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Our Team

Get To Know Our Team


Board of Directors

Our work is overseen by a diverse and world-class board who provide us with guidance to ensure that we meet our ambitious goals.

Board of Directors

Research Advisory Group

Our Research Advisory Group holds our research to the most rigorous standards. They offer cutting-edge, deep expertise across the areas of global literacy, numeracy, student mindset, cognitive science, educational technology, and assessment.

Research Advisory Group

Imagine Worldwide Staff

Our team is a diverse group of leaders who dream of a world where all children are literate and numerate. We encompass a broad and critical set of skills in research and evaluation, education, international development, program management, and strategy for scaling.

Imagine Staff

Board of Directors

Susan J. Colby

CEO & Co-Founder
susan.colby@imagineworldwide.org
https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanjcolby/

Susan Colby is the CEO and Co-founder of Imagine Worldwide. Prior to founding Imagine, Susan was a partner in McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office leading the firm’s North American Education Practice, where she worked with clients in the social, public, and private sectors to advance and improve education. Previously, Susan was the Chief Executive Officer at Stupski Foundation, leading national work increasing student agency to improve learning outcomes for children in low-income and minority communities. She was also a founding partner of the Bridgespan Group and led their work in K-12 education and philanthropic strategy for more than a decade. Susan also served as Co-President of the Sustainable Development Sector at Monsanto where she developed and led economically, environmentally and socially viable businesses in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Susan is a co-author of several major articles on strategy, philanthropy and education, including “Galvanizing Philanthropy” (Harvard Business Review) and “Zeroing in on Impact” (Stanford Social Innovation Review).

 

She has addressed major convenings on topics of strategy, philanthropy, gender, and education and has served on the board of education and gender-focused organizations. Susan is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow (Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education) and a Rainer Arnold (Mulago) Fellow. She is a Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education. She earned a BA from American University and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Joe Wolf

Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
joe.wolf@imagineworldwide.org

Joe Wolf is Chairman of the Board and Co-founder of Imagine. He also serves as a board member of NPX. Previously, Joe co-founded The Learning Accelerator and was a founding board member of OpenUp Resources. Joe has also held board positions for Summer Search, the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, New Classrooms, and the New Schools Venture Fund. He was formerly a Partner at RS Investments where he co-managed a team that grew $100 million in assets to over $12 billion. Prior to RS, he worked at Goldman Sachs & Company. Joe holds a BA from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Chinezi Chijioke

CEO and Co-founder, Nova-Pioneer Education Group
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chinezi-chijioke-4911a5/

Chinezi Chijioke is the CEO and Co-founder of Nova-Pioneer Education Group, a network of accessible 21st century private schools across Africa. Today Nova-Pioneer operates 4 schools in South Africa and Kenya, with a goal of operating 100 great schools over the next decade.

Prior to founding Nova-Pioneer, Chinezi led McKinsey & Company’s African Education Practice, where he worked for 8 years gaining experience with over 25 countries’ school systems across the world, including South Africa. He is the co-author of McKinsey’s 2010 global education report, “How the World’s Best School Systems Keep Getting Better.” He has also founded youth leadership programmes in South Africa and Nigeria, and he currently serves on the Global Advisory Council of Teach For All. Chinezi started his career as a secondary school mathematics teacher, where he was nominated by his students to “Who’s Who of American Teachers.”

Chinezi holds a BA with honours from Harvard University, and an MBA and an M.Ed. from Stanford University. A Nigerian national, Chinezi lives in South Africa.

Aishetu Fatima Dozie

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Bossy Cosmetics, Inc.
https://twitter.com/afdozie?lang=en
http://www.linkedin.com/in/aishetufdozie

Aishetu Fatima Dozie recently founded mission-driven cruelty-free beauty company, Bossy Cosmetics, to create makeup and conversations that empower working women to look, feel, and do good. Her previous professional background was predominantly in the financial services industry where her passion for global finance began in the equities division of Goldman Sachs on the international desk in New York over 20 years ago. She went on to work for a USAID-funded project with the Nigerian government in its privatization program. She worked closely with President Olusegun Obasanjo and his economic team of cabinet ministers in crafting the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy, which drove several successful reforms including the $18 billion Paris Club debt write-off. Her passion for demonstrable development impact and understanding the intersection of the public and private sectors ability to stimulate economic growth led her to the World Bank in Washington, DC, where she focused on financing businesses in the manufacturing, infrastructure, and service sectors in regions such as Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Eastern Africa.

