Nate Davis, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors at K12 Inc., is a seasoned corporate transformational leader across industries with a record of improving operations, launching innovative new products, and building beneficial relationships with legislative and regulatory authorities.
Mr. Davis, joined the K12 Board of Directors in 2009, was named Chairman of the Board in June 2012, and added the role of Chief Executive Officer in February 2018. He joined the company from the position of Managing Director of RANND Advisory Group, a consulting group advising venture capital, media, and technology-based firms. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer and President of XM Satellite Radio and was a member of the company’s Board of Directors, where he drove growth and innovation as well as improved financial performance and led the company through its merger with Sirius Satellite Radio.
From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Davis was President and Chief Operating Officer, and a board member of XO Communications Inc. Mr. Davis has also held senior executive positions at Nextel Communications (EVP, Network and Technical Services), MCI Telecommunications (Chief Financial Officer and various other management positions) and MCI Metro (Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer).
Mr. Davis currently serves on the Board of Directors of Unisys Corporation and the Board of Trustees for RLJ Lodging Trust. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Washington Boys and Girls Club and the Progressive Life Center, an agency that places foster children in homes in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington D.C. He also served on the Northern Virginia Roundtable and the Northern Virginia Community Foundation.
With a personal passion for serving children and helping them achieve higher levels of success, Mr. Davis founded the JANDT Foundation to aid minority children in attending private and parochial schools in the Washington, D.C. area.
Mr. Davis received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in engineering computer science at the Moore School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
Over the course of a journalistic career that has seen him interview multiple U.S. presidents to the top athletes and entertainers in Hollywood, Roland S. Martin is a journalist who has always maintained a clear sense of his calling in this world.
Martin is the host and managing editor of #RolandMartinUnfiltered, the first daily online show in history focused on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African American perspective.
From 2008, and until its final on-air sign-off, Martin was a senior analyst for the Tom Joyner Morning Show, where his twice-a-week segment is heard by millions of listeners on upwards of 100 stations.
He is the author of three books: Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith; Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America; and The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.
He has contributed to several others, including Paradox of Loyalty: An African American Response to the War on Terrorism by Julianne Malveaux; Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama by Sophia Nelson; Faivish Pewzner New York and Fatherhood: Rising to the Ultimate Challenge by Etan Thomas and Nick Chiles.
He has been named four times by Ebony Magazine as one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States.
When Jet Magazine readers voted in 2012 for who is “King of the Hill” in terms of who they turn to on issues of concern to African Americans, Martin came on top, ahead of the likes of the Rev. Al Sharpton and Donna Brazile. NewsOne.com named as the number one Black pundit in the country; and he has been named several times to The Root 100, their annual list of influential African Americans.
In his career, Martin has been showered with more than 30 awards for journalistic excellence, including being named the Journalist of the Year in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists for his extensive focus on voter suppression and other issues of concern to African Americans during the 2012 election.
Martin was also awarded the 2008 President’s Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for his work in multiple media platforms. In 2008, he was also inducted into the Texas A&M University Journalism Hall of Honor.
He is a four-time NAACP Image Award winner, including named Best Host twice out of the last three years.
Martin spent six years as a contributor for CNN, appearing on numerous shows and earning accolades near and far for his no-holds honesty, conviction and perspective on various issues. In 2009, CNN was awarded the Peabody Award for its outstanding 2008 election coverage, of which Martin was a member of the Best Political Team on Television.
Martin has been named one of the top 50 political pundits by the Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom, and has appeared numerous times on a variety of American networks, as well as media outlets in Canada, Columbia, Italy, Australia and South Africa.
Martin spent 13 years at TV One Network, where he played an integral role in building the Black-owned network. He began in 2005 by doing commentaries; and in 2009 began a four-year stint as host/managing editor of the Sunday morning show, Washington Watch. From 2013 to 2017, he was the host/managing editor of NewsOneNow, the first daily morning news show in history targeting African Americans.
From October 2005 to October 2008, he served as a radio talk show for WVON-AM in Chicago, first as mid-day host and later as morning drive host.
He is the former executive editor/general manager of the Chicago Defender, the nation’s most historic Black newspaper. A digital media pioneer, Martin launched the first Black news source audio and video podcast in 2005 and 2006 at the Defender.
He is the former founding news editor for Savoy Magazine under the team of New York-based Vanguarde Media, and the former founding editor of BlackAmericaWeb.com.
