Uncommon Schools, Founder and Board Chair; Relay Graduate School of Education, Co-Founder and President
Norman Atkins is the Co-Founder and President of Relay Graduate School of Education (formerly known as Teacher U), a ground-breaking institution of higher education designed specifically to train and develop urban public school teachers. Since 2008, under Atkins’ leadership, Teacher U and Relay Graduate School of Education have trained more than 600 charter and district public school teachers in New York City. Atkins is the Founder, Board Chair, and former CEO of Uncommon Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization recognized for starting and operating among the highest performing urban schools in the nation. In 1997, he co-founded and co-led North Star Academy Charter School of Newark. From 1989 to 1994, he was the co-executive director of the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. As a journalist, he has written about education, poverty, politics, culture, and social issues for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Parenting, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. Atkins earned a B.A. in History from Brown University and an M.A. in Educational Administration from Columbia University Teachers College.
Bain & Co. Consulting, Senior Manager in Consumer Product Practices
David A. Cooper is a partner in the Bain & Co. Consulting New York City Office and has focused on the consumer products and retail sectors since joining the firm in 1997. Specifically, David has worked to develop corporate and business unit strategies for his clients, developed growth plans for specific product lines, and has advised a wide range of consumer and retail clients on the allocation of funding to various businesses. Within his sectors, he has also worked on consumer segmentation, turn-around efforts, supply chain improvement, core process redesign, operations, cost reduction and M&A. Prior to joining Bain, David completed the joint JD-MBA program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School, where he received the Faculty Award for Academic Distinction. David is also a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Before working at Bain, David worked for MasterCard International, in their strategy group, assessing new credit products, and also worked at the Washington, D.C. law firms of Jackson & Campbell and McDermott, Will & Emery.
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, Portfolio Manager and Director of Capital Aggregation
Charles “Chuck” Harris is Portfolio Manager and Director of Capital Aggregation of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. In this role, Harris oversees and guides the Foundation’s capital aggregation activities and manages relationships with various grantees. Before joining the Foundation, Harris co-founded and served for five years as Executive Partner of SeaChange Capital Partners, a financial intermediary designed to enhance the flows of capital to outstanding nonprofits serving children and youth in low-income communities in the United States. Harris spent 23 years in the banking business before retiring in 2002 from his position as a partner and managing director at Goldman Sachs, where he served as co-head of the East Coast High Technology Group in the firm’s Investment Banking Division and as co-head of Corporate Finance in the Americas. He sits on the boards of several nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and has served extensively on the boards of both private and public for-profit corporations. Harris has spoken broadly on the role of capital formation in advancing social change. He is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a master’s degree in finance from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Pearl Rock Kane
Columbia University, Klingenstein Family Chair for the Advancement of Independent School Education
Pearl Rock Kane is the Klingenstein Family Chair Professor of education in the Department of Organization and Leadership, Director of the Klingenstein Center, and advisor for the Master’s degree programs focusing on Private School Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. Professor Kane holds an M.A. from Smith College and a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught and served as an administrator in public and private schools in Michigan, Massachusetts and New York City. Her current teaching and research interests are in the areas of private schools, governance, leadership, privatization and charter schools. Dr. Kane serves on several boards including Editorial Projects, which publishes Education Week and Teacher Magazine, Edmund Rice High School, a Catholic School in Harlem, NY, and Holderness School in Plymouth, NH. She has published numerous articles on issues of leadership, governance, diversity and the attraction and retention of teachers.
Co-Founder & Co-Managing Partner of Soroban Capital
Gaurav Kapadia is the Co-Founder & Co-Managing Partner of Soroban Capital, a $3.5 Billion investment firm based in New York. Prior to forming Soroban Capital, Gaurav was a Partner at TPG-Axon Capital, a multi-billion dollar global investment firm. He joined the firm prior to launch in 2004 based in New York. In 2007, Gaurav moved to London Co-Head TPG-Axon’s London Office and was involved in all aspects of building out TPG-Axon’s European presence. Gaurav started his career at the Boston Consulting Group as a strategy consultant. He graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a BSC in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Management. Gaurav lives in New York with his wife and son.
Joho Capital, LLC Principal and Hollyhock Foundation, Founder
Robert Karr grew up on Bainbridge Island, Washington and attended public schools through high school. In 1984, he graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in economics and moved to Tokyo, where he worked for a Japanese brokerage firm and became fluent in Japanese. After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1990, he returned to Tokyo to invest in Japanese equities. He founded Joho Capital, L.L.C., a long-short equity fund in 1996, after four years as Tiger Management's chief representative in Japan. Joho currently has offices in New York, Tokyo and Taipei and Mr. Karr travels extensively in Asia. In 2003 Mr. and Mrs. Karr launched their family foundation (The Hollyhock Foundation), dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families. The Karrs live in New York City and Ketchum, Idaho, and have two sons, aged 8 and 6.