Aishetu has worked for Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered Bank, and Rand Merchant Bank as a senior investment banking executive, having closed $130 billion in M&A, financing, and capital markets transactions. Over the past two decades, she’s lived in New York, Johannesburg, London, Chicago and Lagos. She founded a first-of-its-kind children’s play and activity center in Lagos and authored a children’s picture book entitled “Paloo & Friends in Imaginaria”. She recently filmed ambitious and successful African women on the continent and in the diaspora to showcase their lives and amplify their voice. The project is called African HERstory (www.africanherstory.com). She currently lives in Palo Alto, CA with her husband and three superhero sons where she was a Fellow at the Distinguished Careers Institute at Stanford University. She holds a BA from Cornell University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and participated in the Leaders in Development Program at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University.

Michael Horn

Chief Strategy Officer, Entangled Ventures
https://twitter.com/michaelbhorn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelbhorn/

Michael Horn speaks and writes about the future of education and works with a portfolio of education organizations to improve the life of each and every student. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Choosing College, which strips away the noise around college to help students and parents understand why they are going to school and how to make better choices, as well as aids schools in designing better experiences. Michael serves as the head of strategy for the Entangled Group, an education venture studio, and as a senior partner for Entangled Solutions, a strategy consultancy for the education ecosystem. He is also the co-founder of and a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, a non-profit think tank.

Michael is the author and co-author of multiple books, white papers, and articles on education, including the award-winning book Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns and the Amazon-bestseller Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. An expert on disruptive innovation, online learning, blended learning, competency-based learning, and how to transform the education system into a student-centered one, he serves on the board and advisory boards of a range of education organizations, including the Clayton Christensen Institute, the Robin Hood Learning+Tech Fund, and the LearnLaunch Institute. He also serves as an executive editor at Education Next and is a venture partner at NextGen Venture Partners.

Michael was selected as a 2014 Eisenhower Fellow to study innovation in education in Vietnam and Korea, and Tech&Learning magazine named him to its list of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education. Michael holds a BA in history from Yale University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Amy Klement

Partner, Omidyar Network
https://twitter.com/amyklement

As a partner at Omidyar Network, Amy leads their Education initiative globally, which includes education strategy and investments across Africa, India, Latin America, and the United States. Amy was previously responsible for their work in the Financial Inclusion, Property Rights, and Consumer Internet & Mobile initiatives in key geographies. She has held board seats or observer roles with Kiva, Living Goods, Bridge International Academies, Social Finance US, Teach for All, Code.org, Andela, Imagine Worldwide, and Off Grid Electric.

Prior to Omidyar Network, Amy worked for eBay where she served as vice president of relationship marketing, leading email, on-site, and other retention marketing channels and as vice president of product strategy and operations, driving the development of the company’s long-term product vision and leading user experience and design. Amy formerly worked for PayPal, joining as one of its earliest employees in 1999. As vice president of product for PayPal, she and her team developed the company’s payments platform, facilitated the company’s overseas expansion into Europe and Asia, and were instrumental in the launch of PayPal Mobile. Earlier in her career, Amy worked in corporate strategy and development at Gap Inc. and as an analyst at JPMorgan & Co. Amy holds a B.S. in mathematics from Bucknell University, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Rapelang Rabana

Founder and Chair, Rekindle Learning
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rapelang

Rapelang Rabana is the Founder and Chair of Rekindle Learning, a dynamic learning tech company that provides smart learning applications that improve learning outcomes for businesses and educational institutions. Rekindle Learning was profiled in the McKinsey Lions go Digital report as a striking innovation in mobile learning. She is also a Partner at Nisela Capital, a private equity firm.

