PK-12 Education

Meet the PK-12 Team

Sara Allan photo

Sara Allan Deputy Director of Strategy, Research, and Data for the College Ready team
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Sara Allan is Deputy Director of Strategy, Research, and Data for the College Ready team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In her role, she supports education program teams in defining, evaluating and implementing grant-making strategies to dramatically improve college readiness of low income & minority students in the United States. Sara leads a research team that evaluates promising models in education and also directs the foundation’s investments to improve the availability and effective use of data to help school systems improve results for students. Prior to joining the foundation, Sara was the Executive Director of System Planning & Performance at Portland Public schools, where she lead reform initiatives including the development of a school results measurement framework, restructuring the portfolio of schools, and redesign of core human resource processes and systems, and directed research, evaluation, assessment, and data policy & analysis. Previously, she was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, where she worked with private and public sector clients on issues of strategy, organizational development and growth in North and South America. Sara is a product of the Canadian public school system, and holds a BSc in mathematics and economics from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Business Administration from the Ivey School at the University of Western Ontario.

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Stacey Childress Deputy Director, Innovation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Stacey Childress serves as Deputy Director of Innovation on the K-12 education team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She leads the Next Generation Learning team, which invests in schools and technologies that support personalized learning for middle and high school students in the United States. Prior to joining the foundation, Childress was on the faculty of the Harvard Business School where she wrote and taught about entrepreneurial activity in public education in the United States. Before working in academia, Childress was a co-founder of an enterprise software company and early in her career, she taught in a Texas public high school. She is a graduate of Baylor University and Harvard Business School. In 2012, she was named one of Forbes Magazine’s Impact 15, a group of innovators revolutionizing education in the United States and around the world.

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Gabriel Ellsworth Research Associate
Harvard Business School

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Gabriel Ellsworth is a Research Associate for the U.S. Competitiveness Project at Harvard Business School. Previously, he was Grants Coordinator at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya, one of the largest mission hospitals in Africa. Before living in Africa, he worked in law in Washington, DC, as a linguist for Japanese clients.

Gabriel was graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in English. At Yale, he was Education Manager of the Saybrook College Orchestra, a charitable initiative to introduce Connecticut schoolchildren to classical music.

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Allen S. Grossman Senior Fellow
MBA Class of 1957 Professor of Management Practice, Retired
Harvard Business School

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Allen Grossman is the MBA Class of 1957 Professor of Management Practice. Professor Grossman focuses his research on how mission driven organizations achieve high performance. He co-founded and co-chaired the Public Education Leadership Project, a joint initiative of Harvard Business School and Harvard Graduate School of Education. The project, founded in 2003, works with leadership teams from urban school districts to advance academic performance through improved leadership and management. Before joining the Harvard Business School faculty, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Outward Bound USA. He received a B.S. in corporate finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

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Tyce Henry Principal, Global Education Practice
The Boston Consulting Group

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Tyce Henry is a Principal in the Boston Consulting Group’s Global Education Practice. Tyce joined BCG in 2006 and has consulted with firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations across multiple industries, including health care, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, and international development.

Tyce works with higher education and K-12 institutions and education technology firms on issues of strategy, operations, organization, performance management, and cost transformation.

His recent education experiences include:

  • 5-year strategic planning and financial forecasting for a leading education technology firm
  • Strategic and financial transformation of a major urban school district, achieving over $40M/year in cost savings
  • Development and implementation of a teacher effectiveness strategy for one of the nation’s 10 largest school districts
  • Business unit and digital instruction strategy for one of the nation’s largest online universities
  • Development of financial performance management systems and shared services for a major research university

Prior to joining BCG, Tyce worked as an independent public policy consultant, editor, and journalist. He wrote for the New Republic and Investor’s Business Daily and was a founding editor of Education Next, a magazine covering education policy. Tyce earned his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from the University of Virginia. He has authored many publications and articles on education reform, federal education policy, teacher quality, special education, and leveraging technology in education.

