Jennifer Thomas (Chair)
Mary Gately (Secretary)
Mary Gately is a managing partner at DLA Piper’s D.C. Office and Co-Head of Washington, D.C. Litigation Practice Group. Mary focuses on reputation management, class actions, cross-border litigation, and other complex litigation in the fields of the First Amendment, product liability, and commercial litigation. She serves on the Hiring Committee and Pro Bono Committee in the Washington, D.C. office.
Xiao Liu (Treasurer)
Xiao Liu is a finance manager at EdOps. She is an experienced finance lead with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. She is a strong finance professional skilled in new market implementation, financial planning and analysis, regulatory compliance, audit, budgeting, and accounting.
SECIL Law, PLLC
Lionel André is chairman and chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer of Securities Enforcement Compliance Investigation & Litigation, PLCC (SECIL). Lionel defends clients in parallel enforcement matters involving the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice. He also conducts internal investigations and defends companies and their executives in government investigations. Lionel began his career at the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. During his 14 years at the SEC, Lionel handled securities cases in federal court and administrative proceedings around the country. After the SEC, Lionel served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. Lionel is passionate about youth empowerment, mentorship, criminal justice reform, and human rights.
Thrive Street Advisors
Charles Moore is principal and an executive coach at Thrive Street Advisors. He helps leaders increase impact and organizations improve execution on strategy. Charles focuses on the intersection of strategy, implementation, and leadership, helping executives improve their ability to achieve results while using a clear lens for the leadership, management, and personal practices that are most relevant for their purpose, strategy, and organization’s culture. He has coached leaders in organizations across both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, including Capital One, Hilton Hotels, and Advancing Real Change.
Charles attended Harvard College for his undergraduate degree. He earned an MBA and a MA in Education from Stanford. And his Certificate in Leadership Coaching is from Georgetown University.
Shalini Shybut is the principal on the Schools and Talent team at Education Forward DC and leads their grant-making to support school quality and equity while funding and supporting school grantees. Shalini was drawn to Education Forward DC for the opportunity to support school leaders citywide in meeting their aspirations of enabling every student to achieve their potential. Prior to launching Education Forward DC as part of the founding team in 2016, Shalini was an associate partner at the DC Schools Fund of NewSchools Venture Fund. Previously, Shalini was a senior director at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in D.C., where she worked with school leaders to plan through growth and establish a response to intervention system to meet the needs of all of the school’s students. This followed work in the private sector at McKinsey and Company and work with the Recovery Schools District in New Orleans. Shalini started her career as a fifth grade teacher in a bilingual inclusion classroom in New York City, where she realized that making the opportunity afforded by public education a reality for every student would be her life’s work. Shalini earned a BA in Social Studies from Harvard University and has also studied bilingual childhood education. Shalini grew up in Hamden, Connecticut and has lived in D.C. for 10 years. She currently lives in Petworth with her husband, son and daughter; her son attends a D.C. public charter school. Shalini enjoys getting to know D.C.’s playgrounds, museums, and restaurants with her family.
National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions
Paul is vice president of marketing and strategic development at NAFCU Services Corporation. He is a strategic, data-driven marketer who grows businesses through positioning, sales enablement, digital transformation, innovation, and partnerships. Paul is a collaborative team leader, demand generator, and problem solver, experienced in technology, financial services, CPG, and global markets. He holds an MBA from Duke University and is fluent in Spanish.
Ellen Wayne has been involved with SchoolTalk since before it had a name or a staff. As a professor teaching conflict management at the University of Baltimore, she was asked to join a group headed by the DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and Piper Rudnick (now DLA Piper) to explore reforms that could be undertaken to “fix” special education in D.C. Over time and with enormous persistence by many, a part of that effort became SchoolTalk, first as a group of volunteers who worked to create the program, and eventually with the hiring of Leila Peterson as executive director and, eventually, the leader of the robust SchoolTalk program. Ellen has now retired after serving for 12 years as the head of the Center for Early Dispute Resolution (CEDR), a function of the Department of Defense Education Association, which oversees DoD schools in the U.S. and internationally. Ellen’s role included developing interventions to address high-conflict situations in the schools and providing proactive conflict resolution training for DoDEA personnel worldwide. Ellen holds a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MS degree in conflict management from the University of Baltimore.