Rapelang has over 15 years of experience building tech, including her first startup right after University and becoming the Chief Digital Officer at one of South Africa’s largest IT companies. Rapelang serves as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Entrepreneurship, as well as on the Board of Standard Chartered Bank Botswana Education Trust. Featured on the cover of Forbes Africa magazine, named Entrepreneur for the World by the World Entrepreneurship Forum, and selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum 2017, Rapelang regularly speaks at local and international platforms. She holds a B. Business Science (Computer Science Honours) and an M.Sc from the University of Cape Town, and lives in South Africa.

Rebecca Winthrop

Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Universal Education, Brookings Institution
https://twitter.com/RebeccaWinthrop
https://www.linkedin.com/in/rebecca-winthrop-b36b0617/

Rebecca Winthrop is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. She is the former head of education for the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid NGO. Her research focuses on education globally, with special attention to the skills children need to succeed in their lives as workers and citizens. Of particular interest is improving quality learning for the most marginalized children and youth, including girls and children affected by extreme violence. Select recent publications include the 2018 book, Leapfrogging Inequality: Remaking Education to Help Young People Thrive with Adam Barton and Eileen McGivney; Millions Learning: Scaling up Quality Education in Developing Countries with Jenny Perlman Robinson; and What Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment with Gene B. Sperling.

She studied at Columbia University, Teachers College (Ph.D., 2008), Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs (MA, 2001), and Swarthmore College, (BA, 1996).

Research Advisory Group

Helen Abadzi

Researcher, Education and Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Texas at Arlington

Helen Abadzi is a Greek psychologist and polyglot. After 27 years as a Senior Education Specialist at the World Bank, she now conducts research at the University of Texas at Arlington. To improve the outcomes of education investments, she regularly monitors research in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. She is an author of many publications and a frequent speaker in international education conferences. She experiments with science-based methods to improve beginning reading performance in various languages and scripts. Her work raised early-grade reading fluency into an international priority.

Bidemi Carroll

Senior Education Research Analyst, RTI’s International Education Group
bidemi@gmail.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/bidemi-carrol-4b4ab840/

Bidemi Carrol is a Senior Education Research Analyst at RTI’s International Education Group, with over 15 years of experience in education policy, research, and program management in sub-Saharan Africa. Her areas of expertise include policy research and analysis, monitoring and evaluation, and education system reform. She is currently the home office project manager for USAID-funded reading program in Malawi. Before joining RTI, she served as an international education consultant for a diverse range of clients such as FHI360, Catholic Relief Services, and the World Bank. As a consultant, she worked on various research, evaluation, and capacity development projects.

Earlier in her career she was the director of a $15 million education program in West Africa; in that role, she supported partner governments and communities in finding innovative ways to transform education systems affected by conflict. She holds a Master’s degree in Economics and a Doctoral degree in International Comparative Education from Stanford University.

John Pane

Senior Scientist, RAND research firm

John Pane is a Senior Scientist at the non-profit RAND research firm. He studies technology innovations in education using rigorous research methods. Recent work includes the first large-scale evaluation of schoolwide personalized learning and several studies of intelligent tutoring systems. John is a frequent participant in the scientific review of research proposals and articles, holds several advisory board positions, and regularly engages in the training and mentoring of doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. He was RAND’s Distinguished Chair in Education Innovation from 2015 to 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dave Paunesku

Co-founder and Executive Director, PERTS, Stanford University

Dave Paunesku is co-founder and executive director of PERTS, a Stanford University center that helps educators apply insights from psychological research in order to create more motivating and equitable learning environments. PERTS and its partners have co-developed evidence-based resources that have reached millions of learners worldwide. His work has been published in academic journals, including Psychological Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; funded by the National Science Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, Raikes Foundation, Joyce Foundation, and Hewlett Foundation; and featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Education Week, The Atlantic, and USA Today.

Nicola Pitchford

Professor, Faculty of Science, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
nicola.pitchford@nottingham.ac.uk
https://twitter.com/nicolapitchford?lang=en

Nicola Pitchford is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Nicola’s research expertise lies in developmental psychology and education. She investigates how the cognitive processes that underpin scholastic progression develop over childhood. She works with specialist populations of children with acquired neurological disorders. Her clinical research centers on discovering how stroke, preterm birth, and brain tumour impact scholastic and neuronal development and wellbeing. Working at the interface of theory and practice, Nicola collaborates with academics from different disciplines (e.g. psychology, medicine, education) and works with practitioners and professionals from a diverse range of fields (e.g. neurologists, neonatologists, oncologists, nurses, educators, companies, charities, non-government organisations, and government officials) to ensure that her research secures maximum benefits for key users and stakeholders.

