Jonathan Eddison, Board Chair
Mr. Eddison is a Principal in the Pileus Group in Austin, Texas, an unsponsored fund. As an attorney for almost 30 years, Mr. Eddison has served at the SEC, was General Counsel of small public companies, the principal business lawyer at large private companies and worked as Of Counsel at two national law firms. He was prepared for his work in educational reform by his own education in international schools in Pakistan and Bolivia. Prompted by his elder daughter’s transformational experience at Wildwood School in Los Angeles, Mr. Eddison was the founding chairman and acting Principal of Design High School, an innovative L.A. charter school. During Mr. Eddison’s tenure, he completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education program in Charter School Leadership. Mr. Eddison currently serves on the Board of Goodwill Austin. Mr. Eddison completed a JD cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, an MA in Eastern Asian Studies from the University of Michigan and a BA cum laude from Wesleyan University.
Jeanne Fauci, Secretary
Jeanne Fauci is co-founder of Center for Powerful Public Schools, overseeing all operations and programs. She supports the development of Pilot Schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), coaches educators on all aspects of designing and implementing small district and charter schools and works to establish the conditions within school districts for sustainable, equitable, learner-centered small schools. Additionally, Ms. Fauci leads the Linked Learning Center focused on implementing the Linked Learning Initiative at LAUSD and southern California high schools. Formerly, Ms. Fauci was the Director of Wildwood School Outreach Center where she designed, coordinated and presented numerous professional development workshops on essential elements of high functioning 21st century schools including school culture, advisory programs, and project-based learning. She is the lead author of The Advisory Toolkit, a book and DVD on how to establish a successful secondary school advisory program. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Ms. Fauci received the 2008 Coalition of Essential Schools Transformational Leadership Award for her commitment to improve educational outcomes for underserved students in LAUSD Local District 4.
Jonathan Gat was the Vice President for Clinical Studies and Development for Nuovo Biologics since 2011 developing key research and development relationships, raising investments and strategic decision-making. His career has been focused on establishing and developing a variety of businesses. Prior to working at Nuovo, he was Business Development Director at Awesome Avenue, a privately held Los Angeles fashion company in Los Angeles. He founded Prague Street Advisers, an investment management business catering mostly to expatriates in 2004. From 2001 to 2004 Gat was Operations Manager at Skilled Health Systems, a small health care research firm primarily engaged in the design and operation of clinical trials for medical devices. In late 1999, he joined six former bankers and debt buyers to form Debtauction.com designed to be the first online market for buyers and sellers of distressed debt. Gat has also been the Deputy Trade Commissioner at the Israel Government Trade Office in Los Angeles. Mr. Gat holds his MBA degree from University of Brussels in Belgium and his BA from Skidmore College. He is a member of the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board; he has previously served on the Boards of the British American Business Council and the California-Israel Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Hernandez is Senior Vice-President with Fenton, a social change communications agency that uses the power of stories, media and technology to make the world a better place by changing behavior, advancing policy, building communities and transforming thinking. He leads Fenton’s Los Angeles office and applies his more than eighteen years of experience in public affairs, government relations and strategic communications to successfully help organizations navigate through complex political environments at the state and local level. He currently acts as the lead communications strategist for a collaborative comprising eleven of the nation’s most prominent foundations focused on improving the lives of boys and young men of color. He is a senior consultant to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and has been a longtime senior policy advisor to the Blue Shield of California Foundation. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors for Community Health Councils and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Saban Free Clinic. A veteran of local government, Mr. Hernandez served as legislative deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, where he acted as chief advisor on transportation and law enforcement issues. Mr. Hernandez is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and completed Coro Southern California’s Fellowship in Public Affairs program.
Ms. Katzir is a senior associate attorney in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department. Ms. Katzir represents lenders, borrowers, opportunity and private equity funds, institutional and non-institutional real estate investors, developers and operators in a broad range of matters, including forming and representing joint ventures and negotiating joint venture agreements; acquisition, leasing and development, traditional construction, permanent and leasehold financing, preferred equity and mezzanine financing, and disposition of a wide range of commercial real estate asset classes throughout the United States. Ms. Katzir’s practice also includes representation of borrowers and lenders in the negotiation of settlement agreements, forbearance agreements, loan modifications, restructures and other workout arrangements, as well as in the commencement and completion of foreclosure proceedings. In addition, Ms. Katzir has helped to spearhead the firm’s growing EB-5 practice and has significant experience in the structuring of EB-5 financings representing senior and junior lenders in intercreditor arrangements involving EB-5 financings, and has advised consumers of EB-5 funds regarding the integration of existing EB-5 programs into larger structured finance regime.
Mr. Smith is CEO and founder of Foretop, a health care policy consulting firm. He has over twenty years of experience in intergovernmental and health policy, non-profit associations and project management, strategic planning and communications, programmatic analysis and collaborative decision-making. A published author on intergovernmental program management, Mr. Smith is an expert in public health care program delivery systems. He has worked on several non-profit and government commissions and boards including the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Health Care Council and the California Mental Health Oversight and Accountability Commission Evaluation Committee. Mr. Smith has co-chaired Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, Health Care Council and the Coro Foundation Executive Leadership Program. M. Smith received his Masters in Public Policy at the University of Southern California and his BA in Linguistics at the University of California, Davis.
