Directors and Officers

Mark David Milliron 
Chief Learning Officer at Civitas Learning
Dr. Mark David Milliron is Chief Learning Officer at Civitas Learning. Prior to Civitas, he was the founding chancellor of Western Governors University, Texas. He has also served as Deputy Director for Postsecondary Improvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading efforts to increase student success in the US postsecondary education sector. In previous roles, he founded the private consulting group, Catalyze Learning International (CLI); served as an Endowed Fellow, Senior Lecturer, and Director of the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin; served as Vice President for Education and Medical Practice with SAS, the world’s largest private software company; and was President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College.
In 1999, The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education named Mark a Distinguished Graduate for his service to the education field. In 2005, he received the annual PBS/ETS O’Banion Prize for transformational work in support of teaching and learning. In 2007, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) presented him with its National Leadership Award for his work in advancing education opportunity. And in 2011, the National University Technology Network (NUTN) named Mark the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in advancing innovative technology use in education. He is an award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant well known for exploring leadership development, future trends, learning strategies, and the human side of technology change. He has worked with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world.
Mark also serves on numerous corporate, nonprofit, and education boards and advisory groups, including WGU; the Global Online Academy, a not-for-profit educational partnership serving independent schools nationally and internationally; and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), the parent organization of the Big Ideas Fest.
Jonah Houston 
Senior Project Leader, IDEO
Jonah Houston joined IDEO in 2000 as a member of the manufacturing group. Currently Jonah is a senior project leader at IDEO in Palo Alto. While at IDEO, Jonah has worked on a wide variety of project ranging from medical devices, office furniture, consumer electronics, food and beverage, and large-scale systems design.
Jonah has led large and small teams and a broad range of clients - from the Federal Government to Eli Lilly, down to start-ups that have stayed up (Pure Digital and Playaway). Jonah has deep experience with DFMA, DFX, production readiness and process capability as well as extensive experience in metal processes -- extrusion, stamping, casting, powdered metals, etc. -- and their use in complex electromechanical assemblies. Jonah has also taught a series of courses at Stanford and Santa Clara University on the subject of materials and process selection as well as design for manufacturability and assembly.
Prior to IDEO, Jonah was a co-founder of American Suspension, the only domestic manufacturer of suspension forks for motorcycles. With the other founders, Jonah co-developed over 50 products in under two years. Jonah began his manufacturing career as the team manager for Russell Racing in Monterey. There he was responsible for the maintenance, assembly, and new component development for a fleet of 40 race cars. He also developed and administered a training curriculum for aspiring race car mechanics. During his tenure, Russell Racing successfully converted power plants and redesigned the bodywork of half the cars in the fleet. The retrofit also included intensive aerodynamic studies to optimize cooling for the larger engine.
Steven Elkes 
Chief Executive Officer and President at Makeover Solutions, Inc.

Steven A. Elkes serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President at Makeover Solutions, Inc. Steven served as Chief Revenue Officer and an Executive Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) at TheStreet, Inc. (also known as Inc.) from March 26, 2007 to March 2009. He served as Executive Vice President of Operations and Business Affairs at iVillage Inc., since July 2000 and also served as its Secretary since October 1999. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Ivillage Inc., since June 2004. From April 1999 to July 2000, he served as Senior Vice President of Business Affairs of iVillage Inc. From August 1996 to April 1999, he held various management positions at iVillage, including a Vice President of Business Affairs. While managing all phases of The Street's capital raising efforts including private placements, IPO, and secondary offerings used for acquisition purposes, Steven oversaw the strategic implementation and integration of those acquisitions into iVillage. In addition, he managed the public sales process of iVillage to NBC Universal. He is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of solid experience, he has a stellar record of improving results in varied businesses. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Azoogle (, where he oversaw the financial, legal and human resources functions in addition to their M&A activities. From August 1993 to August 1996, he served as Vice President Credit and Structured Finance at CNA Insurance Company. From August 1991 to August 1993, he served as Assistant Vice President of CNA Insurance Company. Steven received his M.B.A. from Baruch College and his B.A. from Grinnell College.

Alex Fielding 
CEO at Ripcord Networks
Jason Goecke 
Vice President & General Manager at Cloud Calling & Developer Ecosystem

Jason Goecke is the Vice President and General Manager responsible for Spark Call, HCS, Hybrid Calling Services, Tropo and Spark for Developers. Goecke joined Cisco with the acquisition of Tropo in 2015 where he was co-founder and CEO.

Goecke brings more than 20 years of experience in cloud telecommunication services and open source application development. He has extensive experience working with carriers and enterprises around the world. Prior to Tropo, he was the Vice President of Innovation with Voxeo Labs. He spearheaded the company’s vision in investing in core platform research and innovating new communications solutions that led to spinning Tropo off into a standalone company.

Additional experience includes Presence Technology where Goecke designed and launched OpenGate, Multi-Channel Contact Center Solutions, Proofpoint, SaaS security, and Exigen, BPO/ITO. Goecke was also a co-founder of the Adhearsion open source telephony development framework and previous board member of the Adhearsion Foundation.

Goecke serves on the board of Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, an independent, education nonprofit whose mission is to improve the practice of continuous learning, collaboration, and change in the education sector.

Previously Goecke has been on industry advisory boards for Ericsson and Telstra.

Currently, Goecke holds several patents in computer security and real-time communications.

Lisa Petrides 
CEO & Founder

Lisa Petrides, Ph.D. is founder and CEO of ISKME, an independent, education nonprofit established in 2002, and a pioneer in knowledge sharing and innovation in the education sector.

