Brenda Kempster, Chief Executive Officer
Brenda Kempster is advocate of digital literacy, and has participated on many national and international committees related to information and communications technology policy and digital literacy framework development. She is founder of KEMPSTER GROUP a consulting firm specializing in building strategic alliances for clients focused on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Digital Literacy. She served as business Chair of the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET) —a role in which she assisted the White House in developing education technology policy and strategic alliances for the national information infrastructure. She has been honored for achievements in telecommunications, public relations, and government relations, including: Federal 100 Award Recipient-Federal Computer Week Magazine 100 most influential in telecommunications; International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)-Gold Quill Award in Government Relations; and the Public Relations Society of America-National Award in Excellence Recipient.
Richard Methia, Chairman of the Board
Richard Methia is President of Infinity Group, a consulting corporation focused on educational professional development and data driven decision-making. Richard has also served in executive capacities at the Challenger Center and at NASA Headquarters. He is past Executive Director of the Foundation for Educational Field Studies and the EFS Discovery Lab, and advised Microsoft Foundation on its educational programs and served as President of the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET), a Washington-based national leadership coalition focused on educational technology and training policy issues.Richard Methia is President of Infinity Group, a consulting corporation focused on educational professional development and data driven decision-making. Richard has also served in executive capacities at the Challenger Center and at NASA Headquarters. He is past Executive Director of the Foundation for Educational Field Studies and the EFS Discovery Lab, and advised Microsoft Foundation on its educational programs and served as President of the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET), a Washington-based national leadership coalition focused on educational technology and training policy issues.
His creativity is recognized as an author of educational publications, short stories, poetry, and award winning plays. NEWSWEEK and National Review, among other publications have featured his articles.His creativity is recognized as an author of educational publications, short stories, poetry, and award winning plays. NEWSWEEK and National Review, among other publications have featured his articles.
Sharrell Blakeley has distinguished career experience focused in areas of human and social services delivery. She directed child health and adolescent programs, including administration of several women’s correctional and rehabilitation programs. Her career includes assignments in executive positions for four governors in California. She was Executive Director of the Crittenton Center in Los Angeles, a full service non-profit children’s group home providing residential care to pregnant young women and their infants. As Director of Public Affairs at Blue Cross of California she was responsible for the company’s corporate communications program, media relations, product promotion and marketing and sales support. Sharrell is frequently a featured guest on numerous television and radio; child welfare educator and advocate of legislators, celebrities, corporate leaders and foundation executives.
She serves as a Commissioner, Community Services, City of La Quinta, California and for Anthem Blue Cross of California, as a Member, the Consumer Advisory Board, and is President, Childhelp Merv Griffin Village, Indian Wells Chapter. (agency serving 84 abused children in Beaumont)
Gary Finn graduated from the University of California Santa Cruz with a Bachelor’s Degree in Latin American Studies, followed by a Juris Doctorate in 1988 from Whittier Law School in Los Angeles. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1988 and the Federal Courts the next year. Gary has an extensive background in volunteer work in the Hispanic community, including the Central American Refugee Center in Los Angeles preparing asylum applications for Central American refugees, and in the Coachella Valley with Comite Latino an immigrants’ rights group. Gary serves as a “pro-bono” attorney for the El Centro, California Immigration Court, providing his serves to indigent respondents.
His programmatic interest is the Foundation’s emphasis on digital literacy and strategic alliances with other NGO’s in the Americas.
Mr. Fowler is Director of Interagency Affairs for the U.S. Department of Education. His current responsibilities focus primarily on managing the Federal Resources for Excellence in Education (FREE) web site, a part of the Learning Registry. His duties include identifying and posting educational materials developed in the federal space. He uses this material to maintain an education Twitter account (@FREEResources) and to post education “highlights” on the www.ed.gov web site. Prior positions at the Department have included Interagency Coordinator, Grants and Contracts, Migrant Education and Educational Research and Improvement. Mr. Fowler works on several STEM-related activities, such as serving as a judge for FIRST Robotics, liaison to the Departments of Labor and Transportation on a Memorandum of Understanding focused on STEM education, the CyberPatriot competition, and the Real World Design Challenge (RWDC). In addition, he represents the agency on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education
Dr. David Leveille
Dr. Leveille is a retired executive with the California Post Secondary Education Commission (CPEC), and was founder and President of the CPEC Foundation. Dr. Leveille has extensive background in technology, telecommunications, and distance learning. Over the last decade, Dr. Leveille has represented the California University Systems on numerous state and national advisory commissions and task forces. Dr. Leveille has a high level of interest in developing education, environmental and non-profit programs related to economic and socially responsible development between the Americas.