He previously served as owner/publisher of Dallas-Fort Worth Heritage, a Christian monthly newspaper. He also has worked as managing editor of the Houston Defender and the Dallas Weekly, which he led to a number of local, state and national journalism awards. Mr. Martin has worked as morning drive reporter for KRLD/1080 AM; news director and morning anchor at KKDA-AM in Dallas; city hall reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; and county government and neighbors reporter for the Austin American-Statesman. He has also written pieces for Ebony and Essence magazines.
Mr. Martin is a life member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc..
He is a 1987 graduate of Jack Yates High School-Magnet School of Communications, and a 1991 graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism.
He has been awarded honorary degrees from Florida Memorial University; University of Maryland-University College; Lemoyne-Owen College; Lane College; South Carolina State University; and Virginia University of Lynchburg.
He is married to the Rev. Jacquie Hood Martin, author of “Fulfilled! The Art and Joy of Balanced Living,” and “Wedded Bliss: A 52-Week Devotional to Balanced Living” and the children’s book series, “Hannah’s Heart.”
Suzanne Elise Walsh became the nineteenth president of Bennett College on August 1, 2019. She was most recently deputy director of postsecondary success for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading and developing a team and a portfolio of over $70 million in postsecondary investments in institutional transformation in the United States. She previously served in leadership roles with the Lumina Foundation for Education and The Heinz Endowments.
Ms. Walsh has received national recognition for her portfolio of work with organizations at the intersection of innovation, technology and learning. Education leaders with whom she has consulted praise her ability to create and work with cross-functional teams as a key driver in affecting flexible, personalized and affordable approaches to higher education, and other leaders have expressed their appreciation for her work on several viability and sustainability initiatives at HBCUs, analyzing complex situations, developing innovative action plans to address challenges and motivating teams.
Ms. Walsh has been a frequent speaker and workshop leader at conferences such as the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, and the Global Learning Council, of which she is an active member. She has published or edited several books and journal articles on the topic of educational transformation, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors and fellowships.
Ms. Walsh earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Cornell University, as well as a master’s degree in social work and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. She is a member of the Ohio Bar.
Dr. Katara A. Williams currently serves as the Chief of Staff for the Southern University System- the nation’s only Historically Black College System. Williams was previously appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards as the Executive Director for the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. Williams is a skilled professional with an impressive track record in the education, policy, and public affairs sectors. Having worked for more than 20 years in both K-12 and higher education, Dr. Williams has made her mark around the state and nation as an advocate for education. Prior to returning to Southern University as a top administrator, Williams served as the Associate Commissioner for Public Affairs and Advisor to the Council of Student Body Presidents at the Louisiana Board of Regents. Williams has also worked at the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), where she developed and executed stakeholder engagement strategies statewide for Louisiana’s teacher evaluation system.
Prior to her work in the state department, Williams served as the Director of Media Relations for the Southern University System and Assistant to the Chancellor and Public Relations Specialist at the Southern University Ag Center. Dr. Williams also has extensive experience in broadcast journalism having been an air personality and public affairs talk show host on Cumulus Radio Stations.
Dr. Williams remains actively engaged in the community and beyond by serving on the Learn for Life National Advisory Board, the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, and an evaluator for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Williams has also dedicated her time and talent as a past board member for Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), the North Baton Rouge Women’s Help Center, the Baton Rouge Ballet Theater, and the YWCA of Greater BR to name a few. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a lifetime member of the Southern University Alumni Federation.
Williams has been recognized nationally for her commitment to education and is a life-long learner. She is a 2012 Graduate of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber’s Leadership Baton Rouge Class, a 2014 Graduate of the Council for a Better Louisiana’s Leadership Louisiana Class, and a 2015 Graduate of the Higher Education Foundation’s Leadership Institute, a 2015 member of the American Council of Education’s (ACE) Aspiring Leaders cohort, and a 2019-2020 American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Fellow.
Williams is a proud alumna of Southern University and A&M College where she holds a B.A. in mass communications, a M.A. in public relations, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy. She is also an adjunct professor in public policy where she teaches courses in political leadership and philosophy.
NABSE President, Dr. Michael D. McFarland is an outstanding, energetic, and dynamic leader with a proven track record of transforming educational organizations into high-performing institutions. Dr. McFarland is the current superintendent of the Crowley Independent School District, where he serves more than 15,000 students across 23 campuses.
