bain is a prison activist, actor, author, hip hop theater innovator and spoken word poetry champion. His critically-acclaimed multimedia production LYRICS FROM LOCKDOWN (directed by Gina Belafonte) is a one-man show weaving together hip hop theater, spoken word poetry, blues, comedy, calypso and classical music to tell his unbelievable story of racial profiling and unjustified imprisonment. Having its world premiere at Harlem’s National Black Theatre in 2013 (executive produced by Harry Belafonte), Bain plays 40 characters in this tour de force production which has been featured at The Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPACC), The Actor’s Gang Theater, The Grammy Museum at LA Live, and sold-out on three continents worldwide.

After developing courses linking RIkers Island correctional facility with Columbia University, and teaching the first hip hop and spoken word course at Harvard University, Bain launched the Prison Education Program at NYU to offer college degree opportunities in New York prisons. Bryonn is currently developing UCLA’s prison education program at the California Institute for Women. Bringing arts, activism and education to prisons for over 25 years, his groundbreaking courses on hip hop, theater, spoken word poetry, police abuse and the prison crisis continue to impact youth at Rikers Island prison, Boys Town Detention Center, and those incarcerated at Wallkill and Sing Sing prisons.


Dr. Joseph Bishop

Director, Center for the Transformation of Schools, UCLA          

Dr. Joseph Bishop is the Director of the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. Before UCLA, Bishop was a senior policy advisor with the Learning Policy Institute. Bishop oversaw the organization’s school resourcing portfolio and supported state efforts to address teaching shortages and build quality early care and education systems. Bishop has held a number of national and state education leadership positions including Director of Policy with the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign; Executive Director of Opportunity Action; founding co-chair of the Coalition for Teaching Quality, a 100 plus national membership group; Director of Strategic Initiatives with the Partnership for 21st Century Learning; Director of Education for the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials Educational Fund and was formerly a governor-appointed member of the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

Bishop has a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy and Organizations from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Mr. Alberto Carvalho

Superintendent, Miami Dade County Public Schools            

Alberto M. Carvalho has served as Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the nation’s fourth largest school system, since September 2008. He is a nationally recognized expert on education transformation, finance, and leadership development. During his tenure, M-DCPS has become one of the nation’s highest-performing urban school systems receiving system-wide accreditation from AdvancEd in 2014. The District has also been named as the 2014 College Board Advanced Placement Equity and Excellence District of the Year, as well as the 2012 winner of the Broad Prize for Urban Education. As a staunch believer in school choice, he has expanded choice options in Miami-Dade to include over 500 offerings including programs in fine and performing arts, biotechnology, engineering, robotics, aviation, forensic sciences, and many others.

An instructional leader at heart, Mr. Carvalho is also the proud founder and self-appointed principal of the award-winning iPrep Academy which has become a model of robust 21st century learning in the age of innovation and technology. Recognized by his peers as a leader, he has served as President of the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents; been selected as Florida’s 2014 Superintendent of the Year, as well as the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year; was named by Scholastic Administrator as one of “The Fantastic Five” educators making a difference in America; and is the 2016 winner of the 2016 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, as well as the Magnet Schools of America 2016 Superintendent of the Year. He has recently been appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education to serve a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board.

Mr. Carvalho has been awarded many honorary degrees including a Doctor of Public Service by Florida International University; Doctor of Humane Letters by both Barry University and Florida Memorial University; and a Doctor of Pedagogy, Honoris Causa from Nova Southeastern University. He has been honored by the President of Portugal with the “Ordem de Mérito Civil” and by Mexico with the “Othli Award”.


Camila Chávez

Co-Founder and Executive Director, Dolores Huerta Foundation

Ms. Chávez is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). From the DHF headquarters in Bakersfield, Ms. Chávez oversees training for low-income community members in the areas of leadership and organizing skills specific to civic and electoral participation so that they can become catalysts for change in their own communities. The ideals of non-violence, selfless motivation and personal responsibility were instilled in Camila by her parents Richard Chávez and Dolores Huerta. Before her current role, Chávez worked in the public health arena promoting Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and other health coverage programs for low-income and undocumented families in San Francisco and Alameda Counties. Chávez is a graduate of Mills College.


Hon. Joyce Elliott

State Senator, Arkansas               

Senator Joyce Elliott is serving her first term in the Arkansas Senate. She is the Senate Majority Whip for the 88th General Assembly. Elected in November 2008, she currently represents District 33 in Little Rock. During the 88th Legislative Session, she serves as vice chair of Joint Retirement and Social Security. Additionally she holds membership on the following committees: Joint Budget Committee, Arkansas Legislative Council, Senate Education, Insurance and Commerce and Senate Rules, Resolutions and Memorials.

