Partners’ Board of Directors has significant business, venture capital, charter school, and philanthropic experience.

Delia Pompa Delia Pompa is Vice President of Education at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR). She currently oversees NCLR’s education programs including charter schools, early college high schools, education partnerships, and pre-kindergarten and early childhood education efforts. Delia’s educational expertise includes early childhood education, English language learners (ELLs) and ELL students with disabilities, and bilingual education. She was previously Executive Director for the National Association for Bilingual Education; Director of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs for the U.S. Department of Education; Director of Education, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and Youth Development for Children’s Defense Fund; Assistant Commissioner for Program Development at the Texas Education Agency; and Executive Director for Bilingual Programs and Early Childhood Education in the Houston Independent School District. Delia holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Early Childhood Education from Trinity University.

Howard Fuller, Ph.D. is a former Board Chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO). Dr. Fuller’s career includes many years in both public service positions and the field of education. Dr. Fuller is a Distinguished Professor of Education and Founder/Director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University in Milwaukee. The mission of the Institute is to support exemplary education options that transform learning for children, while empowering families, particularly low-income families, to choose the best options for their children. Immediately before his appointment at Marquette University, Dr. Fuller served as the Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools for four years. Dr. Fuller has become known nationally for his unending support for fundamental educational reform. Dr. Fuller received his B.S. degree in Sociology from Carroll College in Waukesha, WI in 1962; M.S.A. degree in Social Administration from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, in 1964; and his Ph.D. in Sociological Foundations of Education from Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI in 1986.

Peter Groff

Peter Groff is Senior Advisor on Legislative Outreach and Diversity for the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) where he oversees legislative outreach efforts with black elected officials and build stronger coalitions with traditional civil rights organizations on issues related to education reform. Groff is a longtime veteran of the parental school choice and education reform movements, most recently serving as President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Before joining the Alliance, he served nine years in the Colorado State Legislature, first in the House, then in the Senate, where he served as the State's first Black Senate president. During his tenure in the Colorado State Senate, he was known as the "conscience of the Senate," and successfully sponsored landmark education reform legislation, including bills that led to the creation a statewide charter school authorizer and the Innovative school concept. While serving in the Colorado Senate, Groff also served as Executive Director of the Center for African-American Policy at the University of Denver and taught public policy at the University's school of Public Policy.

Dr. Ref Rodriguez

Ref Rodriguez, Ed.D., CEO and President, was previously the co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC), a charter school management organization serving communities in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and Northeast and Downtown Los Angeles. Under his leadership PUC developed 10 schools and became a well regarded charter management organization in California. Ref's original inspiration for starting a charter school was to offer high quality learning experiences for youth in the predominantly Latino working class community where he grew up. Before joining the charter school movement, Ref worked in the business sector as a teacher and administrator in Catholic parochial schools. He is the first of five children of Mexican immigrants to graduate from college. Ref holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. Click here for full bio.

*John Lock, currently President of Kaplan Higher Education Campuses, was the founding board chair for Partners for Developing Futures and served on the Board of Directors for four years. He was instrumental in incubating and launching Partners while he headed the Charter School Growth Fund.


Partners’ management team works closely an Advisory Board whose members are directly involved in various aspects of the charter school movement and have a professional and personal interest in Partners’ long-term success. They bring to Partners’ work deep knowledge of the charter school movement and its place within the educational landscape; decades of experience running traditional public schools and districts, as well as starting, operating, and growing charter schools/networks; significant knowledge about the educational policy arena and its effects on charters; and other relevant experience.