Mr. Viramontes is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Learning Policy Institute based at Stanford University specializing in early childhood education advocacy. Formerly, he served as Children and Family Services Policy Advisor to LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis. He has worked at First 5 LA, focusing on early childhood education. Prior to that, he served as Vice President of Education Policy for First Focus where he monitored legislation development related to K–12 education. Beginning in 2000, Mr. Viramontes completed a public policy fellowship in Washington, D.C. where he served with Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) followed by an opportunity to work for former Los Angeles City Councilmember, Ruth Galanter where he utilized his previous policy experience while working for Dakota Communications, a Los Angeles-based, and consulting firm with expertise in public communications, political guidance, and community relations. Aside from policy work, Mr. Viramontes was a high school social science teacher at Green Dot Public Schools. Mr. Viramontes has a BA in History from California State Fullerton, a MA in Education and teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University, his MPP from the University of Southern California and an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University, Public Policy Institute.
Won Yi – Treasurer
Won Yi is the VP and Branch Manager of California Bank and Trust at their Wilshire Center branch. Formerly Mr. Yi was VP and Branch Manager at Bank of the West, Wilshire Square Branch, managing portfolios of $100 million of high-value individual & commercial accounts. A native of Korea, Mr. Yi is a graduate of Korea University in Seoul. Mr. Yi served as president of Korean America Chamber of Commerce and Director of Beautiful Foundation in San Jose, CA. Mr. Yi has been in the banking industry for over 25 years and previous worked at Citibank in San Francisco and at HSBC. Mr. Yi has also had experience in working at Union Banks. Mr. Yi is a member of the Rotary Club of Koreatown and has been a Hanmi Radio commentator on the economy for the last 10 years. His interest in education began when he was a teaching assistant in the Bilingual Department at Benjamin Franklin Jr. High School in San Francisco. Mr. Yi graduated from Korea University in Seoul with a BA in English Literature, minor in Education and studied at SFSU Graduate School in Bilingual Ed.
Richard A. Alonzo
Mr. Alonzo is the former Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Local District 4 Superintendent. For the past 25 years, Mr. Alonzo established a formidable reputation as a leader in: school reform, small schools, small learning communities, parent engagement, and the systemic improvement in teaching and learning for EL students. Mr. Alonzo was instrumental in LAUSD’s move to design new secondary schools and convert comprehensive high school buildings into smaller and more personalized learning environments. He supported educational reform including the establishment of small learning communities, the Belmont Zone of Choice and Pilot schools in Local District 4. Mr. Alonzo received a M.A. in School Administration and Leadership, K-12 Education at Pepperdine University, a Masters of Education (M.Ed.), Elementary-Bilingual-Multicultural Education, Elementary from the University of Southern California, and a B.A., Art Teacher Education, Secondary from Immaculate Heart College.
Karen Hunter Quartz
Dr. Quartz is the Director of Research for Center X, the home of UCLA’s professional credentialing and advancement programs for K-12 educators, and for the UCLA Community School, a K-12 Pilot school that she helped open in 2009 on LAUSD’s RFK Community Schools campus. Dr. Quartz was previously the Assistant Research Scientist at UCSD’s Center for Research in Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence. From 1999 to 2006, she led the UCLA Longitudinal Study of Urban Educators as part of UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education and Access. Dr. Quartz’s research and writing focus on the creation of democratic school communities as well as the struggle to recruit and retain good urban teachers. Dr. Quartz is a founding director of the Center for Powerful Public Schools. She received her Ph.D., Education, UCLA, a M.A., Philosophy of Science from the University of Western Ontario, and a B.A., Philosophy from Huron College.
Dr. Olivia Lynch has a multifaceted portfolio of experience in the field of education. Dr. Lynch is the Executive Director/Principal of Thomas Edison Charter Academy (TECA). She is also Adjunct Professor of Educational Leadership at Patten University in Oakland California. Previously Dr. Lynch was the Director of Instruction for a nearby school district. Previous to that position, she was an educational consultant, providing services and supports on a number of initiatives and programs in schools, districts, educational organizations and with the Department of Education in Washington D.C. She also has served as Director of Professional Learning at the School Redesign Network at Stanford University and Director of Education at Education Trust West. Dr. Lynch received her B.A. from New York University, her M.A. from Adelphi University, her principal and district leadership certificates from City College of New York and her Doctor of Education from Mills College, in Oakland, California.
Ms. Rodriguez is currently running to represent the 7th Council District of the City of Los Angeles. Previously, Ms. Rodriguez served as the Vice President for City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works. She has over 18 years of public and private sector experience in public affairs and development and in economic development and grassroots community affairs. Previously, Ms. Rodriguez was Fundraising and Housing Opportunity Program Director for the California Association of Realtors (CAR) for nine years, responsible for the strategic development and implementation of political fundraising and philanthropic housing initiatives. Prior to CAR, Rodriguez served as Chief Deputy/Senior Policy Advisor for Community and Intergovernmental Relations. Ms. Rodriguez served as Community Affairs Manager for Mayor Richard Riordan and as an aide to Councilmembers Mike Hernandez and Richard Alarcon. While with Mayor Riordan, she led the successful implementation of two $3 million federally funded Targeted Neighborhood Initiatives. Rodriguez has served as president of HOPE-PAC: Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Political Action Committee. A graduate of Occidental College, Rodriguez resides in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.