Regionally and nationally, Senator Elliott works with legislators as a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). Civically, Senator Elliott is a member of the NAACP, the Arkansas Women’s Forum and the Arkansas Women’s Leadership Forum. She serves on the board of directors of the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History (Little Rock), Just Communities of Central Arkansas (Little Rock), Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) Education Fund (Arlington, Mass.) and City Year of Little Rock.

Elliott earned an undergraduate degree in English and speech from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia in 1973 and a graduate degree in English from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia in 1981.


Ms. Lily Eskelsen-Garcia

President, National Education Association              

Lily Eskelsen García is president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest labor union. Lily began her career in education as a school lunch lady and now leads a professional association of three million educators – she is the first Latina to lead the NEA and one of the country’s most influential Hispanic educators.

Prior to assuming the top post, Lily served two terms as NEA Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer. She became a vocal critic of the standardized testing movement and raised alarms on the outsize role that testing is playing in public education: taking over the time students spend in the classroom, being used as a weapon against their teachers, and distracting from the real problem of unequal opportunities for students. Lily is a sought-after speaker and delivered keynote addresses at hundreds of education events across the country, earning her recognition by Education World in their “Best Conference Speakers” edition. She also blogs at “Lily’s Blackboard,” bringing a teacher’s voice to topical education issues. Her advice has been published in Parenting magazine and she has been featured on MSNBC, CNN en Español and as the voice of the noble opposition on Fox & Friends. Lily serves as the Vice President of Educational International for the North America and Caribbean Region, pursuing a common course of action on issues like collective bargaining, raising student achievement, and adequate funding that resonate around the world.

Lily is a graduate of the University of Utah, graduating magna cum laude in elementary education and later earning her master’s degree in instructional technology.


Dr. Eugene Garcia

Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University             

Dr. Eugene Garcia is the Distinguished Professor of Research at the National Hispanic University. He is also a professor emeritus at Arizona State University, where he served as dean of the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education on the university’s Tempe campus and as vice president for education partnerships. He is also a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was dean of the Graduate School of Education.

During his career, Dr. Garcia also has been a faculty member at the University of Utah; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has served as a director and senior officer in the U.S. Department of Education and has chaired the National Task Force on Early Education for Hispanics funded by the Foundation for Child Development. He is currently conducting research on effective schooling for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations and has been appointed to the Board on Children, Youth, and Families of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

Dr. Garcia has served as a post-doctoral fellow in human development at Harvard University, a National Research Council fellow, and a National Kellogg Leadership fellow. He has been honored by a number of national education associations and most recently received an honorary doctorate from the Erikson Institute in Chicago for his contributions to the child development field.


Ms. Leyda Garcia

Principal, UCLA Community School              

Leyda W. Garcia is the principal of UCLA Community School, a partnership between the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at UCLA, the Los Angeles Unified School District and local community organizations. Garcia oversees the school’s progressive curriculum and instructional programs, as well as aims to increase college readiness among all of the school’s approximately 1,000 K–12 students, many of whom are English-language learners.

Leyda Garcia began her teaching career in 1998 in San Mateo, CA as a bilingual educator. In 2000 she returned to Los Angeles and worked for both the LAUSD and the Montebello Unified School District where she became an assistant principal and eventually a principal. Ms. Garcia graduated from the UCLA’s Principal Leadership Institute in 2007. She served as principal of Garfield Elementary/Montebello Park School in the Montebello Unified School District and has also held several positions at Eastmont Intermediate School, including that of assistant principal. Additionally, she has held positions at the Visionary School Group and the LAUSD’s Rosemont Avenue Elementary School, among others.

Garcia earned both a B.A. in psychology and M.A. in education from Stanford University. Garcia is a 2007 graduate of the Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies.


Dr. Sheryl Kataoka

Professor-in-Residence, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCLA          

Dr. Sheryl Kataoka is Professor-in-Residence in the UCLA Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she serves as the Training Director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship. She is an investigator with the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society and the site PI for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Treatment and Services Adaptation Center for Resiliency, Hope and Wellness in Schools.

