Board of Trustees


Anakarita Allen, Assistant Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District

Anakarita Allen most recently served as Chief Operations Officer and Chief of Schools for the Castlemont Community Transformation Schools. Previously she served as Deputy Superintendent for Emery Unified after being principal of Anna Yates Elementary for 3 years. At Anna Yates, she led the school to significant achievement gains and improvements in the educational experience of students through community partnerships, parent outreach, and smaller learning communities. She has worked with Project coaches since 2005, and joined the National Equity Project board in 2006.

David Silver, Director of Education, City of Oakland | Vice President

David Silver was appointed Director of Education for Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf in June 2015. David previously served as CEO of College Track and was the founding principal of Think College Now (TCN) Elementary School in Oakland, one of only three Oakland schools to receive a California Distinguished School Award in 2008, and recipient of Title I Achievement Awards for success in narrowing the achievement gap. For two years before becoming principal in 2003, he worked with parents, teachers, and National Equity Project coaches to create TCN.  Before starting a model school Mr. Silver served as the assistant principal at Lockwood Elementary, after having completed his principal certification and masters at Harvard University.  From 1998-2001, he was the program director of Teach for America in the Bay Area. Previously, he taught bilingual second grade and coached basketball in Oakland and Compton. David joined our board in 2008.


Robert Spencer, Urban Economics | Treasurer

Robert Spencer has more than 15 years of financing and consulting experience with local agencies throughout California. He is an economist with extensive experience assisting public agencies with the development of sound financial and economic policies. Much of his work is related to public services funding to serve a community’s growth or revitalization. Bob was a member and President of the Oakland Board of Education in the late 1990’s and remains actively involved in Oakland education reform. He is a member of the board of the Oakland Schools Foundation, and member and past President of the Board of Trustees of the William H. Donner Foundation.  He holds a M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and B.A. in Economics from Colorado College. He joined our board in 2004.


Jennifer Henry, Senior Fellow, Pahara Institute

Jennifer has spent her career improving the pipeline of teachers and principals working in high poverty schools. She began her career as the Executive Director of Making Waves (a Summerbridge program) in Marin County. Making Waves provided four years of year-long academic support to middle school students living in poverty and at risk of failing. During her tenure, she changed the summer teacher recruitment, hiring and compensation model to attract an annual summer faculty almost entirely people of color, and most college graduates, so that her students had young adult teachers with the maturity to focus on growing the full set of skills the Wave Makers needed to be successful in middle and high school. Jennifer’s leadership experience at Making Waves triggered an understanding that the ability of an organization to realize ambitious goals was dependent upon the leaders ability to build and sustain effective organizational practices.

Jennifer earned a Masters in Business Administration from Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern University). Upon graduating from Kellogg, Jennifer was selected to join the inaugural cohort of New Leaders. New Leaders is a national organization that trains teacher leaders and principals to turn around chronically low performing, high poverty schools in major cities around the country. As a New Leader, she founded the Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) in Chicago. AUSL was one of the country’s first urban teacher residency programs.

When her first child was born, she returned to California and joined the New Leaders national team where she worked for 8 years, most recently as the Chief of Program and Cities. As Chief she launched 2 new programs— one for teacher leaders and the other for sitting principals- and re-designed the signature principal residency program while transitioning the cities to a business model dependent mostly on local revenue. Jennifer recently joined Pahara Institute as a Senior Fellow. Pahara is part of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network. She is leading the development of the NextGen Network, a leadership development program for mid-career leaders from under-represented voices in the education reform movement.

Arron Jiron, Program Officer, Education, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation

Arron joined the S.D. Bechtel Foundation in 2012, and he is a Program Officer in the Education Program. Arron leads the team’s grantmaking in Education Policy and Advocacy, with an overall focus on supporting California’s implementation of new math and science standards and on expanding civic learning, character development, and environmental literacy to improve the quality of student learning in- and out-of-school. Before joining the Foundation, and for six years, Arron was a program officer at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, where he led grantmaking for policy, advocacy, and systems building to advance early education and youth development programs. Prior to that, Arron was the Development Director for a state intermediary that improves access and quality of youth development programs in California. Arron started his career at a community action agency in Nebraska, where he led the creation of the Youth Opportunities Center, a comprehensive education division for low-income youth and young adults. There, he co-developed a nationally recognized restorative justice project for youth in the juvenile justice system, launched a YouthBuild program, and designed a regional workforce development system for adults.

