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Board of Directors

A majority of the 1EdTech Directors are elected by the Contributing Members. They serve to represent the membership as a whole and its diverse interests.

All board members agree to follow the Board Member Participation Guidelines.

Rob Abel, Ed.D.
Dr. Rob Abel is the Chief Executive Officer of 1EdTech, a nonprofit collaboration of the world's leading universities, school districts, government organizations, content providers, and technology suppliers, cooperating to accelerate learning technology interoperability, adoption, and impact. Rob has been the CEO of 1EdTech (formerly IMS Global Learning Consortium, since February of 2006.

Rob is a recognized expert on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for learning with over 40 years high tech and education market development experience. During Rob’s tenure, 1EdTech has experienced dramatic growth in terms of members, revenues, and achieved significant adoption of 1EdTech work by leading regional education communities worldwide. 1EdTech has grown over 13x since Rob became CEO and has risen to become one of the world's best resourced and dynamic standards-setting consortia.

Prior to 1EdTech, Rob was Senior Vice President at Collegis (now Ellucian Managed Services), the leading provider of ICT services to U.S. higher education, where he was responsible for online and academic services provided to over 60 U.S. institutions. Rob is also a seasoned high technology software development, business development, market development and venture investment veteran. As Senior Director at Oracle Education he was a leader and innovator in the development of online learning architectures and related standards. Rob also held executive positions at National Semiconductor, TRW and Hughes Aircraft.

Rob holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University, a Masters degree in Management from Stanford, a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California, and a Baccalaureate degree in Computational Physics from Carnegie Mellon University. Rob was honored with the TRW Chairman's Award for Innovation in the early 1990's for leading advancements in real-time networking and distributed software.
Tim Beekman
President & Co-Founder, SAFARI Montage
Timothy R. Beekman, President & Co-Founder, SAFARI Montage, was founder of Dynacom, Inc., and a partner/owner of the former SAFARI Technologies, Inc. Mr. Beekman holds a BSEE from Western Michigan University and a First Class Broadcast License. He was honored as “Fellow of the Decade” by Ball State University Center for Communication Sciences and served as Director of Technology for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Currently, he is president and co-founder of SAFARI Montage, and brings leadership and focus to the team. Mr. Beekman has pioneered the integration of video technology in the classroom through projects like AT&T School of the Future initiative and the “Campus of the Future” at Ball State University. Under Mr. Beekman’s leadership, SAFARI Montage has grown to be an industry leader in Educational Video Integration Technologies in both analog and digital formats.
Emily Bell
Chief Information Officer
Emily Bell is the Chief Information Officer for Fulton County Schools in Georgia. She is a 20+ year educator who seeks to understand, plan, and develop innovative technology strategies for optimal productivity within the district. Emily holds degrees in English Education from Florida State University and Instructional Technology and Education Leadership from Valdosta State University provide the foundation for authentic work experiences in classrooms, online learning environments, and business operations.
Barry Brahier, Ph.D.
Chief Product Officer - Teaching & Learning
Barry joined Infinite Campus in 2006 and serves as Chief Product Officer for the Teaching & Learning group. As CPO, Barry leads the team responsible for all Infinite Campus SIS and LMS product functionality used by teachers, parents, and students, including the Campus Learning LMS. Prior to joining Infinite Campus, Barry was a public school classroom teacher for 17 years. During his teaching career, Barry led the adoption of standards based-teaching and grading practices in his district and testified before his state legislature on two occasions about the importance and effectiveness of standards-based practices. Barry also had a successful career as a classical musician having performed in the US and Europe, on National Public Radio and in recordings. Barry earned his Bachelor of Music (Music Education) from the University of Michigan, and his Master of Elementary Education and Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction (Learning Technologies) from the University of Minnesota.
Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Digital Learning
Thomas Cavanagh, Ph.D. is Vice Provost for Digital Learning at the University of Central Florida. In this role, he oversees the distance learning strategy, policies, and practices of one of the nation’s largest universities. In his career, Tom has administered e-learning development for both academic (public and private) and industrial (Fortune 500, government/military) audiences. He has been recognized with numerous awards from organizations such as the Online Learning Consortium, the United States Distance Learning Association, the IMS Global Learning Consortium, and the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technology. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and often consults with other institutions regarding academic innovation. He is active in the higher education community and serves on a number of national advisory boards. Tom’s research interests include e-learning, technical communication, and the societal influence of technology on education, training, culture, and commerce and he has published extensively in both peer-reviewed and popular outlets. He is also an award-winning author of several mystery novels.
Paul Czarapata, Ed.D.
Paul Czarapata, Ed.D., was selected as the new president of the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS) in April 2021. He had been serving as the interim president of the system. Prior to that, he was the Vice President and Chief Information Officer. In this role, Dr. Czarapata is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of technology across the system. KCTCS is comprised of 16 colleges and over 70 locations across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He will be the first to tell you he is blessed to have a talented group of people with great ideas surrounding him and the intestinal fortitude to see them through at KCTCS. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Paul came to KCTCS in 1999 after working for PeopleSoft, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), and three small software consulting firms. Before coming to the IMS Board of Directors Paul served on the Higher Education User Group Board of Directors for three years.