She completed her Bachelors of Science at UCLA and medical school at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She returned to Los Angeles for her Psychiatry Residency training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center during which she was also an APA Minority Fellow. She completed her child psychiatry fellowship training at the UCLA Semel Institute, and then launched her research career as an APA research fellow in the Program for Minority Research Training in Psychiatry when she examined the psychopathology. Sheryl continued her research training as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and received her Masters of Science in Health Services Research from the UCLA School of Public Health.


Dr. Michelle King

Superintendent, Los Angeles Unified School District            

Michelle King is the superintendent of schools for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest school district in the nation. She is responsible for creating policy, making recommendations to the members of the Los Angeles Board of Education and creating conditions that promote student success. Dr. King has dedicated her 30-year career to the students of L.A. Unified, having worked as a teacher, coordinator, assistant principal, principal, chief administrator of secondary instruction, local district superintendent, chief of staff to the superintendent, senior deputy superintendent and chief deputy superintendent.

As a veteran educator, instruction is Dr. King’s strength. She is committed to ensuring that all students have access to the tools they need to prepare for college and careers. She has led district-wide reforms to increase graduation rates, particularly among traditionally under-represented populations. She has also been a champion of programs such as Restorative Justice, aimed at keeping students in school and improving citizenship. Since Dr. King took on the role of L.A. Unified Superintendent, the District has seen steady increases in graduation rates and rising scores on new online standardized tests. She has been instrumental in building coalitions that strengthen family and community engagement and establishing partnerships that guarantee students free tuition to community college, as well as admission to California State University campuses and other institutions of higher learning.

Dr. King holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master’s degree in administration from Pepperdine University and a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California. She has also received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University.


Dr. David Kirp

Professor of the Graduate School, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley    

Dr. David L. Kirp, is a policy consultant and former newspaper editor as well as an academic. In his seventeen books and scores of articles, in both the popular press and scholarly journals, he has tackled some of America’s biggest social problems, including affordable housing, access to health, gender discrimination and AIDS. Throughout his career, his main focus has been on education and children’s policy, from cradle to college and career. He was a member of the 2008 Presidential Transition Team, where he drafted a policy framework for early education.

His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, American Prospect, Nation, Slate, Daily Beast, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee and Huffington Post. In recent years, he has addressed the American Association of School Administrators, the National Science Foundation, the Center for American Progress, the National Institute for Early Education Research, the American Federation of Teachers, the Cleveland City Club and the Economic Policy Institute. Long committed to developing a new generation of public leaders at the Goldman School of Public Policy at Berkeley, he launched the New Community Fund, to promote greater student diversity, an education and youth policy scholarship and an eponymously-named scholarship.

Dr. David Kirp is a graduate of Amherst College—a former trustee of his alma mater—and Harvard Law School.


Julian L. Lucas

Board Member, Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education

Julian L. Lucas is a board member of the immigrant rights advocacy group Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education (R.I.S.E.).

Julian was born in Veracruz, Mexico and migrated to the United States at the age of 8 along with his two siblings. While Julian managed to get accepted into every university that he applied, it was not until the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program was enacted that he could afford to pursue higher education. Since attending high school, Julian has been deeply involved in mentoring and advocating for undocumented and immigrant youth.

Julian received his bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley, and is pursuing a dual degree in law and public policy.


Jose Luis Navarro

Principal, Social Justice Humanitas High School           

Jose Luis Navarro is the Principal of Social Justice Humanitas High School in Los Angeles. The mission of Social Justice Humanitas is to achieve social justice through the development of the complete individual. In doing so, they increase students’ social capital and humanity while creating a school worthy of our own children.

Jose has received numerous awards including the Los Angeles County Most Inspirational Teacher (2003, 2006), Coach of the Year Valley Mission League (2003), Certificate of Excellence (2004), California Scholarship Federation Recognized Teacher (2004-2006, 2008), University of California Distinguished Teacher (2006, 2009), Los Angeles Daily News Coach of the year (2007), LAUSD Teacher of the Year (2008), LA County Teacher of the year (2008), California Teacher of the Year (2009), UCLA Deans Scholar (2010), Latino Educator of the Year (2013), Innovative School Leadership Institute Fellowship (2014), and College Summit Administrator of the Year (2015).

He received a B.S. in Social Sciences from Western Oregon University and a Master’s in Education Leadership from UCLA.


Dr. Pedro A. Noguera

Faculty Director, Center for the Transformation of Schools; Distinguished Professor, UCLA      

Pedro A. Noguera is a Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA and founder of the Center for the Transformation of Schools (CTS) at UCLA. His scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions and demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.

