Paul A. Allen

Senior Director, Development

A nonprofit and fundraising veteran, Paul A. Allen joined America Achieves as the Senior Director of Development.  Paul will help develop the broad philanthropic strategy for the accelerator and each of America Achieves’ initiatives while driving the day-to-day fundraising operations.

Mary Conroy Almada

New York Program Manager, Fellowship for Teachers and Principals

Since joining the Fellowship, Mary has worked on a variety of projects and initiatives to increase the organization's impact and reach.

Marie Avetria

Development Manager, External Relations

Marie is a Development Manager at America Achieves, working with the team on development, communications, and special projects.

Mary Blanusa

Senior Director, Strategy

Mary joins America Achieves as Senior Director on the Strategy team and 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 activities to include workforce readiness initiatives as a bridge between K-12 and higher education projects and identify intersections between K-12, post-secondary, and workforce to align expectations and enhance education pathways towards 21st century careers. 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. 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. She currently serves on the advisory board of the English Learners Success Forum.

Charlie Cummings

Program Director, State Educator Voice Fellowships

Charlie led the initiative to create state-wide teacher and principal fellowships in Colorado, Michigan, and New York.

Cheri Farrior

Program Coordinator, Educator Voice Fellowship

Cheri Farrior is the Program Coordinator for the Educator Voice Fellowship. Prior to joining America Achieves in the fall of 2016, Cheri taught 7th grade social studies in Charlotte, NC.

Diane Ford

Managing Partner, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer

Diane Ford serves as Managing Partner, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer, overseeing all of the organization’s administrative and finance functions.

Danielle Gaburo

Executive Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator, Office of the Executive Chairman

Danielle serves as Executive Assistant and Special Projects Coordinator to the Executive Chairman of America Achieves. Danielle began her career working as an Administrative Assistant at a hedge fund in New York City.

Jade Grieve

Senior Director, Office of the Executive Chairman

Jade Grieve is a Senior Director at America Achieves, currently focusing on education for employment initiatives. Before joining America Achieves, Jade was a strategic policy adviser to two former Australian Prime Ministers and Education Ministers.

Catherine Holland

Chief Operating Officer, GripTape

Catherine Holland is the Chief Operating Officer for GripTape, an initiative that fosters deep understanding, tools, and opportunities for youth to drive their own learning and development. Before joining America Achieves, she worked with nonprofits and private-sector companies committed to increasing access to critical information and outstanding educational experiences for children from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Catherine is passionate about engaging with partners, whether youth in schools and community-based programs or the adults who serve them. She has worked with educators, administrators, and technologists to create innovative programs and tools that support powerful, effective learning. Most recently, Catherine served as the Director of Research & Development at following her role as Program Director for the Salvadori Center. Catherine studied at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, and in Paris, France. Today, she lives in New York City where she and her husband raised their two children. When she’s not working, you’ll find her reading Civil War biographies, comparing Crossfit bruises with her husband, or practicing her French with anyone who will indulge her.

Lance Hostetter

Colorado Program Manager, Educator Voice Fellowship

Lance Hostetter serves as the Colorado Program Manager for the Educator Voice Fellowship. He has extensive experience in education advocacy, government, and politics in Colorado.

Peter Kannam

Managing Partner

Peter Kannam is a Managing Partner of America Achieves and oversees work with cities and states, including managing the organization's leadership programs and tool development, and leads our partnership and program work with Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Brett Kimmel

Chief Program Officer, College Access and Success

Brett Kimmel is Chief Program Officer, College Access and Success, at America Achieves. From 2006-2015 Brett was founding principal of Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS), a high performing New York City public school.

Ariel Lawrence

Program Manager, GripTape

Ariel Lawrence is the Program Manager for GripTape. She enjoys being a member of an enthusiastic team that emphasizes youth-driven learning. Ariel began her career as a middle school teacher in a DC charter school. While in the classroom, she became adamant about validating the culture, values, interests and lived experiences of her students. It was this experience that sparked her initial interest in youth-centered learning and compelled her to pursue her graduate degree in Sociology and Education. As a graduate student, Ariel also served as an Instructor at the Opportunity Network, an Arthur Zankel Urban Fellow at Teachers College Community School and a Teacher’s Assistant at the Center for Research and Public and Leadership. Ariel received her M.A from Teachers College, Columbia University and A.B. from Princeton University. She is passionate about resolving issues of educational inequality, deepening her spiritual walk and has an insane obsession with Broadway shows, concerts and dance.

Mark Murphy

Founder and CEO, GripTape

Mark Murphy leads Griptape, an initiative to ensure youth are the true drivers of their learning and development and are able to seize great opportunities to grow, lead, and serve. Before joining the family at America Achieves, Mark was the Secretary of Education in Delaware.

Irene Newman

Senior Human Resources and Administrative Manager

Irene Newman serves as Senior Human Resources and Administrative Manager, working directly with the Chief Financial & Administrative Officer on all phases of the employee lifecycle, including recruitment, onboarding, professional development, and performance management. Prior to joining America Achieves, Irene was the Human Resources Manager for Malaria No More, a 501 (c)(3) organization where she was responsible for supporting business initiatives, development of HR strategies, and plans, to ensure organizational effectiveness.

Dimity Palmer-Smith

Director of Partnerships, College Access and Success

Dimity Palmer-Smith is the Director of Partnerships for College Access and Success at America Achieves. Prior to joining America Achieves, Dimity was the founding Executive Director of Friends of WHEELS, a nonprofit organization providing funding for college access and persistence services at WHEELS, a public school in Washington Heights.

Alysha Rashid

Project Manager, College Access and Success

Alysha Rashid is the Project Manager of College Access and Success at America Achieves. Previously, she worked as in-school adviser with MDRC’s College Match Program. Alysha began her career as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Adelphi University, her alma mater, where she recruited students in New York and Washington and helped build Adelphi’s multicultural recruitment efforts.

Rae Richman

Chief External Relations Officer

As Chief External Relations Officer, Rae Richman ensures that America Achieves has the funding, network, reach, and resources to achieve its goals and fulfill its mission.

Sheri Rodman

Director of Data & Operations, Fellowship for Teachers and Principals

Sheri began her career in education in 2007 as a high school math teacher in Washington, D.C. While teaching, Sheri served as a teacher leader in her school by heading the math department, founding an international club for students, and founding a faculty community committee for colleagues.

Elyse Rossi

Program Manager, Global Learning Network

Elyse serves as a Program Manager for the Global Learning Network. Prior to joining America Achieves, she spent four years in the entertainment industry, working with major film studios and independent production companies in the financing, marketing, and release of films.

Jon Schnur

Executive Chairman

Jon Schnur is Executive Chairman of America Achieves. Jon helped to found America Achieves and helps to shape the organization's overall strategy and work.

Tom Snyder

Senior Accounting Manager

Tom serves as the Senior Accounting Manager for America Achieves working in their Accelerator team. Tom is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the accounting function as well as continuing to develop a cohesive process between the organization and the finance area.

Emma Van Susteren

Manager for External Relations

Emma is the manager for external relations at America Achieves. With her, she brings years of experience in federal government and an excitement for innovative policies and programs that bring about systemic change.

Bryden Sweeney-Taylor

Chief Executive Officer, College Access and Success

Before joining America Achieves, Bryden served as Executive Director of African Leadership Foundation, the US partner of African Leadership Academy, a leadership development institution dedicated to supporting Africa’s future leaders.