Donald R. Katz
Audible, Inc., Chairman and CEO
Donald Katz is founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Audible, Inc., the Internet's premier audio information and entertainment service. In his 10 year tenure with Audible, Donald Katz has led the company to top-10 rankings in the Deloitte & Touche Fast 50 competition for 2002, 2003, and 2004. Mr. Katz is the winner of the 2004 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for New Jersey, and was honored in 1999 as Entrepreneur of the Year by Silicon Alley trade magazine Alley Cat News for his pioneering work at Audible.
Before founding Audible, Donald Katz was a successful author and journalist for twenty years. He is the author of Home Fires: An Intimate Portrait of One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America, nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award; The Big Store: Inside the Crisis and Revolution at Sears, winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction; and Just Do It: The Nike Spirit in the Corporate World. Mr. Katz has served as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, Esquire, Outside, Sports Illustrated, Men's Journal, and Worth, and his work has won or been nominated for several National Magazine Awards. In 2001, Random House published a two-volume collection of Katz's award-winning magazine stories, King of the Ferret Leggers and Other True Stories and Valley of the Fallen and Other Places. Mr. Katz also served as a consultant on editorial, start-up, content development projects, and digital media issues for Fidelity Investments, Whittle Communications, Wenner Media, Time Warner, and Mariah Publications.
Donald Katz graduated from New York University's honors program in English in 1974, and attended The University of Chicago as well as The London School of Economics, from which he holds an MSc in Economics. He currently lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife, Leslie Larson, and their three children, where he served as a member of the public library board for nine years.
Stratex Management Consulting, Managing Partner, Strategy Execution and Performance Management
Mr. Moses is Managing Partner at Stratex Management Consulting, where he works with clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech and healthcare industry. Specifically, Mr. Moses helps clients to implement adaptive strategy management systems that clarify and translate strategy, align actions and behaviors and monitor and report on performance. Prior to Stratex, Mr. Moses worked at Palladium where he held a variety of senior management roles—senior vice president, executive committee member, chief administrative officer, Global Business Unit Head and Human Capital Practice Lead—and helped transform the company from three newly merged, independent entities to a single, highly integrated global strategy management firm. Before Palladium, Mr. Moses worked in strategy management for Renaissance Solutions and Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, where he led numerous strategy and performance management engagements for large, global clients in the US, the Americas and Europe. Prior to Renaissance Solutions, Mr. Moses held positions of increasing responsibility in sales, sales training, and national accounts management at GlaxoSmithKline (formerly SmithKline Beecham). Mr. Moses holds an A.B. from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of Virginia's Darden School. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and events on the topics of linking strategy to operations and aligning human capital to strategy.
TowerBrook Capital Partners, Founder and Co-CEO
Mr. Moszkowski is founder and Co-CEO of TowerBrook, Co-Chair of the Management Committee and Co-Chair of the Investment Committee. Mr. Moszkowski was previously Co-Head of Soros Private Equity Partners, a division of Soros Fund Management LLC. He was a member of the Management Committee of Soros Fund Management LLC. Mr. Moszkowski was a member of the Principal Investment Area of Goldman Sachs in London and New York from 1993 to 1998. Mr. Moszkowski earned his B.A. from Amherst College and received his M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Uncommon Schools, Chief Executive Officer
Prior to becoming CEO in July 2012, Brett Peiser served as founding Managing Director of Uncommon Schools New York City. As Managing Director, he oversaw a network of 14 schools in Brooklyn, serving over 3,000 elementary, middle, and high school students. The network’s first middle school – Williamsburg Collegiate – is the highest scoring school in New York City on the NYC Department of Education Progress Reports since the DOE began issuing reports in 2006. Mr. Peiser is the Founder and former Principal and Executive Director of Boston Collegiate Charter School, one of Massachusetts’ highest performing public schools. Over Mr. Peiser’s last four years, Boston Collegiate was the only public school in Boston with 100% of 10th graders passing both the Math and English MCAS exams, a statewide graduation requirement. Mr. Peiser is a graduate of New York City Public Schools and a former History Teacher at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. Mr. Peiser received a BA from Brown University and a MPP degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a recipient of the Broad Fellowship for Education Leaders.
James A. Peyser
New Schools Venture Fund, Partner
James A. Peyser is a partner with NewSchools Venture Fund and serves as chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education, a position he has held since 1999. Prior to joining NewSchools, Mr. Peyser served as education advisor to Governors Mitt Romney and Jane Swift. From 2001-2004, he served as the first chairman of Massachusetts’ Educational Management Audit Council. Mr. Peyser worked for close to eight years as executive director of Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research. During his tenure at Pioneer, Mr. Peyser took a four-month leave of absence to serve as Under Secretary of Education and Special Assistant to Governor William Weld for Charter Schools. Prior to joining Pioneer in 1993, Mr. Peyser worked for over seven years at Teradyne Inc., a world leader in the manufacture of electronic test systems. Mr. Peyser also served for three years in Washington, D.C. as director of the Export Task Force, a bi-partisan congressional caucus on international trade.
Mr. Peyser holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University. He is a member of the board of NACSA and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. He also serves on the policy board of the National Council on Teacher Quality.