Dr. Noguera serves on the board of numerous national and local organizations and appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and other national news outlets. Prior to joining the faculty at UCLA, he served as the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University and the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. From 2009 – 2012 he served as a Trustee for the State University of New York (SUNY) as an appointee of the Governor. In 2014 he was elected to the National Academy of Education. Noguera recently received awards from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Behavioral Sciences, the National Association of Secondary Principals, and the McSilver Institute at NYU for his research and advocacy efforts aimed at fighting poverty.

Dr. Pedro Noguera received his bachelors’ and master’s degree from Brown University and earned his doctorate in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.


Mr. Jonathan Raymond

President, Stuart Foundation               

Jonathan Raymond is the President of the Stuart Foundation. Previously, Jonathan was Superintendent of Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) in Sacramento, California’s 11th largest school district, from 2009-2013. Under his leadership, SCUSD began implementing the new common core standards in 2011, redesigned high schools to expand career academies and pathways resulting in graduation rates going from 68% to 85% and the dropout rate plunging from over 23% to just under 6%. During his tenure innovative partnerships with local colleges and employers were established to create a pathway from pre-K to graduate school called the Sacramento Pathways to Success, and partnerships to expand before, after and summer programs for youth. Mr. Raymond also signed a Compact with the district’s charter school providers and joined a coalition of other districts in California to receive the only school district waivers to No Child Left Behind. Jonathan credits his proudest accomplishments establishing seven Priority Schools – transforming Sacramento’s poorest performing schools in the neediest neighborhoods to some of the city’s highest performing schools, and Project Green, a student led effort to make Sacramento’s schools greener and healthier.

Prior to SCUSD, Jonathan served as Chief Accountability Officer of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools in North Carolina, where he led the implementation of a comprehensive accountability system. The system included school progress reports, a school quality review program, and a school improvement process to drive continuous improvement in schools for increased student learning and achievement. Jonathan also led the design and implementation of a world-class data dashboard aligned to the district’s strategic plan.

Jonathan was a Fellow in the Broad Superintendents Academy and completed the Executive Management Program at Harvard Business School. He holds a Juris Doctorate from George Mason Law School in Arlington, VA and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He earned a BA from Tufts University.


Mr. Alberto Retana

President and CEO, Community Coalition             

Mr. Alberto Retana is the President and CEO of Community Coalition, an organization that works to help transform the social and economic conditions in South LA that foster addiction, crime, violence and poverty by building a community institution that involves thousands in creating, influencing and changing public policy. Alberto’s core values center on the notion that people, love and compassion – matched with organized power, strategy, and vision – have the potential to transform society.

Alberto cut his teeth in community organizing at Community Coalition, a nonprofit organization based in South Los Angeles that engages and empowers residents to improve health, education, and public safety. For the next eleven years, Alberto continued organizing in different capacities, leading Community Coalition through major victories in advancing racial justice, economic justice, food justice, and education equity. From 2009 to 2011, Alberto worked for the Obama administration in the U.S. Department of Education as Director of Community Outreach. During his time in D.C., he organized the Department’s first National Youth Summit, and worked with thousands of community leaders across the country on turning around the nation’s “push-out” crisis. In 2011, Alberto returned to Community Coalition to lead its mass based civic engagement strategy to organize 40,000 African American and Latino voters in various campaigns from statewide initiatives to enrollment into Obamacare.

Alberto was introduced to organizing at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated with a degree in Political Science.


Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D.

Educator and Author              

Sir Ken Robinson works with governments, education systems, international agencies, global corporations and some of the world’s leading cultural organizations to unlock the creative energy of people and organizations. He has led national and international projects on creative and cultural education in the UK, Europe, Asia and the United States. The embodiment of the prestigious TED Conference and its commitment to spreading new ideas, Sir Ken Robinson is the most watched speaker in TED’s history. His 2006 talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity” has been viewed online over 40 million times and seen by an estimated 350 million people in 160 countries.

For twelve years, he was professor of arts education at the University of Warwick in the UK and is now professor emeritus. In 1999, he led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government. All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education (The Robinson Report) was published to wide acclaim. He was the central figure in developing a strategy for creative and economic development as part of the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, working with the ministers for training, education enterprise and culture. The resulting blueprint for change, Unlocking Creativity, was adopted by politicians of all parties and by business, education and cultural leaders across the Province. He was one of four international advisors to the Singapore Government for its strategy to become the creative hub of Southeast Asia, and the guiding force in Oklahoma’s statewide strategy to cultivate creativity and innovation in culture, commerce and education.