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Ann Lombard Research Associate
Harvard Business School

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Ann is a Research Associate for the U.S. Competitiveness Project at Harvard Business School. Prior to joining HBS, Ann was a Senior Global Equities Analyst for Scudder, Stevens and Clark and for JP Morgan Securities where she specialized in technology companies. She began her business career at JP Morgan in their mergers and acquisitions department where she also specialized in technology companies.

Ann received an A.B. from Vassar College and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business where she was a Glucksman Fellow. Between her years on Wall Street and HBS, she took a hiatus in her career to raise two children.

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Michael E. Porter Bishop William Lawrence University Professor
Harvard Business School

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Michael E. Porter is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School. Professor Porter is a leading authority on competitive strategy; the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions; and the application of competitive principles to social problems such as health care, the environment, and corporate responsibility. Professor Porter is generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field, and has been identified in a variety of rankings and surveys naming him the world’s most influential thinker on management and competitiveness.

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J. Puckett Senior Partner and Leader, Global Education Practice
The Boston Consulting Group

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J. Puckett is a Senior Partner and Managing Director of BCG. He has been with BCG since 1989 and has held a number of key leadership roles in the firm. He is the global leader of BCG’s Education Practice. He has worked extensively over 24 years with public and private sector entities on important strategic and operational transformation efforts. He has hands-on experience in strategy development, large-scale transformation, organization design, HR effectiveness, process reengineering, cost reduction, asset productivity improvement, change management, and stakeholder engagement.

Mr. Puckett’s recent education experience includes:

  • Collaboration with stakeholders to support strategic plan development and transformational change for large urban school systems and universities
  • Organizational design and effectiveness efforts for school systems and universities, as well as for state and national educational authorities around the world
  • Workforce development and vocational education strategy development for local and national governments
  • Strategic planning and program rollout support for multiple foundations and educational NGOs

Prior to joining BCG, Mr. Puckett worked for IBM. Mr. Puckett received a BS in Computer Science and Religion from Duke University, and an MBA in Finance and Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a frequent speaker and has authored or co-authored several publications on the topic of education reform.

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Manjari Raman Program Director and Senior Researcher
Harvard Business School

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Manjari Raman is the Program Director, and Senior Researcher, of the U.S. Competitiveness Project at Harvard Business School. She works with Project co-chairs Professor Michael E. Porter and Professor Jan W. Rivkin on all Project priorities as well as contributes to faculty research initiatives such as the annual HBS worldwide survey on U.S. competitiveness, the role of business in U.S. competitiveness, location choices and reshoring, and closing America’s middle skills gap. Previously, she worked as a Senior Editor in Bain & Company’s global marketing team, supporting practices such as healthcare, industrials, telecommunications, technology and media. Prior to that, Manjari was the SVP Programs at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a national not-for-profit focused on revitalizing America’s inner cities. She managed existing ICIC programs such as the Inner City 100 as well as helped launch new programs such as the Inner City Economic Forum, the first national network of public and private leaders, including mayors, pension funds, investors, retailers and businesses, focused on inner city economic development. She conceptualized and designed Inner City Capital Connections, a national brokerage for facilitating private equity capital flow to inner city businesses. She also designed the Small Business Administration’s Emerging 200 program to help small businesses grow to scale.

Before joining ICIC, Manjari had more than 15 years of experience with the corporate sector, working as a business editor. She tracked strategy, management tools and techniques, best practices, and leadership in more than 200 companies in the U.S. and India. She has been published in the Wall Street Journal in the U.S. and The Economic Times and Financial Express in India. In 2000, she was responsible for launching and leading “eFE”—the world’s first daily newspaper on the New Economy. In 2004, she wrote a seminal monthly column called “Good to Global” for Business Standard, India’s leading business paper, in which she chronicled the emerging globalization challenges of Indian companies.