Mashea Ashton is the CEO of the Newark Charter School Fund (NCSF). Before joining NCSF in February 2009, Mashea served as the Executive Director for the New York Program and Senior Advisor for Charter School Policy for New Leaders for New Schools. Mashea has also served as the Executive Director for Charter Schools for the New York City Department of Education, the National Director of Recruitment and Selection for the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and as a special education teacher in Williamsburg, VA and Washington, DC. Mashea has a MEd in Special Education and a BA in Sociology and Elementary Education from the College of William and Mary.
Michelle Bullock is Vice President of Diversity and Inclusiveness at Teach for America. Michelle oversees Teach For America’s diversity and inclusiveness efforts across the organization, and she works closely with the Chief Diversity Officer and CEO to guide Teach For America’s strategy to foster a diverse and inclusive organization at all levels and in all operating areas. Before joining Teach For America, Michelle served as director of the Whitney M. Young Center for Urban Leadership at the National Urban League. During her 10-plus years with the league, she oversaw learning and development efforts for more than 100 professionally staffed affiliates throughout the country, supporting more than 1,500 employees in 37 states. Michelle holds a BA in economics from Pace University and is currently pursuing an MBA in leadership and change management.
Mike Feinberg is Co-Founder of the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Foundation and the Superintendent of KIPP Houston. Mike received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 and a Masters of Education from National-Louis University in 2005.  After graduating from Penn, Mike joined Teach For America and taught fifth grade in Houston, Texas. In 1994, he co-founded KIPP with Dave Levin and established KIPP Academy Houston a year later. In 2000, he co-founded the KIPP Foundation to help take KIPP to scale. Today, KIPP is a network growing to 100 high-performing schools around the nation. In 2004, Mike was named an Ashoka Fellow, awarded to leading social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions and the potential to change patterns across society. KIPP has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS 60 Minutes, ABC World News Tonight, and in The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Washington Post, and more.
Diane Robinson is an educational consultant who brings over 15 years of experience in the education and non-profit sectors. Diane was previously the National Director of Recruitment & Selection for the KIPP Foundation. In that role, she helped to grow the KIPP network from just over 60 schools to almost 100 schools. Prior to joining the KIPP Foundation, Diane worked for almost a decade in regional and national leadership roles on the Teach For America staff to help build and expand the organization across the country. During her tenure with Teach For America, Diane fundraised close to $10 million from public and private sectors, started the Connecticut, Hawaii, and Memphis regions, and worked as Vice President of Regional Operations to manage all aspects of 22 regional offices of the organization. Diane began her career in education as a teacher through the Teach For America program. She has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College and a Master of Arts in education from California State University at Dominguez Hills.
Johnathan Williams is Founder and Co-Director of The Accelerated School, Los Angeles. Johnathan began his teaching career with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in 1990 and was elected to the United Teachers of LA (UTLA) as the teacher’s union chairman. In 1994 he, along with Kevin Sved wrote the charter document, secured the necessary financing, recruited and hired staff, and opened The Accelerated School. Johnathan’s vision for charter schools and commitment to the growth of the movement have earned him the election of being a Board Member of the California Network for Educational Charters (CANEC), a statewide agency focused on supporting charter schools. He is also active through his service on the State Superintendent’s Charter School Advisory Committee and as Secretary to The Accelerated School Board of Trustees. Johnathan holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
Ursula Wright is the Chief Operating Officer for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Before assuming her current position, Ursula served as the Chief Financial Officer for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools for three years. Her diverse professional experience includes corporate finance, operations, and business development positions at some of the nation’s leading firms, including The Chase Manhattan Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cassidy & Associates, and, most recently, GXS (formerly a General Electric subsidiary). She has been active in the World Bank’s Development Marketplace Business Plan Competition and helped to found a charter school in Washington, DC. Ursula earned an Economics degree from Spelman College and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Andrea Zayas is the Principal and Founder of La Cima Elementary Charter School.  Founded in the summer of 2008, La Cima currently serves 200 kindergarten, first and second graders in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Prior to launching La Cima, Andrea was an elementary school teacher, administrator and charter school authorizer in New York City. She joined the Office of New Schools at the NYC Department of Education to develop and implement the comprehensive accountability system used to evaluate and monitor NYC charter schools. Andrea managed several successful charter school start ups, from application through opening, for a national charter management organization.  Andrea earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Education Administration and Social Policy.


Delia Pompa

Angela Bass, Ed.D., Vice President, has served in education for more than 30 years. She served as Area Superintendent for the San Diego Unified School District. In addition, she served as the inaugural Superintendent of Instruction for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS). PLAS is a dynamic non-profit organization formed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to transform Los Angeles Unified School District’s lowest performing schools. Dr. Bass has also served as a classroom teacher, staff developer, race/human relations facilitator, vice principal, principal, mentor principal, Executive Director, Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and Instructional Leader. Bass has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from San Francisco State University, a master’s degree in educational leadership from United States International University, and she received her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. Additionally, she is a graduate and Fellow from The Broad Superintendents’ Academy.

Dr. Bass is currently being featured on LMU's School of Education's website. To visit the 'Alumni Spotlight', please click here.