Paul earned his education degrees at Northern Illinois University (Bachelor’s in Operations Management & Information Systems) and Morehead State University (MBA and Ed.D. in Educational Technology Leadership). He lives in Versailles, KY with his wife Melissa and son Alex. Paul is involved in several national and local organizations, but has a special place in his heart for little league baseball.
Debbie Durrence, Ed.D.
Chief Data Officer
Debbie Durrence, Ed.D. currently serves as the Chief Data Officer in the Division of Data Governance for Gwinnett County Public Schools. The school district is in metro Atlanta and serves a very diverse population of over 180,000 students. She oversees the teams in student data management, data integration, data governance, state and federal reporting, data privacy, as well as SIS reporting. Prior to that role she served as the school district’s Executive Director of Accountability and Assessment in which she led the team that developed and administered a district assessment program, provided staff development regarding assessment literacy, and supervised the administration of all standardized assessments. In addition to previously serving as a member of the board of directors for the National Council on Measurement in Education, she has served on several advisory panels for the state of Georgia Department of Education and various other organizations.
Nicole Engelbert
Vice President, Higher Education Development
Nicole Engelbert is vice president of higher education development at Oracle. She is responsible for engaging the industry ecosystem to develop thought leadership and best practice with cloud technology and to use those insights to guide the development of Oracle’s higher education solutions including its Student Cloud product suite.

Prior to Oracle, Nicole served as the Director of Research & Analysis at Ovum where she spent the last decade advising institutions globally on critical areas such as cloud migration, legacy modernization, emerging technologies, and student experience.

A sought after presenter on the higher education technology conference circuit, Nicole is also regularly quoted in publications such as the NY Times, University Business, Campus Technology, and the Wall Street Journal. Nicole holds a BA in classics from Union College and an MEd in educational administration & policy analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Rick Johnson
VP of Product Strategy
Rick Johnson is the Vice President of Product Strategy, and one of the founders of VitalSource Technologies, LLC. Now a division of the Ingram Content Group, VitalSource is the maker of Bookshelf®, the most widely used platform for delivery of electronic textbooks in the world. As VP of Product Strategy, Rick manages the strategic direction of the fast growing platform, guiding the architecture, and implementation of its clients and systems.

Rick's career has been focused on bringing together his three passions: technology, publishing, and education. He is a frequent speaker on electronic textbooks, their integration into an institutional environment, and how the accessibility needs of individual students can best be accommodated in their delivery. He has served on multiple committees addressing the needs around delivering accessible content to students, was a member of the working groups responsible for version 2 and version 3 of the EPUB standard, currently serves on the board of directors for IMSGlobal (, and is the co-inventor of 3 domestic and international patents dealing with electronic books and their distribution.

Prior to Ingram and VitalSource, Rick spent more than 12 years with Apple Computer, Inc. As a Senior National Consulting Engineer for them he was instrumental in the implementation of complex solutions for many higher education and corporate customers, and received numerous national and international awards.

A graduate of the communication and business departments of Biola University in 1984, Rick has lived in the Phoenix area with his family since they moved from Southern California in 1991. Married to his wife Susie for more than 35 years, together they have raised two children, and are very active in their church and community. Rick also serves on the board of directors for several non-profit ministries.
Icon representing Vince Kellen
Vince Kellen, Ph.D.
Chief Information Officer
Dr. Vince Kellen currently serves as the chief information officer for the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), as well as a member of the Chancellor's Cabinet, and vice chancellor and chief financial officer's senior management team. UCSD is recognized as a top 15 university world-wide and 7th best public university in the world, with over $1 billion in annual research funding, 34,000 students, 16 Nobel laureates who have taught on its campus and 161 faculty with national Academy memberships.