Prior to providing leadership in Crowley, Dr. McFarland was the superintendent of the Lancaster Independent School District from 2010 to 2017. He led the district from a historically underperforming status to a nationally recognized, award-winning school district. Under his leadership, the district and school board received national recognition as the 2018 HEB Excellence in Education winner, the 2017 Urban School Board Excellence winner, the School Board of the Year winner from National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the Texas Outstanding School Board winner from the Texas Association of School Administrators. Persistent achievement gaps closed and student performance consistently improved under his leadership.
Prior to becoming a superintendent, Dr. McFarland worked in Champaign, Illinois where he served as Assistant Superintendent of Achievement for Champaign Unit 4 Public Schools. While serving in Champaign, he led the development of a high school restructuring model that was adopted by the Illinois Board of Education as a model for transformation of low-performing secondary schools throughout the state. Dr. McFarland also was instrumental in the development and implementation of a collaborative multiagency partnership with the City of Champaign, Park District, and Unit 4 Schools called “Operation Hope in Garden Hills.” This multiagency project included the “Lighted Schoolhouse” and was recognized nationally as a model approach for addressing school and community issues.
Prior to serving in Illinois, Dr. McFarland served as principal of John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas. When McFarland arrived at John Tyler, the school was low performing, academically unacceptable, and plagued with many challenges. Under Dr. McFarland’s leadership, the school transformed into a high-performing high school that was recognized by the College Board with the 2006 National Inspiration Award. This award was only received by three schools in the nation and was given due to the increase in student performance and college and career readiness as measured by SAT and college acceptance. More than 92% of the students who graduated from John Tyler High under Dr. McFarland’s leadership received letters of acceptance to a college, university, and/or the military.
Before serving as John Tyler’s principal, Dr. McFarland was principal at Foster Middle School in Longview, Texas. During his tenure as principal there, he was selected as the “Best Principal in East Texas” by the Longview News Journal.
As a native of Jasper, Texas, Dr. McFarland began his educational career in 1993 as an algebra teacher. He received a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree from Baylor University, a Master of Education Degree and superintendent’s certiﬁcate from Stephen F. Austin University and a Doctorate of Education Administration from Baylor University.
Dr. McFarland is an educator who is committed to creating opportunities for success by removing barriers, aligning systems, implementing programs, instituting best practices and building the capacity of people to ensure higher levels of learning for all students.
Dr. McFarland has been recognized at the state and national level for his outstanding leadership as a school superintendent. He was selected as the American Association of School Administrators National Superintendent of the Year from Texas in 2015, and he was honored as the National Alliance for Black School Educators Superintendent of the Year in 2014. Dr. McFarland began his career in Tyler ISD as an algebra, accounting, and computer science teacher.
Originally from Jasper, Texas, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in business education from Baylor University, a Master of Education in educational administration and superintendent certification from Stephen F. Austin University, and a Doctorate of Education in educational administration from Baylor.
Dr. McFarland is married to Cynthia McFarland and has two daughters, Kharis and Michiah, and two sons, Tyler and Jarrett.
Leilani M. Brown is Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships & External Engagement for K12, Inc. (NYSE: LRN). K12 is the leading and largest provider of virtual and online education to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. In this role, she provides strategy, leadership and development of public- and private- sector partnerships for the benefit of students. In addition, Leilani works for the office of the Chairman and CEO, directing strategic, cross-functional efforts. She is currently developing strategies to improve the overall student and learning coach experience.
Prior to joining K12, and most recently, Leilani was chief marketing officer for Starr Companies, a global insurance and investment organization. She has also held marketing leadership roles for major companies including The Economist Group, MetLife and American International Group.
Leilani is also the author of From Campus to Cubicle: 25 Tips for Your First Professional Year, a career guide for young professionals and recent graduates.
Leilani serves on the board of Middlebury College, her alma mater and the Executive Leadership Council, the premier membership organization for global black executives. She is also a graduate of New York University.
Antoinette (Toni) Bush is the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs for News Corp. Ms. Bush is responsible for leading the company’s government relations efforts in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Ms. Bush joined News Corp from Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flom LLP, where, over her nearly 20-year tenure, she rose to become the Partner in charge of its Communications Group. She represented global media/entertainment and telecom entities in regulatory, legislative and transactional matters.
