CEO of Playworks
Elizabeth Cushing is CEO of Playworks, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of play to bring out the best in every child. Elizabeth joined Playworks in 2004 and was named President and COO in 2011 and CEO in 2020. She leads Playworks’ Executive Team and is responsible for the organization’s strategy, operations and fiscal health. During her tenure Elizabeth has played a lead role is designing Playworks’ national scaling strategy including engaging national investors. Alongside founder, Jill Vialet, Elizabeth led the organization through a sustained period of growth from a San Francisco Bay Area-focus to a national organization with 20 offices across the country. As a result of strategic expansion, Playworks shares its unique brand of play and physical activity with 2,000 elementary schools reaching more than 1.25M children annually. For more than 25 years Elizabeth has served in leadership roles in nonprofit organizations focused on youth development, children’s advocacy and women’s issues. Elizabeth is a product of Oregon public schools, Stanford University and the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs.
Ashoka’s Globalizer Co-Director
Nadine Freeman is Ashoka’s Globalizer Co-Director. She has over 20 years of experience working closely with social entrepreneurs. Through the Globalizer she has helped build and hone an innovative process that places leading social and business entrepreneurs together to develop effective strategies to spread social impact and create long term systemic change.
Before joining the Globalizer team she led Ashoka’s Andean Region and Latin America Fellowship programs, contributing to establishment of social entrepreneurship as a critical field in the region.
Prior to joining Ashoka, Nadine was Director of Programs at South North Development Initiative where she helped to create some of the first impact investment funds in southern Africa and Latin America.
Nadine, a fomer teacher, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at U.C.L.A
Board Member of Food Corps & Executive Fellow for Campaign for Grade Level Reading
John Gomperts is a long-time leader in non-profits and government organizations devoted to civic engagement and to creating greater opportunities for children and youth. John is currently an Executive Fellow with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and is advising a wide range of organizations and leaders working in the children & youth space and in national service and civic engagement. From 2012 – 2020, John served as President & CEO of America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest coalition of organizations and communities working on issues related to young people. Prior to that, John served as the Director of AmeriCorps in the Obama Administration. Earlier, John led non-profits that work to enlist individuals and communities to provide young people with the resources and supports they need to thrive. In an earlier portion of his career, John worked in the US Senate (Sens. Wofford, Kerry, Daschle), practiced law and advocacy, and served as a judicial clerk. John earned his JD from Georgetown University Law Center and his AB in History from University of California, Berkeley. John has served on a wide range of boards including FoodCorps (Chair), Points of Light, Presidio Institute, News Literacy Project, and others.
John is married to Katherine J. Klein, a Professor of Management and Vice-Dean for Social Impact at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and they have two daughters, Nora and Lily.
Executive in Residence with Charter School Growth Fund
Maria Heredia works as an Executive in Residence with Charter School Growth Fund focusing on start-up, expansion, operational, and governance issues in support of portfolio charter schools. She previously served as the chief operations officer and general counsel at High Tech High, a network of 16 charter schools in San Diego, California. Prior to that role, Maria served as the senior vice president of legal advocacy and general counsel at the California Charter Schools Association. Before fully moving into the nonprofit education sector, Maria represented charter schools, nonprofits, and private companies at two law firms: California Counsel Group, a law practice that she co-founded, and as a partner at Luce Forward LLP. Maria is a graduate of Stanford Law School where she focused on the Lawyering for Social Change curriculum and Harvard University where she earned an AB in American history and literature. She is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow and an active volunteer and board member with various education nonprofits.
Commissioner, President's Commission on White House Fellows
Before starting her consulting career, Deb worked as an attorney in private practice. In 1993, she joined the Corporation for National Service (CNCS), the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps. After serving as Associate General Counsel and Chief of Staff, Deb was appointed Director of AmeriCorps by President Clinton in 1997, a position she held until the end of the Clinton Administration in 2001. Deb is a founding board member of the Service Year Alliance, ServeNext, AmeriCorps Alums, and the Center for Music National Service. Currently, she serves on the board of Safe Shores, the D.C. Children’s Advocacy Center. Deb is a 1980 graduate of Tufts University. She earned an MSc in Public Policy from the London School of Economics in 1983 and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1989.
Former CEO of Collaborative Classroom
Roger King was the CEO of Collaborative Classroom from 2015 to 2021. Prior to that, he was a consultant to nonprofit organizations and philanthropic foundations for more than 20 years. His work focused on developing strategies for scaling-up nonprofit impact. He began his career as a consultant with Bain & Company. He holds a BA and an MBA from Harvard University. Before being named CEO, he served on Center for the Collaborative Classroom’s Board of Trustees since 2002.
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