Gloria Lee, Founder, Educate 78

Gloria Lee is founder of Educate78, an Oakland-based non-profit spin off from the New Schools Venture Fund. Gloria is the former President and Chief Operating Officer at NewSchools Venture Fund. Previously, she was Bay Area Superintendent for Aspire Public Schools. As Area Superintendent, Gloria was responsible for the “double bottom line:” both academic achievement and fiscal stability. Under her leadership, Aspire’s Bay Area schools grew by an average of 66 points on the state’s Academic Performance Index (4.5x the state targets for growth) over a three year period, and received average parent satisfaction ratings of 90%. Aspire’s Bay Area schools also increased enrollment by nearly 40% to over 2700 students – making Aspire’s Bay Area region larger than 60% of the districts in California.

Prior to becoming Area Superintendent, Gloria served as the Founding Chief Operating Officer of Aspire for the organization’s first eight years. As COO, Gloria crafted key elements of Aspire’s growth and business strategy, and developed the systems and processes necessary to bring the Aspire network successfully from 1 school to 17 schools.

Prior to joining Aspire, Gloria was a consultant for McKinsey and Company, helping Fortune 500 companies address major strategic challenges. Gloria also founded a Bay Area office for UCLA School Management Program, a university-based school reform support organization that provided training and coaching to school principals and teachers in leadership and change management. She received her BS in Agricultural Economics at Cornell University, and both a Masters of Business Administration and Masters in Education at Stanford University.

Na’iluh Suad Nasir, UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion

Professor Nasir is a full professor in the UC Berkeley School of Education and the Department of African American Studies and holds the Birgeneau Chair in Educational Disparities and the Williams Chair of African American Studies. She joined the Berkeley faculty in 2008 from the School of Education at Stanford University, where she won the St. Claire Drake Teaching Award in 2007. Professor Nasir’s research examines the racialized and cultural nature of learning and schooling. She is interested in the intertwining of social, cultural, and political contexts and learning, especially in connection with inequity in educational outcomes. She received her BA in 1993 from Berkeley (Social Welfare and Psychology) and her PhD in 2000 from UCLA (Psychological Studies in Education).

Brian Stanley, Executive Director, Oakland Education Fund

Brian Stanley joined the Oakland Public Education Fund as its Executive Director in November 2012. For five years Brian worked in a number of roles at the San Francisco Education Fund where he refined and strengthened program strategy, used data to deepen impact, and led the implementation of two strategic plans. In his last role as Director of Programs he led an array of programmatic work with students (Peer Resources) and teachers (Teacher Professional Development), and rallied the community (Post-Secondary Success and San Francisco School Volunteers) to support public education in San Francisco.

Before joining the Education Fund he worked at California Tomorrow as Senior Associate for Public Education, Advocacy, and Alliance Building for the Community College Access and Equity Initiative. In this position, Brian oversaw policy development and legislative advocacy focused on developing and strengthening access and equity for vulnerable student populations in California Community Colleges. Prior to working at California Tomorrow, Brian spent seven years as the Director of Black Student Programs providing academic advising, advocacy, and support for Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American, first-generation, and low-income students at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga.

Brian was born in San Francisco and attended schools in San Francisco and Oakland. After graduating from Oakland High School, he received his B.A. at Saint Mary’s College of California and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mills College. He currently lives in West Oakland with his wife, two sons, and their chocolate lab named Wags.

Trustee Emeritus 

Norm Rosenblatt

Norm Rosenblatt has been a director and senior executive at several real estate corporations including The Rim Corporation and Innkeeper Associates Development Company, a San Francisco developer of small upscale hotels. His firm built the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto, California and the Inn at Union Square in San Francisco. Norm was a founding member of the BayCES Board and its first Board President. Norm’s impact and influence on the governing board unwavering commitment to the mission of the National Equity Project and its staff can still be felt. Norm retired from board service with the National Equity Project after 18 years and was celebrated with his family by our board, staff in May 2013.

He has also served on the boards of the Community Music Center in San Francisco, and Mazon A Jewish response to hunger. He was a founding board member of University High School in San Francisco, and served on the board of the Thacher School in Ojai California.

Norm is a graduate of Yale University and lives in San Francisco, with his lovely wife Nan. Norm Rosenblatt is also a recent author of a biography about the life and work of his father entitled, Dance with the Bear: The Joe Rosenblatt Story.