Cohort of State & National Leaders
The Leadership Institute is a cohort-based, year long leadership opportunity focused on leading change in complex, political climates. It is by far PIE Network’s most highly-rated opportunity, according to peers that have experienced it so far
“Honestly, this was the closest to a paradigm shift I’ve personally experienced in terms of how I think about my approach to my work.”
Additional details about the program, current cohort, and next application process are below. Please reach out to Sarah if you have additional questions.
Learn More About Leadership Institute
WHO IS IN THE FOURTH LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE COHORT?
The fourth Leadership Institute cohort includes 21 state and national leaders. You can view the complete roster here.
WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE THIRD LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE COHORT?
- Rachel Amankulor, PennCAN, Deputy Director of Policy
- Sean Andersen, Families for Excellence Schools, Chief Program Officer
- Madeline Bayard, Rodel Foundation of Delaware, VP Policy & Practice
- Catharine Bellinger, Democrats for Education Reform, D.C. Director
- Brigette Blom Ramsey, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, Executive Director
- Dale Chu, formerly with America Succeeds
- Peter Franzen, Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri, Associate Executive Director
- Jean Frickey Saito, Stand for Children Colorado, Executive Director
- Claire Goebel, Wildflower Foundation, Partner
- Juan Gonzalez, formerly with Stand for Children Illinois
- Erin Hart, Expect More Arizona, COO
- Tonia Holowetzki, Chalkboard Project, Communications Director
- Sanford Johnson, Mississippi First, Deputy Director
- J. Alex Kelly, Foundation for Excellence in Education, Vice President
- Hamada Labi, formerly with GeorgiaCAN, now with Southern Regional Policy Counsel, ACLU Campaign for Smart Justice
- Sarah Lillis, formerly with EdVoice, now Executive Director, Teach Plus California
- Seth Litt, Parent Revolution, CEO
- Gina Mahony, formerly with National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, currently an independent consultant
- Sean Matteson, ConnCAN, COO
- Mary Cypress Metz, State Collaborative on Reforming Education, Chief of Staff
- Jamie O’Leary, Thomas B. Fordham Institute-Ohio, Senior Ohio Policy Analyst
- David Powell, Stand for Children Washington, Policy Director
WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE SECOND LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE COHORT?
- Chad Aldis, Thomas B. Fordham Institute-Ohio, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy
- Angela Bass, Mississippi First, Deputy Director of Policy
- Benjamin Boer, Advance Illinois, Deputy Director
- Jason Botel, formerly with MarylandCAN, now White House Education Advisor
- Maryellen Butke, Impact for Education, Strategic Consultant
- Courtney Criswell, The KIPP Foundation, Senior Director of Policy and Government Affairs
- Joanna Hassell, Foundation for Excellence in Education, National Director of Policy
- Stacey Hodge, Stand for Children Texas, Dallas Director
- Jason Hughes, Stand for Children Louisiana
- Lorna Kurdi, formerly with Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri, now an independent consultant
- Jess Langhaim, Foundation for Excellence in Education, National Advocacy Director
- Amy Liu, League of Education Voters, Policy Director
- Sydney Morris, Educators for Excellence, Co-founder & Co-CEO
- Eric Paisner, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Chief of Staff
- Jackney Prioly, Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Director, Future Ready Massachusetts
- Luke Ragland, formerly with Colorado Succeeds, now President of Ready Colorado
- Thomas Rains, A+ Education Partnership, Policy Director
- Andrea Roethke, formerly with MinnCAN, now Deputy Director at EdAllies
- David Sailer, formerly with Families for Excellent Schools, now an independent consultant
- Reshma Singh, formerly with Partnership for Educational Justice, now Chief Growth Officer with Families for Excellent Schools
WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE FIRST LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE COHORT?