Ms. Bush also served as Executive Vice President of Northpoint Technology Ltd. from 2001 to 2003, where she led legal and regulatory strategies. Previously, Ms. Bush served as Senior Counsel to the Communications Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which has oversight for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She worked on numerous bills, including the landmark Cable Act of 1992.
Ms. Bush chairs the board of directors of The HistoryMakers and serves on the boards of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
She holds a J.D. from Northwestern University Law School and a B.A. from Wellesley College.
Bill served as the United States Ambassador to the European Union from December 2009 to August 2013, appointed by President Barack Obama. As Ambassador, he worked actively to promote transatlantic trade and investment and to eliminate regulatory barriers to commerce. For his contributions, the American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union awarded Ambassador Kennard the Transatlantic Business Award, the organization’s highest honor.
Before serving as an Ambassador, Bill was a Managing Director at The Carlyle Group, a global asset management firm, where he led private equity investments in the telecommunications and media sectors. Before joining The Carlyle Group, Bill served as chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), appointed by President Bill Clinton. Before his appointment as Chairman, he served as the FCC’s General Counsel. During his tenure at the FCC, he shaped policies that created an explosion of new wireless phones, brought the Internet to a majority of American households and incentivized billions of dollars of investment in new broadband technologies. At the same time, he implemented bold new policies to bridge the digital divide in the United States and around the world.
U.S. News and World Report dubbed Chairman Kennard “a consumer champion for the digital age.” He has received many honors and awards for his accomplishments including honorary degrees from Howard University, Gallaudet University and Long Island University, and awards from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Easter Seals Foundation and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Upon returning to the United States from Brussels in 2013, Bill resumed his career in the private sector. He co-founded and serves as Chairman of Velocitas Partners LLC, an asset management firm. He also serves as an advisor to and founding investor in Staple Street Capital and Astra Capital Management, both private equity firms. He is the Chairman of the Board of directors of AT&T, Inc. He also serves on the boards of directors of Ford Motor Company, MetLife, Inc., and Duke Energy Corporation. Previously he served as a director of several other public companies including Sprint Corporation, The New York Times Company and Dex Media, Inc., as well as a number of private companies controlled by The Carlyle Group.
Bill has also served on several nonprofit boards including the Yale University Council, Gallaudet University, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and One Economy Corporation. He currently serves as a trustee of Yale University and Eagle Hill School and is a member of the board of directors of the International African American Museum.
Bill graduated from Stanford University. He received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1981, where he met his wife, Deborah Kennedy (YLS ’79). They have one son, Robert. Bill and Deborah divide their time between Washington, DC and Charleston, SC.
Appointed Chief Information Officer and Executive Director in November 2020, Anthony (Tony) Neal-Graves leads nearly 1,000 employees and oversees the $380 million annual budget for the Governor’s Office of Information Technology. An ardent collaborator, Tony is committed to working within OIT and across agencies to provide secure technology solutions that improve Coloradan’s interactions with state government and maintain Colorado’s position as an innovation leader.
After retiring from the private sector, Tony was tapped by Governor Hickenlooper in 2017 to serve as the first-ever Executive Director of the Colorado Broadband Office, which is responsible for ensuring all households have access to affordable internet. Tony established key partnerships in the Colorado General Assembly that enabled the successful bipartisan legislation in 2018 to fund the Broadband Grant Program with over $115 million. In October 2019, Tony took on the additional role of Chief Operations Officer, overseeing OIT’s finance, human resources and legislative teams.
Tony’s extensive experience in the private sector includes 16 years in leadership roles at Intel Corporation. Starting as the Director of Strategy, Communications & Infrastructure Group, Tony rapidly moved up the ranks, holding numerous global positions leading multi-million dollar revenue streams, developing new products and markets, and creating new business strategies. His distinguished work includes leading the definition, development, and launch of a new product for high performance computing, the Xeon Phi™ processor, which was awarded the Intel Achievement Award, the highest corporate honor.
Tony lived in Shanghai and Shenzhen China for three years as Vice President and General Manager of Intel China and Vice President and General Manager of the PC Client Group, respectively. As the Intel China leader, he developed and grew a 2,000+ employee systems development organization across three cities, and led the recruitment and leadership development across all of Intel’s major product lines and business groups. As the head of the PC Client Group, Tony recruited an entrepreneurial team in Shenzhen to develop innovative, low-cost personal computers for global consumption, delivering the first products to market in less than six months, and established a new development center in Shenzhen for smart devices.