Manjari has a Masters in Economics from India. She has a Certificate in Business Management from Harvard University. She currently serves as a board member for two not-for-profits related to promoting entrepreneurship in low income communities in the U.S., as well as globally.

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Jan W. Rivkin Bruce V. Rauner Professor and Chair of the Strategy Unit
Harvard Business School

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Jan Rivkin is the Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Business Administration and chair of the Strategy Unit at Harvard Business School. His research, course development, and teaching efforts examine the interactions across functional and product boundaries within a firm-that is, the connections that link marketing, production, logistics, finance, human resource management, and other parts of a firm. His work analyzes, first, how such interactions constrain managerial behavior and, second, how managers use cognitive devices and organizational design to cope with decisions whose ramifications span boundaries.

Rivkin currently teaches the course he developed, Advanced Competitive Strategy: Integrating the Enterprise. This elective course aims to improve students’ ability to integrate across the parts of the companies they will manage. Until recently, Rivkin taught and led the core strategy course in the first year of the MBA Program. Rivkin received his PhD in business economics from Harvard. Earlier, he studied chemical engineering and public policy at Princeton and obtained an MSc in economics from the London School of Economics on a Marshall Scholarship.

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Kevin W. Sharer Senior Lecturer of Business Administration
Harvard Business School

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Kevin joined HBS in the strategy unit in the fall of 2012 and taught the RC strategy course in the Spring term. Before HBS Kevin was CEO of Amgen for twelve years and before that Amgen’s President for eight. Amgen is the world’s largest biotechnology company and is based in California. He serves on the boards of directors of Chevron and Northrop Grumman and is on the Naval Academy Foundation board. He is also Chairman of the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Before Amgen, Kevin was executive vice president of business markets at MCI, general manager of several GE business units and on the chairman’s staff, worked at McKinsey and was on two nuclear fast attack submarines including a tour as chief engineer of a new construction Los Angeles class ship. Kevin is a Naval Academy graduate and has master’s degrees in aeronautical engineering and business. Kevin is married and lives in Cambridge.

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Meg Sommerfeld Independent writer, editor, and consultant

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Meg Sommerfeld has been writing about education, nonprofit organizations, and social policy issues for more than two decades. She began her career as a staff writer at Education Week, and contributed to its sister magazine Teacher and to Quality Counts, its annual report on the condition of public education. She later served as an assistant editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy, where she covered fundraising, the arts, community service, and education.

Her work has been published in The School Administrator, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, the Harvard Education Letter, Harvard Kennedy School Magazine, and Ed, the alumni magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has also contributed chapters or articles to three books: From Risk to Renewal: Charting a Course for Reform; Classroom Crusaders; and Thoughtful Teachers, Thoughtful Schools. Freelance clients have included The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Center for American Progress, the Education Writers Association, The Great Schools Partnership, Education Resource Strategies, and Policy Studies Associates.

Meg holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Dartmouth College, and a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she served as a teaching assistant to veteran journalist Marvin Kalb, and was a recipient of the William A. Starr Fellowship, awarded to journalists “who demonstrate a talent for innovation and creative thinking.”

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Nithya Vaduganathan Principal
The Boston Consulting Group

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Nithya Vaduganathan is a Principal in The Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office. Previously she worked in BCG’s San Francisco and Houston offices and has been with the firm for six years. Nithya is a core member of BCG’s U.S. Education Leadership team. Her experience spans a variety of topics, including strategic and organizational transformation, post-merger integration, cost efficiency, and organizational re-design. Nithya recently co-authored the BCG report, Adapting to Enrollment Declines in Urban School Systems.

Nithya’s education experience includes:

  • Strategic plan development and implementation support for the Memphis-Shelby school district merger
  • Organizational redesign support for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District
  • Large-scale transformation support of the K-12 public education system in New Orleans. Contributed to authorship of The State of Public Education in New Orleans report

In addition, Nithya has experience working on strategic and organizational projects in the automotive, healthcare, energy, and technology sectors. Nithya holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.

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