- Jennifer Alexander, ConnCAN, CEO
- Raymond Allen, formerly with Stand for Children Louisiana, now Regional Director at Leadership for Educational Equity
- Priscilla Aquino Garza, Educate Texas, Deputy Director, Policy
- Chris Barron, formerly with Partnership for Learning, now Director of Communications & Media Relations at Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
- Derrell Bradford, NYCAN & 50CAN, NYCAN Executive Director & 50CAN Executive Vice President
- Rachel Canter, Mississippi First, Executive Director
- Tania de Sa Campos, Democrats for Education Reform, State Operations Manager
- Sarah Grunewald, formerly with the Rodel Foundation Delaware, now with PIE Network
- Scott Laband, Colorado Succeeds, Executive Director
- David Mansouri, State Collaborative on Reforming Education, President
- Kelly McManus, formerly with Stand for Children Arizona, now Director of Legislative Affairs at the Education Trust
- Shree Medlock, formerly with the Black Alliance for Educational Options, now an independent consultant
- Carrie Griffin Monica, Stand for Children Louisiana, Executive Director
- Jim O’Conner, Advance Illinois, Project Director
- Seth Rau, formerly with Nevada Succeeds, now Legislative Coordinator, San Antonio Independent School District
- Dana Rickman, Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Director of Policy & Research
- Mimi Rodman, Stand for Children Illinois, Executive Director
- Daniel Sellers, formerly with MinnCAN, now Executive Director, Ed Allies
- Sonja Semion, formerly with Stand for Children Colorado, now Communications Director, Hale Pule Ayurveda and Yoga
- Jason Williams, Stand for Children Massachusetts, Executive Director
What makes the Leadership Institute unique?
The Leadership Institute complements other Network opportunities (which tend to focus on policy topics in education) by reaching entirely outside of education for lessons from other sectors that sharpen advocacy strategy, pushing participants to think bigger about political influence.
Each of the three, three-day sessions provides a mix of case-based discussions of political campaigns, experiential learning opportunities, and connection to expertise related to the arts of influence and political strategy.
Past participants have reflected that the relationships built among their cohorts were as powerful as the content, and that they have created meaningful connections and lasting professional relationships that have extended well beyond the three meetings.
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?
A fifth cohort is anticipated, though timing is still being finalized. Please check back here or contact Sarah for more information.
WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE?
The Leadership Institute is open to executive directors of PIE Network member and partner organizations, as well as individuals in strong “number two” positions. The experience is best suited for leaders who have distinguished expertise in advocacy, organizing, and policy in education, and are hungry for broader insights from other sectors that further sharpen their abilities as strategists and influencers. Weseek a balance in each cohort across the different types of organizations and approaches to advocacy, considering the depth and complexity of experiences and perspectives applicants bring to the mix.
If there are more applicants than we can accommodate, we consider first the insights and qualifications put forth in potential participants’ applications. We also consider the balance noted above, as well as the potential ideological, gender, ethnic, and geographic diversity that a potential participant brings to the mix. (Note that organizations that have not yet participated are prioritized over those that have, if demand is high.) We also prioritize the participation of executive directors, but will ensure a mix of other roles in order to bring a range of perspectives. Finally, we seek evidence of an applicant’s commitment to being a leader within the broader Network in an ongoing way; leaders and organizations that consistently engage and actively participate in other PIE Network opportunities are considered some of the strongest applicants.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT & COST?
Each cohort meets three times, for three days over a time period of 12 to 18 months.
All costs associated with the Institute (travel, hotel, etc.) will be covered by PIE Network, thanks to the generosity of our funding partners. Participants are expected to fully invest their time and energy in each meeting.
What are people saying about the experience?
“The Leadership Institute pushes leadership beyond what business school case studies tell you and beyond what is traditionally done in education advocacy organizations. I feel like I have a tool box of ideas for approaching challenges in new ways.”
“… for me it was the importance of taking the time to reflect and think about my own practice that was the most valuable.”
“I draw on our improv and negotiation skills weekly. … I do so many “tough” conversations differently because of this.”
“So much of this work is about relationships: I feel like I gained solid strategies and tactics for building bridges with folks.”
“100% leaving with these relationships that will make a difference and have made a difference in my work.”
“I have already approached working with my team and everyone in my organization differently, implementing “yes, and” in my conversations, using better negotiating tactics, changing “why” to “what” and so many other best practices I’ve learned in these meetings. The tools we learn have paid immediate dividends.”