Tony retired from Intel in 2017 after his three-year service as Vice President and General Manager of Industrial and Energy Solutions at Intel Corporation. He defined the company’s strategy for entering the Industrial Internet of Things market. With his proven ability to define new strategies and more importantly, develop executable plans for sustainable business growth, Tony also created a new division with industry specific expertise through recruitment from Fortune 100 companies in the manufacturing and energy sectors.
Prior to his tenure at Intel, Tony held numerous leadership positions in the communications industry having worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories, AT&T Corporation, and Lucent Technologies Corporation.
Throughout his career, Tony has been a leader in diversity and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) volunteer efforts. He has served on the board for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. Tony is a founding financial sponsor and a current board member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) whose mission is to increase the participation of girls and women in computing. He was a co-founder of the Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists (CABPES) Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) that has resulted in thousands of students achieving undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and science disciplines. Tony was named Black Engineer of the Year at the 25th BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference. He currently teaches computer science at CSU Global.
Tony is a summa cum laude graduate of Polytechnic Institute of New York in Electrical Engineering. He obtained his Master of Science from the University of Southern California in Computer Science. Tony is a graduate of the Congressional Fellow Program at the Brookings Institute and a past participant in the executive leadership program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He and his wife, Lisa, live in Parker, Colorado.
Georgia House of Representatives & Special Advisor to National Coalition for Public School Options
Unapologetically bold, Alisha Thomas Morgan is not afraid to defy the odds or push the envelope. In fact, exceeding expectations remains a constant that has etched her legacy and defined her illustrious career as a successful transformational leader.
At the age of 23, Morgan made history as the first African American to serve in the Georgia Legislature representing residents of Cobb County —the third largest county in Metropolitan Atlanta. Morgan’s leadership in politics left a longstanding footprint in county and Georgia state history.
Morgan was elected to six terms in the Georgia House of Representatives where she served on the Education, Appropriations, and Health & Human Services Committees. She authored the state intra-district transfer law, allowing parents to choose the best public school within their district, regardless of zip code. She was also a coauthor of the state’s constitutional amendment that created the State Charter Schools Commission; and she was appointed by Former United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, to a bipartisan working group on k-12 education.
Her prowess as an educational leader impacted her success as former Superintendent of Schools at Ivy Preparatory Academies – a network of all-girls public schools of excellence. In this role, she initiated the transformation of the network’s operations, academic achievements, and financial strengths. Her results-driven leadership led to a doubled, state performance score from 43 to 85 for Ivy Preparatory Academy’s Kirkwood campus. Her leadership outcomes had a far-reaching impact across the network that resonates to-date.
Alisha T. Morgan is recognized as a renowned keynote speaker and thought leader in the areas of politics, non-profits, and education. She was featured as a subject-matter expert in major-market publications to include The New York Times, The Washington Post, CSPAN, Georgia Trend, Marie Claire, Ebony, and Essence magazines.
Utilizing the many lessons learned throughout her impactful career, Morgan is also the CEO of a leadership coaching and consulting firm. Her Fearless Chic brand pays homage to a key catalyst for her success, fearlessness. Morgan delivers powerful messages of “living and leading fearlessly”. She is also the host of the Fearless Chic Podcast. The show provides programming for women around relevant topics, motivation, and practical tips to live fearlessly.
“I am on a mission to help women and leaders create a life that they truly desire,” says Morgan. “I want to empower them to discover and celebrate their authentic selves while letting nothing stop them from achieving their goals.”
Morgan earned her bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Kennesaw State University.
Dave is an established leader in Philadelphia’s education community and one of the few people who both “talks-the-talk” and “walks-the-walk” in their dedication to students. Dave is the former CEO and Co-Founder of Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia charter school, which opened it’s doors in 2007. Boys’ Latin was PA’s first and only single-gender charter school and has a student body that is 98 percent African-American and 74 percent economically disadvantaged. In its first four graduating classes, Boys’ Latin sent 85 percent of its graduates to postsecondary institutions, 80 percent of which were 4-year colleges.
In addition to Boys’ Latin, Dave is a founding board member of the Philadelphia School Partnership and a former board member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He currently serves on the boards of the Center for Education Reform and the North Carolina Outward Bound School.
Dave lives in Philadelphia with his wife of 30 years, Zina Oliver-Hardy, and has two adult sons.