He has been named as one of Time/Fortune/CNN’s ‘Principal Voices’. He was acclaimed by Fast Company magazine as one of “the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” and was ranked in the Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thinkers. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts.


Dr. John Rogers

Professor, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies         

John Rogers is a Professor at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and Director of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (IDEA). He also serves as the Faculty Director of Center X, which houses UCLA’s Teacher Education Program, Principal Leadership Program, and professional development initiatives.

Rogers studies the role of civic engagement in equity-focused school reform and civic renewal and the relationship between education and different forms of inequality. He currently is the principal investigator of the “Keeping Time Project” which explores the ways that learning time is experienced differently across low-income and affluent communities. Rogers also co-leads the “Learning About Inequality” project that examines how high schools across North America engage students in lessons about economic, social, and racial inequality. John Rogers is the co-author of Learning Power: Organizing for Education and Justice and co-editor of Public Engagement for Public Education: Joining Forces to Revitalize Democracy and Equalize Schools.

He received his Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University and his B.A. in Public Policy and African American Studies from Princeton University.


Dr. Robert Ross

President, The California Endowment              

Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in July 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000, and Commissioner of Public Health for the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993.

During his tenure at The California Endowment, the foundation has focused on the health needs of underserved Californians by championing the cause of health coverage for all children, reducing childhood obesity, strengthening the capacity of community health centers, improving health services for farm worker and ex‐offender populations, and strengthening the pipeline for bringing racial and ethnic diversity to the health professions. In the Los Angeles region, he has provided leadership to support the re‐opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center and the revitalization of Charles Drew University. In 2010, The California Endowment launched a 10‐year statewide commitment investing $1 billion to advance policies and forge partnerships to build healthy communities and a healthy California. Recently, he has helped bring greater philanthropic attention to the health and well‐being of young men of color across California and the nation.

Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, Masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Ross was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar from 1988 to 1990, focusing on urban child health issues.


Dr. Sylvia Rousseau

Clinical Professor, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California

Dr. Sylvia Rousseau is a professor of clinical education at the Rossier School of Education at USC. Rousseau taught for many years in L.A. Unified, and then served as assistant principal of Washington Preparatory High School. She became principal of Santa Monica High in 1993 and served as a local superintendent in L.A. Unified from 2001-2005. In 2006, Rousseau joined the Rossier School of Education as a professor of clinical education and urban scholar. In 2011, she returned to LAUSD to serve as principal and school reform adviser at Crenshaw High. She currently teaches in Rossier’s EdD program.


Mr. Claudio Sanchez

Correspondent, Education, National Desk, NPR             

Former elementary and middle school teacher Claudio Sanchez is an Education Correspondent for NPR. He focuses on the “three p’s” of education reform: politics, policy and pedagogy. Sanchez’s reports air regularly on NPR’s award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Sanchez joined NPR in 1989, after serving for a year as executive producer for the El Paso, Texas, based Latin American News Service, a daily national radio news service covering Latin America and the U.S.- Mexico border.

From 1984 to 1988, Sanchez was news and public affairs director at KXCR-FM in El Paso. During this time, he contributed reports and features to NPR’s news programs.In 2008, Sanchez won First Prize in the Education Writers Association’s National Awards for Education Reporting, for his series “The Student Loan Crisis.” He was named as a Class of 2007 Fellow by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. In 1985, Sanchez received one of broadcasting’s top honors, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, for a series he co-produced, “Sanctuary: The New Underground Railroad.” In addition, he has won the Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award for Best Spot News, the El Paso Press Club Award for Best Investigative Reporting, and was recognized for outstanding local news coverage by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Sanchez is a graduate of Northern Arizona University, with post-baccalaureate studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson.


Dr. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco

Wasserman Dean and Distinguished Professor, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA     

Wasserman Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco leads two academic departments, 16 nationally renowned research institutes, and two innovative demonstration schools at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. His research focuses on cultural psychology and psychological anthropology, with an emphasis on mass migration, globalization, and education. Upon arriving at UCLA in 2012, he founded the Institute for Immigrant Children, Youth, and Families, which he co-directs with Dr. Carola Suárez-Orozco, UCLA Ed & IS professor of education.

