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mary blanusa

Senior Director, Strategy at America Achieves

Mary is Senior Director, Strategy at America Achieves. She brings with her extensive experience strategic planning, and program development & implementation in philanthropy and nonprofit fields. Prior to America Achieves, Mary was a Program Officer at The Helmsley Charitable Trust where she led policy, advocacy and communications grantmaking in the education portfolio. She has led efforts at the state and national levels to build effective education advocacy coalitions in support of policies to improve equity, quality, and rigor in education. Mary served in a number of programmatic and leadership roles at the Council for Economic Education, most recently as Vice President of Government Relations and Partnerships. Mary has also worked internationally to advise ministries of education on design and implementation of academic standards and quality curriculum. She began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching English and environmental education to middle school students in Hungary. Mary hold a Master’s degree from the Heller School of Public Policy at Brandeis University and a Bachelor’s degree from American University. Mary has extensive experience organizing local campaigns and running for and serving in elected office. She currently serves on the advisory board of the English Learners Success Forum.

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nate bowling

AP US Government & Politics and Global Studies Teacher at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi

Nate Bowling is a veteran of the United States Air Force Reserves and a graduate of the Evergreen State College. He was a 2014 recipient of the Milken Family Foundation's National Educator Award, the 2016 Washington State Teacher of the Year and was one of four finalists for 2016 National Teacher of the Year. Nate was also a recipient of the 2016 Joseph Albert Dear Distinguished Alumni Award from Evergreen. He blogs about teaching and educational equity issues at and his writing has been published in the Washington Post, New York Observer, Huffington Post and Seattle Times. Nathan is a co-founder of Teachers United, a teacher led education policy advocacy group and formerly taught AP Human Geography and AP Government & Politics at Lincoln High School, in his hometown of Tacoma. He currently teaches AP US Government & Politics and Global Studies at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi.

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Andrew Brennen

Education Fellow at Hattaway Communication

Andrew is a messaging and campaign strategist with a passion for making education in the United States more equitable. Before joining Hattaway, Andrew worked on civic equity and youth engagement at the Obama Foundation and digital strategy at McKinsey & Company. He cofounded the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team, an organization dedicated to supporting students as partners in improving Kentucky schools. In that role, Andrew launched and led a successful statewide campaign to restore $14 million for need-based college scholarships, as well as an investigation into the tripwires that prevent high school students from smoothly transitioning to college. Andrew earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A recognized thought leader on including student voices in education advocacy and policymaking, Andrew has given keynote addresses to audiences at Google, The White House, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He reads nonstop, and as a Kentuckian, loves trying new bourbon.

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Rodney McKenzie, Jr. 

Vice President of Campaigns and Partnerships at Dēmos

Rodney McKenzie, Jr. is the Vice President of Campaigns and Partnerships at Dēmos, a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy. At Dēmos, Rodney works with external partners and campaign staff to move progressive change forward at the local, state and federal levels. Previously, Rodney was the Director of the Academy for Leadership and Action at the National LGBTQ Task Force, where he led the grassroots organizing strategy that focused on faith organizing across the country.

Earlier in his career, Rodney was the Spiritual Director and Co-Creator of Expansion Church, where his leadership focused on the intersection of community organizing and radical spirituality in the public square. He also served as Executive Director of Resource Generation and the first Coordinating Director for the Pushback Network. At Pushback he coordinated a state based network that centered it’s time and resources on building grassroots political power through community organizing and voter engagement. Rodney holds a Master of Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary.

Rodney lives and works in New York City.


Jessica Rodriguez Boudreau

Jessica most recently served as the Director of NH’s Alliance for College and Career Readiness at Reaching Higher NH. She has deep expertise in K-16 policy and strategic programmatic experience. Jessica launched her career in education in 2008 at Sesame Workshop and has held positions at the World Bank, the District of Columbia State Education Agency, and most recently UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza), the largest national civil rights organization for Latinos. There, Jessica conceptualized and led national and state-based initiatives on key education policies in nine states reaching over 6,000 families.

She is the co-author of the 2015 book chapter “Inside the Classroom in Latin America and the Caribbean,” based on her field research in seven countries, and has facilitated cross-national knowledge-sharing convenings with high ranking officials and policymakers. Jessica earned a Master of Arts in International Education Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. Before that, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Classics from the University of Chicago. Jessica enjoys dancing, listening to music, and spending time with her husband and daughter.

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kenneth stuzin

Partner and Portfolio Manager at Brown Advisory

Kenneth Stuzin, CFA, is the partner and portfolio manager of the Large-Cap Growth strategy at Brown Advisory. Prior to joining the firm, he was a vice president and a large-cap portfolio manager at J.P. Morgan Investment Management in Los Angeles. Previously, Ken worked as a quantitative portfolio strategist in New York, where he advised clients on capital markets issues and strategic asset allocation decisions.  He graduated from Columbia University, BA (1986), MBA (1993) and is a Member, Endowment Committee, Bryn Mawr School and Trustee, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

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g craig vachon

Founder of Chowdahead Growth Fund

Futurist, Entrepreneur and Investor. Earned success leading operations, new product development, corporate development (partners, M&A and VC/PE investment), sales/BD, marketing, and product marketing with start-ups and high-tech companies throughout the world. Have raised ~US$1,125M in private equity (VC) investment for 26 companies in seven countries.

Founder of Chowdahead Growth Fund []. Chairman LifePrint LLC  BoA member at Hera Systems, SocialRep and AnchorFree. Chair at Live Life Large Charitable Trust. TEDx Santa Cruz presenter [most-popular TED Talk in 2012 according to Mashable - ] and artist/sculptor.