Derrell is the executive vice president of 50CAN. In his national role, Derrell recruits and trains local leaders across the 50CAN network for roles as CAN executive directors, fellows and YouCAN advocates.
Derrell previously served as the executive director at Better Education for Kids. At B4K Derrell worked to secure passage of the tenure reform legislation TEACH NJ. B4K’s advocacy also led to electoral victories for reform-minded candidates across the state. Prior to B4K, Derrell spent nine years with New Jersey’s Excellent Education for Everyone (E3) as director of communications and then executive director. While there he also served on the state’s Educator Effectiveness Task Force.
Derrell frequently contributes to education debates in print, digital, radio and TV media. He serves on several boards dedicated to putting the needs of students and families first, including Success Academy Charter Schools, EdBuild, The Partnership for Educational Justice, NACSA and The Parent Coalition for Excellent Education. He is a former board member of We Can Do Better New Jersey and St. Anthony High School in Jersey City. A native of Baltimore, Derrell attended the St. Paul’s School for Boys and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English.
Peter C. Groff is the Principal and Chief Strategist at MCG2 Consulting, LLC. and is a noted public policy innovator, national policy and political analyst and leadership lecturer.
Groff has held senior level positions at all three levels of government and has more than 25 years of public service. He is currently serving as a policy and political consultant to numerous individuals and entities across the country. Before he began his consulting firm, Groff served as the first ever Visiting Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Prior to his tenure at Johns Hopkins, he was the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Education during the first term of President Barack H. Obama. The Center was part of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. During President Obama’s second term, the President also appointed Groff to the White House Commission on U. S. Presidential Scholars.
Groff served as the 47th President of the Colorado State Senate and was the first African American in Colorado to ascend to the post, and only the third African American in the nation’s history to hold the gavel as State Senate President. Senator Groff, who was renowned as the “Conscience of the Senate,” served in the Colorado General Assembly for nearly ten years and passed landmark and visionary legislation in the areas of education, criminal justice and health care.
Before Groff’s service in the legislature and even during his tenure, he taught public policy and directed a policy center at the University of Denver.
Born in Chicago, Senator Groff was raised in Denver. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Redlands (Calif.), a Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Denver.
Vice President, Division of Diversity,
Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity
West Virginia University
Meshea L. Poore, Esq., a long-time champion of underrepresented people, serves as vice president and chief diversity officer for the West Virginia University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In that role, she motivates the Mountaineer family to recognize the value in diversity and challenges all who interact with her to create transformational change.
Poore has been helping light the way toward equity throughout her career. An attorney who served in the WV House of Delegates from 2009-2014, she is an accomplished and sought-after motivational speaker, public and political leadership consultant and strategist. The Women’s Campaign Fund named her a “Game Changer” during her campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives for WV’s 2nd Congressional District. She has mentored and consulted with hundreds of elected officials throughout the nation as they seek higher office. Poore is also an experienced educator who served as an adjunct professor at WV State University, as a faculty member in residence at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and has teaching privileges at WVU College of Law. In 2017, Poore became the first African-American woman named president of the West Virginia State Bar since its 1947 founding. Prior to operating her own practice, she was an attorney in the Office of the Kanawha County Public Defender in Charleston, WV. She is an alumna of the prestigious German Marshall Memorial Fellowship, a member of the executive committee for the Commission on Access, Diversity and Excellence for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and is President-elect for the Big 12 Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. Poore earned her bachelor’s degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and her law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She also graduated from the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
Poore has recently facilitated insightful conversations with leading voices in social justice work, including Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award Winner and author of How to Be an Antiracist; Nikole Hannah-Jones, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and creator of the landmark 1619 Project; and W. Kamau Bell, sociopolitical comedian and host of the Emmy Award winning CNN docuseries United Shades of America.
Kevin P. Chavous, President of Academics, Policy, and Schools, joined K12 in November 2017. Mr. Chavous is a noted education reform leader and innovator with a well-chronicled track record of empowering families with education choice and driving change and opportunity for children of all backgrounds and circumstances.
Mr. Chavous has worked to advance quality education programs around the nation, most notably as the Education Committee Chair of the Council of the District of Columbia, where he helped to shepherd the charter school movement into the nation’s capital. In addition, he was the founding Board President of Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Chavous is the founder of Democrats for Education Reform and a founding board member of the American Federation for Children. He has been instrumental in advancing charter school and education choice programs around the country, and in 2016, he was inducted into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame. In addition, he received the distinguished Outstanding Alumni Award from his alma mater, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory High School in Indianapolis.