At Harvard University, he served as the Victor S. Thomas Professor of Education and Culture (2001-2004), and co-founded and co-directed the Harvard Immigration Project in 1997. Prior to arriving at UCLA Ed & IS, Suárez-Orozco was the inaugural Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education at NYU. In 2004, Dean Suárez-Orozco was elected to the National Academy of Education, and in 2006, was awarded the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle Mexico’s highest honor to a foreign national. He served as special advisor for education, peace, and justice to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He authored briefs for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis’ main scientific advisory board. In 2014 Dean Suárez-Orozco was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and appointed as the inaugural Wasserman Dean of Education & Information Studies. Suárez-Orozco earned his A.B. in psychology, M.A. in anthropology, and Ph.D. in anthropology at UC Berkeley.


Ms. Alice Waters

Chef, Restaurateur, Activist and Author; Founder; Edible Schoolyard Project         

Alice Louise Waters is an American chef, restaurateur, activist and author. She is the owner of Chez Panisse, a Berkeley, California restaurant famous for its organic, locally grown ingredients and for pioneering California cuisine, which she opened in 1971.

Waters has been cited as one of the most influential figures in food in the past 50 years, and has been called the mother of American food. She is currently one of the most visible supporters of the organic food movement, and has been a proponent of organics for over 40 years. Waters believes that eating organic foods, free from herbicides and pesticides, is essential for both taste and the health of the environment and local communities.

She founded the Chez Panisse Foundation in 1996, and created the Edible Schoolyard program at the Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, California. Waters serves as a public policy advocate on the national level for school lunch reform and universal access to healthy, organic foods, and the impact of her organic and healthy food revolution is typified by Michelle Obama’s White House organic vegetable garden.


Dr. Scott Waugh

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UCLA            

Scott L. Waugh is Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He assumed the post on December 1, 2008, following his service as Acting Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost for nearly two years. Waugh served as Dean of the Division of Social Sciences, UCLA’s largest academic division, for 14 years (1992-2006).

He has received honors, fellowships, and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and others. He also received the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, the Harvey L. Eby Award for the Art of Teaching, the UC President’s Fellowship in the Humanities, and a UCLA Faculty Development Award. The author of two books and co-editor of a third, he has also published numerous articles in scholarly journals.

He first came to UCLA as a student, graduating summa cum laude in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in history. In 1975, after earning a Ph.D. from the University of London, he returned to UCLA to teach in the Department of History.


Dr. Steven Webb

Superintendent, Vancouver Public Schools, Vancouver, Washington            

Dr. Steven T. Webb became superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools in July 2008. He joined the district as deputy superintendent in 2006.

Webb has a distinguished 33-year career in public education in Washington and California, serving as superintendent, deputy superintendent, assistant superintendent for secondary learning and technology, principal and assistant principal, high school teacher and coach. He is the 2017-18 president of the Washington Association of School Administrators. Webb also is a member of Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, the Western States Benchmarking Consortium, the Coalition for Community Schools, the Horace Mann League and AASA’s Digital Consortium.

Webb earned an educational doctorate from Seattle University, a master of arts in teaching from Lewis and Clark College, and a bachelor of arts in politics and government from the University of Puget Sound.

Webb was named the 2016 Washington State Superintendent of the Year and was one of four finalists for the National Superintendent of the Year. Also in 2016, Webb was named a Leader to Learn From by Education Week, and he received the Community Schools National Superintendent Leadership Award from the Coalition for Community Schools; Institute for Educational Leadership; and AASA, The School Superintendents Association.


Ms. Randi Weingarten

President, American Federation of Teachers             

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators. The AFT champions fairness; democracy; economic opportunity; and high-quality public education, healthcare and public services for students, their families and communities. The AFT and its members advance these principles through community engagement, organizing, collective bargaining and political activism, and especially through members’ work.

Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 12 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home child care providers and other workers in health, law and education. In 2013, the New York Observer named Weingarten one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years. Washington Life magazine included Weingarten on its 2013 Power 100 list of influential leaders.

Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law.


Dr. Amy Stuart Wells

Professor, Teachers College; President Elect, American Educational Research Association (AERA)       

Amy Stuart Wells is a Professor of Sociology and Education, and the Coordinator of Policy Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research and writing has focused broadly on issues of race and education and more specifically on educational policies, such as school desegregation, school choice, charter schools, and tracking, and how they shape and constrain opportunities for students of color.

She is the recipient of several honors and awards, including a 2001-02 Fellowship from the Carnegie Corporation’s Scholars Program; the 2000 Julius & Rosa Sachs Lecturer, Teachers College-Columbia University; and the 2000 AERA Early Career Award for Programmatic Research.