Petrides is a scholar and international open educational resources (OER) expert who has helped lead the development of tools and strategies to create and support the field open education practice. Her work includes the creation of the award winning OER Commons, a digital public library of open educational resources and collaboration platform that facilitates the discovery and improvement of high-quality digital resources that are free, openly licensed, and available for a diverse range of learners. She has advised foreign governments and U.S. government agencies, states, schools, and colleges on implementing OER at all levels.

ISKME also produces an international event dedicated to catalyzing education innovation, Big Ideas Fest.

A former professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at Columbia University, Teachers College, her research has been at the forefront of understanding how education can be made relevant to learning through open access, social learning, information sharing, and knowledge collaboration.

Petrides has led development efforts that have enabled schools, colleges, universities, ministries of education, and the organizations that support them to expand their capacity to collect and share information, and create knowledge-driven environments focused on learning and success.

Petrides received an MBA from Sonoma State University, and a Ph.D. in Education Policy from Stanford University.

Steve Schoettler 
CEO and Founder, Junyo
Steve is a technology entrepreneur with a passion for tackling complex social problems. As a corporate leader and philanthropist, he has impacted the lives of millions and helped generate significant global business success through technology, gaming and educational initiatives.  He is founder and CEO of Junyo, a learning-analytics company in Silicon Valley, with the mission to improve the learning experience of every child. Steve sits on the board of the Full Circle Fund, a non-profit incubator helping to accelerate change in education, environment, and economic opportunity. He also is also a board member of Indiegogo, a crowd-funding platform supporting entrepreneurs and causes.
He was co-founder, vice president and first employee of Zynga, and core member of Kontiki.  Early in his career, he helped build some of the world’s first mobile computers at GO and General Magic.
He graduated University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Andreea Serban 
Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Technology for Coast Community College District
Dr. Andreea Serban is an educator and administrator with more than two decades of experience in the leadership of colleges and universities in the United States and abroad and possesses a highly diverse and successful professional background. Dr. Andreea Serban currently serves as Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Technology for Coast Community College District in Costa Mesa, CA. Dr. Serban is the district chief academic, student services and technology officer and has leadership responsibilities for instructional programs, student services, grant development, planning, institutional research, international programs, academic and administrative technology, and economic and partnership development across the three colleges in the district: Orange Coast College, Golden West College, and Coastline Community College. The three colleges offer over 300 credential and degree programs and serve 45,000 students.
Previously, Dr. Serban served for more than three years as Superintendent/President of Santa Barbara 
City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, CA, during which time she led the institution to be recognized as one of the top 10 community colleges in the country, as determined by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. Dr. Serban also served at SBCC and South Orange County Community College District in Mission Viejo, CA, in senior positions ranging from Director of Institutional Assessment, Research and Planning to Associate Vice President for Information Technology, Research and Planning to Vice Chancellor of Technology and Learning Services. Dr. Serban also held administrative and faculty positions at University of Redlands in Redlands, CA, Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, NY, State University of New York System Administration in Albany, NY, Institute for Educational Sciences and University of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania.
Dr. Serban received a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from University at Albany, State University of New York and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from University of Bucharest. 
Dr. Serban has been involved in local, state and national organizations and recognized as an educational leader. In March 2011, Dr. Serban became the only current representative of a community college to be appointed by the U.S. Secretary of State Clinton to the prestigious U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Dr. Serban is the Board President of the statewide non-profit consortium California Colleges for International Education.
Dr. Serban is a published author since 1992 and executive editor of the Journal for Applied Research in the Community College, a publication of the National Community College Council for Research and Planning. Dr. Serban authored monographs and articles and has been a frequent speaker at regional, state and national events on knowledge management, performance funding and reporting, assessment of 
student learning outcomes, enrollment management, planning, transfer strategies, remedial education and 
technology applications. 
Laarni von Ruden 
Laarni von Ruden is a certified public accountant with a private practice in Palo Alto, California focusing on services to nonprofit organizations, closely held businesses, and individuals. She also teaches a Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting class at the College of San Mateo in San Mateo, California. She received her Masters in Accounting from Northeastern University and a B.A. in Chinese Studies from Wellesley College.
She serves as the co-chairman of the Not for Profit and Governmental Accounting Committee of the Peninsula Silicon Valley Chapter of the CalCPA. She has also served on several boards of not for profit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Board Members Emeritus

Marshall (Mike) Smith Senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Years served: 2010-2016 | More About: Linkedin
Greg Anderson Dean and Associate Professor, Morgridge College of Education
Years served: 2010-2013 | More About: Temple University
Mary Furlong President, Mary Furlong and Associates
Years served: 2008-2012 | More About: Linkedin
Lance Izumi Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy
Years served: 2006-2015 | More About: Linkedin
Xiaonan (Shawn) Cao Senior Education Specialist, Education Global Practice, World Bank
Years served: 2005-2010 | More About: World Bank Blogs
Linda Powell, Ph.D. Senior Fellow, Research Center for Leadership in Action,
Wagner School of Public Service, New York University
Years served: 2002-2006 (Founding Board Member) | More About: Richmond Times-Dispatch
Howard Block, Ph.D. Senior Analyst, Bank of America Securities
Years served: 2002-2006 (Founding Board Member) | More About: Linkedin
Debra Friedman, Ph.D. Associate Provost for Academic Planning, University of Washington
Years served: 2002-2004 (Founding Board Member) | More About: University of Washington
George Por Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Advancing Learning & Teaching (CALT)
Years served: 2002-2004 (Founding Board Member) | More About: Linkedin