Her most recent research is exploring the use of innovative mobile technology to support the acquisition of basic skills (numeracy, literacy, English) by primary school children in Malawi, the UK, and several other countries. This international programme of work is being carried out in partnership with the charities onebillion and Voluntary Service Overseas. The evaluation studies she has designed and conducted formed the subject of a BBC Click documentary that was released on BBC Worldwide News. Nicola is a member of the Technical Research Group (TRG) for the new £20 million GBP EdTech Hub funded by the Department for International Development (DFID). She is also an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Psychology: Educational Psychology.

Mark Wilson

Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley
markw@berkeley.edu

Mark Wilson is a Professor of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, and also at the University of Melbourne. He teaches courses on measurement in the social sciences, especially as applied to assessment in education. Recently he was elected president of the Psychometric Society and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). His research and development interests focus on the development and application of sound approaches for measurement in education and the social sciences, the development of statistical models suitable for measurement contexts, the creation of instruments to measure new constructs, and scholarship on the philosophy of measurement.

Imagine Worldwide Staff

Susan J. Colby

CEO & Co-Founder
susan.colby@imagineworldwide.org
https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanjcolby/

Susan Colby is the CEO and Co-founder of Imagine Worldwide. Prior to founding Imagine, Susan was a partner in McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office leading the firm’s North American Education Practice, where she worked with clients in the social, public, and private sectors to advance and improve education. Previously, Susan was the Chief Executive Officer at Stupski Foundation, leading national work increasing student agency to improve learning outcomes for children in low-income and minority communities. She was also a founding partner of the Bridgespan Group and led their work in K-12 education and philanthropic strategy for more than a decade. Susan also served as Co-President of the Sustainable Development Sector at Monsanto where she developed and led economically, environmentally and socially viable businesses in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Susan is a co-author of several major articles on strategy, philanthropy and education, including “Galvanizing Philanthropy” (Harvard Business Review) and “Zeroing in on Impact” (Stanford Social Innovation Review).

 

She has addressed major convenings on topics of strategy, philanthropy, gender, and education and has served on the board of education and gender-focused organizations. Susan is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow (Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education) and a Rainer Arnold (Mulago) Fellow. She is a Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education. She earned a BA from American University and an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

Antonie Chigeda

Regional Director for Africa
antonie.chigeda@imagineworldwide.org
https://www.linkedin.com/in/antonie-chigeda-phd-4b6b945/

Antonie Chigeda is the Regional Director for Africa at Imagine Worldwide. With over 17 years of teaching and training experience at the University of Malawi-Chancellor College, Antonie has been instrumental in designing and supporting the implementation of monitoring and evaluation research of digital education technology interventions in Malawi. As an e-learning practitioner, Antonie has served as Director for the E-Learning Center at the University of Malawi-Chancellor College, where he has played a key role in negotiating projects to support the set-up of systems for effective delivery of online and distance learning programs. As an academic, Antonie has presented his work at local and international conferences in the USA, UK, Greece, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, and Malawi. Antonie has led and participated in research and project evaluations for several organizations, including Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) Malawi, World Vision Malawi, World Bank, and the European Union, among others.

He has also supported the piloting of digital education technology interventions in Ethiopia. Antonie has special interest in improving student learning outcomes, teacher education and development in developing countries, improving school quality, and values education. Antonie holds a B.Ed from the University of Malawi, an M.Ed in Education Policy and Planning from the University of Massachusetts, USA, an M.Phil in Philosophy of Education from Moi University in Kenya, and a PhD in Democracy and School Governance from Kyoto University in Japan.

