Judges and reviewers
Education Design Lab
Bill Hughes is the CEO of Education Design Lab, a national nonprofit that designs, tests, and implements innovations at the intersection of learning and work. Prior to the Lab, Bill founded and led JobReady (acquired by LearningMate), a skills-as-a-service venture that transformed corporate learning courseware and assessments into micro-credentials and career navigation delivered through colleges and workforce programs.
Previously, Hughes was chief strategy officer at Learning Objects (acquired by Cengage) and led Business Development at Pearson, where he co-founded Intellus Learning (acquired by Macmillan) and created its flagship MyLabs platform. Over the past 25 years, he has held leadership positions at Sapient, Mercer (now Oliver Wyman), and CIC. Bill currently serves as a board member of Berkshire Bank (NYSE: BHLB) and a trustee of the Education Development Center. Hughes holds an AB from Harvard and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School, where he was a Seley Scholar.
Dr. E. Paulette Isaac-Savage
University of Missouri-St. Louis / American Association for Adult and Continuing Education
Dr. E. Paulette Isaac-Savage is a professor of adult education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Her primary line of research is adult education in the Black Church. During her tenure at UMSL, she has served as a program coordinator, department chair, and associate provost for planning, assessment, and accreditation. Additionally, she has been a grant reviewer for the University of Missouri system. She is on the editorial board for Adult Education Quarterly, Adult Learning, Dialogues in Social Justice: An Adult Education Journal, and Education and Urban Society.
She is the 2022-2023 President of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education and President/Chair of the Adult Basic Education Foundation of Metropolitan St. Louis and a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. She regularly donates blood to the American Red Cross.
Ash Kaluarachchi advises and enables growth for organizations solving problems in education and workforce learning. He has launched and operated multiple accelerators, including the most financially successful EdTech accelerator to date. These accelerators have enabled 2,000+ companies, including global EdTech unicorns, in partnership with organizations such as Techstars, Google, Amazon, Kaplan, Intel, NYU, USC, and the University of Pennsylvania. He was voted one of the Top 100 Influencers in Education Technology by Edtech Digest.
He continues to provide support for founders solving problems for educators, administrators and learners in Pre-K, K-12, HigherEd, Workforce and Adult Learning as CEO of Started Inc (www.started.com), which provides intensive mentorship and access to a network of the most seasoned and supportive mentors and investors in EdTech. He is also the Producer of EDTECH WEEK (www.edtechweek.com), a global distance learning and networking event for global education leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, policymakers, and educators. Ash has an MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and economics from Grinnell College.
Denine Torr is Dollar General’s vice president, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy, and executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. She leads strategic development and execution of national, regional and local philanthropic-related programs and initiatives for Dollar General’s 18,000+ store communities, distribution centers and corporate headquarters. In addition to her philanthropic responsibilities, she also leads Dollar General’s social responsibility activities and initiatives, as well as the company’s environmental, social and governance reporting on sustainability and other related disclosures.
Denine brings more than 20 years of Dollar General and corporate philanthropy experience to the position. She currently serves as chairperson of the board for Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation and on the board of directors for the American Indian College Fund and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee
The Brookings Institution
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is a senior fellow in Governance Studies, the director of the Center for Technology Innovation, and serves as Co-Editor-In-Chief of TechTank. Dr. Turner Lee’s research focuses on public policy designed to enable equitable access to technology across the U.S. and to harness its power to create change in communities across the world. Her work also explores global and domestic broadband deployment and internet governance issues. She is an expert on the intersection of race, wealth, and technology within the context of civic engagement, criminal justice, and economic development.
Her current research portfolio also includes artificial intelligence (AI), particularly machine learning algorithms and their unintended consequences on marginalized communities. Her expertise on the subject explores global and domestic AI governance, ethics, online bias, and the intersection between technology and civil/human rights. She is also an expert on topics that include online privacy, 5G networks and the digital divide. Dr. Turner Lee has a forthcoming book on the U.S. digital divide titled Digitally Invisible: How the Internet is Creating the New Underclass (forthcoming 2022, Brookings Press). She sits on various U.S. federal agency and civil society boards. Dr. Turner Lee has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Northwestern University and graduated from Colgate University.
Stage 1 review panel
The Stage 1 review panel scored submissions according to the Stage 1 selection criteria. A subset of the highest scoring submissions advanced for review by the judging panel.
- Judith Alamprese, Principal Scientist, Social & Economic Policy, Abt Associates
- Ahmmad Brown, President and Co-Founder, Equity Based Dialogue for Inclusion
- Baltazar De Anda Santana, Executive Director, Latino Academy of Workforce Development
- Donna Davis, Senior Manager Employee Social Responsibility, Upward Academy, Tyson Foods
- Nell Eckersley, Director of Digital Equity Projects, Literacy Assistance Center
- Marty Finsterbusch, Executive Director, VALUEUSA
- Sue Grosdidier, High School Equivalency State Administrator, Kansas Board of Regents
- Tiffany Gusbeth, Vice President, Student Success Services, American Indian College Fund
- Sara Haghighi, Instructional Program Manager, Refugee Education Program, Prima Community College
- Jessica Haselton, Director of Education Innovation Ventures, ECMC Foundation
- JT Kim, Director, BD Enterprise, Career Karma
- Yeny Madrid, Director – Partner Innovation, Scalable Solutions, Year Up
- Ana Negoescu, Assistant Vice President, Business Engagement and Inclusion, National Immigration Forum
- Ken Oliver, Vice President, Checkr Foundation
- Chrissie Powell, Chief Growth & Impact Officer, Byte Back
- Victor Rivero, Editor-in-Chief, EdTech Digest
- Priyanka Sharma, Vice President, World Education
- Mohona Siddique, Associate Director, Economic Opportunities Program, Aspen Institute
- Shaketta Thomas, School Assessment Coordinator, Virginia Department of Corrections