Our CEO, President, Founder
I don’t know how you feel about what you do every day. I feel like all the path’s I’ve been on were designed specifically to prepare me for doing this work.
In college, I took a fascinating course in Atomic Physics and, armed with a degree in Nuclear Engineering, a 20 year career in the nuclear power business was born. I found fairly quickly that I am intrigued by people, teams, and organizational processes more than hard core engineering. I led root cause analysis teams where we not only discovered what caused vexing equipment issues, but dug deeper to uncover the underlying organizational and human issues that contributed as well.
Segue to becoming a parent and getting deeply involved in my neighborhood elementary school and public school district. This was even more fascinating – not only were the organizational issues more challenging, but there was a significant social benefit if I could help improve some of them. When a new superintendent came to town in mid-2003, we met and six months later I was working as a part of a dynamic leadership team in our district. Even though I was as involved as a parent could be, I needed to quickly learn about education from the inside. I became a Broad Fellow in 2005 and earned my Doctorate in Education Leadership in 2010.
While in the school system, I led the technology department, ran federal programs, began our research and assessment group, developed strategic plans, dove even more deeply into issues of governance and management, and discovered what data can and can’t do for organizations. I ran a foundation supporting systemic reform through which we raised over $4M to support a three year effort to reform the systems in the Christina district. I particularly focused on transforming school improvement planning where we introduced the use of perceptual data and consciously identified and addressed causes rather than symptoms.
Knowing I needed more exposure to education organizations of all shapes and sizes, in 2010 I transitioned to a global education not-for-profit that is a leader in data, research, and professional development. I have introduced new research and professional development services, expanded existing ones, and helped education leaders make progress in their own worlds. I’ve continued to refine approaches to working with schools and districts on their use of data, and to develop and implement impactful plans.
I founded Demosophia LLC in 2012 as a way of formalizing consulting work I’ve been doing for several years, and as a way to bring Structured Democratic Dialogue (SDD) to scale. I became infected by the SDD thought virus while doing my doctoral work (think Inception). I immediately realized its power to help people and organizations make significant progress on the most difficult and complex issues we face.
I had no choice but to continue to follow this path.