Karen Levesque

Senior Director for Measurement and Evaluation
karen.levesque@imagineworldwide.org
https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-levesque-15407a2a

Karen is Senior Director for Measurement and Evaluation at Imagine Worldwide. For 20+ years, she has led education research and technical assistance spanning early childhood through high school, including domestic-international collaborations in early childhood and early grade reading and math. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal and serves on the board of the African Library Project. She earned her BA at Smith College, MPP at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and PhD in Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley.

Yesani Kapanda

Program Manager
yesani.kapanda@vsoint.org

Yesani is the Program Manager for the Unlocking Talent program for Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), overseeing the tablet-based program to over 90,000 children in 110 learning centers across Malawi. Most recently, Yesani was the Manager of Program Delivery at Imagine during our first year of implementation. Previously, Yesani managed the implementation of the Unlocking Talent project in 73 schools across 8 education districts. Prior to joining VSO, Yesani was a Program Manager for a USAID funded program with Banja La Mtsogolo (Marie Stopes International Malawi), managing the implementation of a sexual reproductive and health rights project for adolescent girls and young women in rural areas. Yesani also worked as a Community Outreach Officer for Concern Worldwide within the Health and Nutrition program, where he built the capacity of community health workers on obstetric care services as well as created capacity and youth knowledge of the access to family planning services. He earned a BA in education at the University of Malawi.

Jennifer Welsh

Partner
jennifer.welsh@imagineworldwide.org

Jennifer leads partnerships and scale strategy at Imagine Worldwide. Prior to joining Imagine, Jen consulted for leading education reform organizations ranging from foundations, universities and non-profits to school districts and charter management organizations. Through this work, she developed deep expertise in program management, organizational strategy, talent recruitment, leadership development and strategic partnerships. Jen also served as Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation at The Broad Foundation as well as Program Director for Education Pioneers. Earlier in her career, Jen obtained a Masters in International and Intercultural Education during which time she conducted data collection and analysis for UNESCO related to the achievement of EFA (Education for All) goals. She also spent a year in Chile teaching elementary school and working with local community teachers to provide professional development in math instruction. Jen earned her BA at Dartmouth College and Masters and Doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Sarah Bardack

Research Analyst
sarah.bardack@imagineworldwide.org

Sarah is a Research Analyst at Imagine Worldwide. Most recently, Sarah was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University where her research focused on understanding how parents and teachers support children’s social-emotional development. She also developed expertise in quantitative methods including experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation design and multilevel modeling. Earlier in her career, Sarah worked as an English teacher and a volunteer in Vietnam, supporting health and education programs for disadvantaged children. Sarah earned her BA at New York University, MPP at Georgetown University, and her PhD in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education.

Rachel Boroditsky

Associate
rachel.boroditsky@imagineworldwide.org

Rachel coordinates pilot planning and management and leads special projects at Imagine Worldwide. Prior to joining Imagine, Rachel was a senior business analyst at McKinsey & Company where she served clients across a variety of industries and functions, including education. Rachel has also worked with students as a mentor and test prep instructor, focusing on college access and achievement. Rachel earned a BA in economics and mathematical methods in the social sciences with a Kellogg certificate in financial economics from Northwestern University.

Ignacious Mambo

Manager, Program Delivery

Ignacious is the project manager for Imagine Worldwide’s pilots in Malawi. Previously, he worked with Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education where he managed International Labour Organization (ILO) program called Achieving Reduction of Child Labour In Support of Education (ARISE), USAID Program called Local Accountability and Transparency Performance (LGAP), European Union program called Her Education Her Right (HEHR) and South to South Exchange Program by NOREC formally known as FK Norway. He has also worked with British Council-Malawi as a Validated Leadership trainer for school leaders and head teachers. He obtained a BA in Education at Mzuzu University and now pursuing Masters in Gender and Development at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

Kristen Stipe

Manager of Operations and Administration
kristen.stipe@imagineworldwide.org

Kristen is the Manager of Operations and Administration for Imagine Worldwide. Earlier in her career, Kristen worked in the corporate sphere – initially, at Apple where she was a senior manager in the retail development department and later at Gymboree Corporation where she focused on partner relationships, budget preparation and management, and achieving economies of scale with their 800+ retail stores. Most recently, Kristen has been leveraging her many skills through freelance work, such as writing articles for The Language Educator, while working toward a Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Southern Utah University.