Dr. Joyce Malyn-Smith
Dr. Malyn-Smith’s body of work focuses on developing strategic initiatives in workforce and human development for EDC’s Division of Learning and Teaching where she is Co-Lead for LTD’s Strategic Investment Group in STEM and leads various national projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Education Department (ED), state and local agencies. She is principal investigator of the ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) Learning Resource Center (NSF, 2003-present.) serving more than 195 NSF projects, and partnering with national organizations. She is principal investigator of the Computational Thinking (CT) in America’s Workplaces (NSF) project working with scientists and engineers to create a framework that details the work of U.S. STEM professionals. Dr. Malyn-Smith served on the ETS International ICT Literacy Panel that produced Digital Transformation: a Framework for ICT Literacy; the National Research Council Planning Committee that produced IT Fluency and High School Graduation Outcome; Certiport’s Global Digital Literacy Council; the National Visiting Committee for BATEC (Boston Area Advanced Technological Educational Connections) ATE Center; and various Advisory Committees for ITEST projects. Prior to joining EDC, she served Boston Public Schools as a teacher and city-wide administrator for more than 20 years.
A sought after speaker at national conferences and published in peer reviewed journals, Dr. Malyn-Smith is a graduate of Boston Univesity (Ed.D), Boston State Teacher’s College (M.Ed.) and Universidad Interamericana (B.S.) Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.
Dr. Barbara O'Connor
For over thirty years, Dr. O'Connor served as a Professor of Communications and Media at California State University (CSU), Sacramento. She is considered an international expert in communication theory, particularly as it applies to political communication and media communications. At CSU, Dr. O'Connor founded the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media which is recognized as world class in media communications and collaborates with governmental, corporate and non-profit entities in shaping educational technology and telecommunications policy. She frequently serves as an expert commentator on politics and media for most of the large news organizations. She has served on a number of Presidential, State, and international advisory committees and commissions focused on educational technology, bridging the digital divide, and providing universal and equitable access to diverse populations for telecommunications and information technologies.
Dr. O'Connor is also a Board member of AARP and the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF). Dr. O'Connor has served as an expert consultant to McClatchy Newspapers, the Boston Globe Media Properties, the Tribune Company, and The Washington Bureau of the Associated Press.
Jodie Pozo Olano
Jodie Pozo-Olano is Chief Communications Officer for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Prior to ISTE, she was Vice President, Global Communications for Promethean (LSW: PRW) a publically traded, global education company. Other key roles include: Director of outreach and Communications for Project Tomorrow (formerly NetDay); Deputy Director of Outreach and Communications for the Universal Service Administrative Company; Communications Specialist with the Federal Communications Commission; and Special Assistant to the U. S. Secretary of Commerce during the Clinton Administration.
Jodie holds an M.A. from George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from South Dakota State University.
Dr. Jose Luis Rueda
Dr. Jose Luis Rueda has served for the past six years as the Senior Environmental Specialist at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank in Washington, D.C. He has held posts in international research and development for over 20 years, and has leads and manages sustainable development assignments worldwide, specializing in environmental, economic and social development initiatives in the Latin American and African regions. In his current role at the International Finance Corporation he oversees development and administration of strategic alliances, joint ventures, and networks, to reach excellence in cross-continental programs, including challenging conflict environments. He has a background in developing fundraising strategies and donor relations programs for global initiatives. Dr. Rueda is the founder of the Consortium for Sustainable Resource Development of the Andean Region (CONDESAN) in South America. He has worked with institutions worldwide in promoting the advance of democracy through civic engagement and equitable access to information and communications technologies.
He is multilingual in English, French, Spanish, Italian, good understanding of Portuguese, and rudimentary knowledge of Swahili.
Mr. Saedi is former CEO of Certiport. He was instrumental in helping grow Certiport from start-up to the leading provider of global, performance-based certification programs and services for workforce skills development. David has more than 20 years of management experience in a number of industries. Prior to joining Certiport, he served as Vice President of Business Development for CENTRA. In this capacity, he worked with the president of the company to restructure CENTRA following its acquisition of Equifax Healthcare Systems. He has completed several professional development programs and is a member of the American Management Association, American Society of Association Executives, and British Market Research Society.
David works with teams around the world to promote ICT digital literacy strategic initiatives work force skills development projects, and global standards for digital literacy certification.
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