MISSION: QUALITY EDUCATION
Independent Education Policy Consultant and Lecturer at Penn GSE
Alan Ruby is currently adviser to the President of Kazakhstan's administration on the creation of English language university and the establishment of a network of twenty schools for gifted and talented mathematics and science students. He also serves as adviser to the US Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences on cross national surveys in education and consultant to the World Bank on benchmarking education systems. At Penn GSE, he helped design and implement the School's International Education Development Master's program and served as academic adviser and course director. Prior to Penn, Alan served as senior vice president at Atlantic Philanthropies, overseeing an annual grant budget of $250 million in the United States, Ireland, Viet Nam, and South Africa. He previously served as director of the Human Development Sector for the East Asia Region of the World Bank, where he led the World Bank's programs in education, health, and social insurance in 12 countries, including China, Vietnam, and Indonesia. He also headed a World Bank team that designed and implemented a massive scholarship program to keep Indonesian schools open during the financial crisis of the late 1990s, for which he received the World Bank President's Award for Excellence. Additionally, Mr. Ruby served for over six years as Australia's Deputy Secretary of Employment, Education, Training, and Youth Affairs, where he was responsible for primary and secondary education, higher education, and vocational education and training.
CEO at ShareFile
A self-taught software programmer, Jesse has been involved in internet technologies since 1999. In 2001, he became President of Rapidata.net, a pharmaceutical market research company. In just two years, he helped grow revenues at Rapidata.net by over 500% and laid the foundation for the company's acquisition by Greenfield Online. Subsequent to Rapidata.net, Jesse co-founded and served as CEO for the web site development firm novelProjects. Jesse founded ShareFile in 2005. In just 5 years, he has helped grow ShareFile from zero to almost 15,000 customers, 50 full-time employees, and almost 2 million users. Jesse graduated Magna Cum Laude from Duke University with a degree in philosophy in 2000.
Co-Founder and CEO of Fonderie47
Peter Thum is CEO and co-founder of Fonderie47, a social venture addressing assault rifle proliferation in Africa. He is also founder of Ethos Water and of Giving Water. In 2001, while in South Africa, Peter observed the effect of that county’s water crisis on everyday people. Peter saw that those lacking access to clean water were exposed to direct health problems like water-borne illness, and other related heath risks. Gathering, carrying and purifying water took an enormous amount of people’s daily time and acted as a serious impediment to economic development, especially in rural areas. Water, Peter realized, was at the core of so many problems in the developing world at large. He wrote down his original idea on a napkin: launch a company that would provide water and raise money for clean water programs in the developing world. In 2002, he set to implementing that vision. Peter left his job at McKinsey & Company and founded Ethos and became President of Ethos Brands, LLC. Over the next six years, Peter led Ethos to become a national brand in the US and to raise more than $6 million in humanitarian water grants and helped over 420,000 people worldwide. Ethos was acquired by Starbucks in 2005, and Peter stayed on through to 2008, managing Ethos and serving as a Director of the Starbucks Foundation. In 2008, Peter founded givingwater.org to extend his work toward solving the world water crisis. The organization is now serving over 1,000 schoolchildren at schools in Kenya. While visiting water programs in Kenya Peter was struck by the insecurity created by the presence of assault rifles, which spurred him to start his current venture; Fonderie47. Peter also serves on the boards for several companies and organizations focused on service, including: The Global Fund for Human Rights; The Center for Human Rights Leadership at Claremont McKenna College; The Dean’s Council of the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Impossible to Possible Ultra-Athletic Adventures. He is a regular public speaker in the US and abroad. Peter holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in government from Claremont McKenna College.
CEO at iContact
Ryan Allis is a technology and social entrepreneur from Chapel Hill, NC. Ryan has been an entrepreneur since he started Allis Computing at age 11. Today, Ryan is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of iContact, the leading global provider of email marketing and social media marketing software to small and mid-sized businesses. Ryan has built North Carolina-based iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size of more than 250 employees, 1 million users, 70,000 customers, and $48 million in annual sales. iContact has raised $52.9M in investment from JMI Equity, Updata Partners, NC IDEA, and North Atlantic Capital. iContact has made the INC 500 list three times. In 2008, iContact was named the fastest growing software company in North Carolina by INC Magazine and in 2009 the "Software Company of the Year" by the North Carolina Technology Association. In 2008, Ryan won "Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Carolinas" with iContact co-founder, Aaron Houghton. In 2009, Ryan received recognition as one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Americans" by the United States Junior Chamber. In 2010 Ryan was named as one of INC Magazines "30 Under 30." Ryan is the author of Zero to One Million, published by McGraw-Hill in February 2008, which reached the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list. Ryan is an active angel investor in socially responsible entrepreneurs in East Africa and North Carolina. Ryan is the founder and Chairman of Virante, Inc., a web marketing consulting firm based in Durham, NC, and an investor in VillageEnergy, Pengo Loans, EvoApp, Unblab, SpringMetrics, CityPockets, and SchoolHouse. Ryan is currently the Board Chairman for Nourish International, a non-profit organization based in Chapel Hill, NC, which has chapters at 23 colleges across the United States. Nourish teaches entrepreneurial skills to college students and uses the net profits from student ventures to invest in social entrepreneurs and community-based organizations in the developing world focused on sustainable development and eliminating extreme poverty and hunger in our lifetime. Ryan attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was an Economics major and a Blanchard Scholar. He is a 2011 gradate of the EO/MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program (EMP).
Dr. Jeff Davis
Vice-President and Co-Founder, School-to-School International
Jeff Davis began his career in education as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone and Benin where he trained elementary school teachers and taught secondary school mathematics. He served as the country director for the International Rescue Committee in Guinea, where he was the de facto superintendent of a school system for refugees from Sierra Leone and Liberia. He was a senior planning and policy advisor in ministries of education in Ethiopia and Guinea for the Academy for Educational Development and the Research Triangle Institute. He served as a psychometrician with The Psychological Corporation/Harcourt Assessment in San Antonio where he provided technical advice to US state testing programs. Prior to joining School-to-School International as the Vice-President, he was a Managing Research Scientist at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, DC. He directed the assessment and evaluation group in AIR’s International Development Program.
Founder and Managing Director at FirstMark Capital
Amish Jani is a Founder and Managing Director of FirstMark Capital and focuses on seed and early stage investments in software, cloud computing, digital media, and Internet sectors. Prior to founding FirstMark Capital, Amish served as a Partner with Pequot Ventures. Amish sits on the boards of Aveksa, Bamboom Labs, Conductor, IMImobile, Knewton, Lumos Labs and Shopify. Amish holds an M.B.A. and a B.S. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Follow Amish on Twitter at @amishjani. Amish is an enthusiastic supporter of and leader in the New York City entrepreneurial community. He is a co-founder and Member of the Organizing Committee for the NYC Turing Fellows program, a new initiative designed to increase the flow of technical talent to NYC from leading schools around the country. He is actively involved with the Mayor’s office, including initiatives such as Media.NYC.2020 and NY Venture Fellows, and is a Mentor for the well-regarded incubator program TechStars NYC. Amish was named to the Silicon Alley Insider 2010 100 List, and regularly speaks at high-profile entrepreneurial events and is quoted by leading media.