Additionally, Mr. Chavous is an accomplished author, having published four books, including Serving Our Children: Charter Schools and the Reform of American Public Education; Voices of Determination: Children that Defy the Odds; and Building a Learning Culture in America, as well as his first novel, The Plan, a political thriller. A prolific writer and inspirational speaker, Mr. Chavous’s opinion editorials have appeared in many major newspapers, and he has given education reform speeches in nearly every state.
Mr. Chavous graduated from Wabash College, where he was an NCAA District All-American in basketball. He was inducted into the Wabash Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016. Mr. Chavous graduated from Howard University School of Law, where he was president of his graduating class.
Senator Anitere Flores had the honor of representing portions of South Florida from Westchester and Kendall to South Dade and the Florida Keys from 2004-2020. Senator Flores graduated with a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Florida International University, and then received a J.D. from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. After law school, Senator Flores was hired by the Florida House of Representatives to work on the Education Council, and later worked for Governor Jeb Bush as his Education Policy Chief. Senator Flores served in the Florida House from 2004-2010. Prior to being elected a State Representative, she spent two years advocating for university students in her district as Director of State Relations for Florida International University.
During her career in the Florida House, Senator Flores served as Deputy Majority Leader, Chair of the PreK-12 Appropriations Committee, and Chair of the PreK-12 Policy Committee. In order to increase college completion, she created the First-Generation Scholarship program for students who are the first in their family to attend college. Over 10,000 students have benefitted from this scholarship since its inception.
In her time in the Senate, Senator Flores chaired various committees of importance including: Judiciary, Fiscal Policy, Banking and Insurance, Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, and Community Affairs. From 2016-2018 Senator Flores became the first Hispanic woman to serve as President Pro-Tempore of the Florida Senate. From 2018-2020 Senator Flores served as the Deputy Majority Leader for the Florida Senate. In the Senate, she has championed several issues important to South Florida, including working towards finding affordable options for property insurance. Senator Flores also create the Live Like Bella Childhood Cancer Research grant which was the first program in the nation to provide state funds directly for finding cures for childhood cancers. To date, $10 million have been awarded to fund this life saving research.
Senator Flores also serves on various national and community boards. She is currently serving on the State Legislative Leaders Foundation Board (SLLF) and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO). She previously served as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board (a bipartisan board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress-NAEP) and the Board of Spectrum Programs, Inc. (a drug and mental health service organization).
Senator Flores is the Director of Development for the ACE Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising funds for students and schools in need.
Senator Flores is married to Dustin Anderson of Sarasota, Florida. Together they have two sons, Máximo Monte and Lucas Ignacio Anderson.
Kansas City, Kansas native David Haley is now in his 22nd year in the Kansas Legislature; having served six years in the Kansas House of Representatives and sixteen years in the Kansas Senate. Senator Haley, the only attorney presently in Kansas’ Senate Democratic Caucus (and one of but three in the entire Kansas Senate) has served as the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for over a decade and previously served (during the national debate on whether or not to enact the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” led by former US Health & Human Services’ Secretary and former KS Governor Kathleen Sebelius as the Ranking Member of the Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee. Formerly the Chairman of the Kansas Black Legislative Caucus (2010-2014), he is an elected Delegate-At-Large on the Executive Board of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators where he first served as Vice-Chair, then Chair, of Region 11 / NBCSL for six years.
David is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA AND of Howard University Law School in Washington, DC. A former Wyandotte County Assistant District Attorney, David has worked in legal capacities at every level of government; city, county, state and federal as well as in a prominent private law firm. Today, in addition to legislative duties, David represents clients as public affairs counsel; renovates and develops domestic and international real properties; and is a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker.
He and his former wife, Michelle (a KCKS pediatrician) are the proud parents of four. His late father, George W. Haley, was the first black ever elected to the KS Senate and served in the administrations of five US Presidents; culminating his career as the US Ambassador to the Gambia, West Africa. David’s mother, Doris (Moxley) Haley, taught English / Speech / Drama at Northeast Junior AND Sumner High Schools in KCKS. His only sibling, Anne, is also an attorney practicing in Los Angeles, CA. The nephew of ROOTS author, Alex Haley, David has informally assumed a role as family patriarch / spokesman since his father’s and uncles’ demises.