Dr. Kellen brings a rare combination of academic, business and IT strategy experience to his role, with a focus on transformational leadership within IT, applying leading edge approaches to current business challenges.  His twenty-five years of executive-level information technology experience offers a proven track record of successfully integrating innovative applications of information technology into all aspects of teaching, learning, and student success.  These innovations have resulted in markedly improved efficiencies and enhanced learning environments, as well as fruitful, collaborative relationships with researchers, faculty, staff, and students across all levels of higher education and the world. 

Dr. Kellen formerly served as the senior vice provost of Analytics and Technologies for the University of Kentucky, one of the top public research institutions and academic medical centers in the US., where his areas of responsibility included institutional research and analytics, enterprise software, research computing, academic technology, IT infrastructure and cloud services, and supporting the university’s 17 colleges, 30,000 students, and 14,000 faculty and staff.  Prior to that role, he held the position of chief information officer for three years. 
Donna Kidwell
Chief Information & Digital Trust Officer
Donna Kidwell leads a team responsible for designing, developing and managing the technical infrastructure and information services necessary to deliver EdPlus at ASU’s online degree and lifelong learning opportunities at scale. She provides oversight, vision and strategy as EdPlus integrates over 150 technology tools and processes in ASU Online courses, open scale initiatives and continuing and professional education offerings.

Kidwell is a frequent speaker on innovation, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, regional innovation ecosystems, innovations in learning technologies and future models for educational delivery. She is an expert in learning technologies, program design, and change management to foster innovation in higher education. Kidwell earned a Doctorate of Business Administration from Grenoble Ecole de Management, France; a Master of Science, Technology Commercialization and Bachelors of Arts, History from the University of Texas at Austin.
Melissa Loble
Chief Customer Experience Officer
Melissa Loble serves as the Chief Customer Experience Officer for Instructure. In this capacity, she leads Instructure's customer success, services, and partnership organizations, all of which enable customers to successfully leverage Instructure’s solutions to create highly engaging and effective learning environments for their communities. Driving innovation in the customer experience is central to Melissa’s mission. Melissa has spent 20 years in the educational technology world, working for a number of technology suppliers and educational institutions, as well as teaching leadership courses focused on managing technology for educational change. Melissa earned her MA in Educational Policy from Teachers’ College, Columbia University, and an MBA in Leadership from the Columbia Business School.
LaTanya McDade, Ed.D.
LaTanya D. McDade currently serves as the Superintendent for Prince William County. Previously, she was Chief Education Officer of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). LaTanya oversaw all academic offices within the CPS Central Office and supports all principals and Network Chiefs in their leadership roles. In this capacity, Mrs. McDade wass responsible for improving and supporting all aspects of teaching and learning district-wide. Her commitment to over 340,000+ students across 638 schools (district and charter) is to ensure equity in access to high quality educational opportunities. This was a natural transition from her previous role as Chief Officer of the Office of Teaching and Learning (T & L), where she managed all core academic departments and oversaw the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional programs and services for CPS teachers and administrators.

Mrs. McDade worked to streamline and reduce waste by aligning the Office of Teaching and Learning programs to district priorities and advocate for the consistent, formal evaluation/ROI assessment of services and supports provided by central office departments. As a veteran educator, she also challenged the efficacy of traditional education models and initiated the PK-12 Curriculum System Project to modernize instructional practices across the district.

A proud graduate of CPS, LaTanya was a student in Chicago from Kindergarten through 12th grade and went on to dedicate her entire career to the children of Chicago. In all of her various roles, which include teacher, assistant principal, principal, and Network Chief, she has prioritized instructional equity and excellence for every child.

A passionate believer in lifelong learning, she holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and an M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Lewis University with a completion date of March 2021. Mrs. McDade was a member of the principal advisory group for advancing teaching and learning through the Charlotte Danielson Teaching in Excellence Framework Pilot. She completed the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association Cohort “Leadership Initiative for Transformation (LIFT).” She is currently a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Illinois Principals Association (IPA), and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. LaTanya was recently named as a Future Chief in the 2019 Cohort of Chiefs for Change.

With more than 20 years of experience in Chicago Public Schools, Mrs. McDade deeply understands school communities and knows how to support their academic growth. She is dedicated to the field of education and passionate about improving the quality of life for all children through a lens of equity. Her mantra, Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. – John Dewey
Marc Nelson
VP Product Management
Marc Nelson is Vice President of Platform Strategy for Savvas Learning Company. At Savvas, Marc leads a talented team committed to delivering innovative solutions for K-12 teachers, students and administrators. Marc’s 25+ year career has been devoted to the thoughtful application of technology to inspire, engage, and personalize learning at scale. Savvas’s flagship learning management system Savvas Realize, provides over 1100 standards aligned core curriculum programs and powerful features built to make teaching and learning better. Offering plug-and-play interoperability with top classroom tools and industry-leading integrations Savvas Realize reaches millions of teachers and students each day.
Kathe Pelletier
Director, Teaching and Learning Program
With more than 20 years of experience in higher education across areas such as academic advising, student success, curriculum design and competency-based education, Dr. Kathe Pelletier is currently the Director of the Teaching and Learning Program at EDUCAUSE. She brings an expertise for combining traditional higher education evidence-based practice with innovative delivery models. She has been recognized by the International Center for Supplemental Instruction for starting and scaling the first online Supplemental Instruction program, and she has also been recognized for a hybrid program and course framework that creates a structure for creativity for faculty yet ensures consistency and quality. During her career, Kathe has accomplished such things as building an online student success center from scratch, establishing a competency-based curriculum model that became an anchor for a self-paced CBE program, developing an assessment and outreach system that delivered personalized resource recommendations to incoming students, and guiding faculty communities of practice
Sanje Ratnavale
Sanje founded OESIS in 2012 and serves as the President of what has grown to become the leading network for innovation at independent schools: the acronym OESIS grew from the initial focus on Online Education Strategies for Independent Schools. He has held senior administrative positions at independent schools including Associate Head of School at a K-12 school for seven years, High School Principal for three years and CFO for seven years. Prior to making a switch to education, Sanje spent 15 years in venture capital, investment banking and senior C-level (CEO,COO,CFO) management. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford University (B.A. and M.A. in Law/Jurisprudence) and the British independent school system (Harrow School). Sanje is based out of Los Angeles.
Serena Sacks-Mandel
Global CTO Education
Ms. Sacks has been a transformational business and technology leader for more than 30 years across corporate, non-profit, and government sectors. In the last 10 years she has had the honor of serving students in public education as CIO of Florida Virtual School and Fulton County Schools. Leveraging her experience in corporations and as a consultant, she applies her leadership skills and technology knowledge to enhance the learning experience for over 500,000 students.

Her prior experience includes 10 years at IBM in the Financial Services Sector, over five years at Walt Disney world and technology leadership at several other Fortune 100 organizations.

Ms. Sacks earned her B.A. and M.S. at Stony Brook University and holds certifications in Enterprise IT Governance (ISACA), Six Sigma, and Project Management (PMI).

Serena Sacks was named the 2019 Woman of the Year for the Global Women in Technology Association. In 2017 Georgia CIO Leadership Association named Ms. Sacks CIO of the Year in the Non-Profit sector and she was named the 2015 Woman of the Year for the Georgia Women in Technology organization. On a personal note, Ms. Sacks is a founding Board Member of the Computer museum of America, married to Scott Mandel, and the proud mother of three wonderful daughters.

Jack Suess
VP of IT
Mr. John "Jack" Suess is Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). As Vice President, he provides university leadership for information technology at UMBC and serves on the executive leadership team of the university. He is responsible for providing information technology services in support of teaching and scholarship, research computing, and administrative support. Reporting directly to the President, he is responsible for strategic planning and implementation, coordination, budget, personnel, and policy related to information technology at UMBC.

Since 2000, Mr. Suess has been very active nationally in the areas of cybersecurity, identity management, analytics, and cloud computing and has served in a number of national information technology leadership activities with EDUCAUSE, Internet2, and InCommon. His recent activities include participating in the Internet2 Board of Directors (2010-2013), InCommon (2009-Present), Internet2 Council and Program Advisory Committees (2008-Present), ECAR Strategies Working Group (2013-Present), Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC) (2000-Present, Chair 2003-2006), REN-ISAC Executive Advisory Group (2006-2013), Center for Higher Education CIO Studies (CHECS) (2013-Present), and the National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace (NSTIC) (2012-Present).
Carrie Vail
Sr. Director, Product Interoperability Strategy
Carrie Vail has 20 years of developing EdTech solutions spanning K12, Higher Ed, and Corporate Training for both publishing and platform applications. After 12 years at Pearson creating technologies to support the Higher Ed, International, Professional, and K12 divisions, Carrie moved on to focus her efforts on how video can be fully leveraged for effective instruction and engagement at Viddler. More recently, she returned to K12 at Schoology to build out curriculum capabilities within their LMS. Now, Carrie is working across the entire PowerSchool portfolio to bring educational products together to support a district’s educational ecosystem.