Featured Speakers


Dr. Andres Alonso



Dr. Alonso served as CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools from 2006 to 2013. He spearheaded a reform effort that re-envisioned the balance of authority and responsibility across the system, created choice for families, and implemented landmark labor contracts.

His focus on individual students and teaching and learning yielded marked improvement in achievement across all levels and led to increases in district enrollment for the first time in almost 40 years.

Prior to Baltimore, he was Chief Of Staff and then Deputy Chancellor for Teaching and Learning during the first phase of New York's Children First reforms.

He had previously spent 12 years as a teacher of English Language Learners and students with disabilities in Newark, N.J. 


Elisa Villanueva Beard

ceo, teach for america

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Elisa’s journey with Teach For America started as a 1998 corps member in Phoenix. She joined staff in 2001 to lead the organization’s work in her hometown in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Four years later, she became chief operating officer, leading Teach For America’s field operations as the organization expanded from 22 to 48 regions, growing its network from 12,500 to more than 43,000 leaders in 2013 while improving student outcomes each year.

In 2015, Elisa became the sole chief executive officer of Teach For America, after serving as co-CEO alongside Matthew Kramer for two years. Today, under her leadership, Teach For America impacts hundreds of thousands of students each year in nearly 2,500 schools across more than 50 regions. The Teach For America network of 60,000 leaders is working from every sector to ensure that all children have the access and opportunity to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. Elisa holds a B.A. in sociology from DePauw University. She sits on the boards of the Holdsworth Center and Leadership for Educational Equity. She lives in Houston with her husband, Jeremy, and their four sons.


Julia Keleher

Former secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Education


Julia Keleher’s work in the Puerto Rico Department of Education has impacted a system of over 850 public schools serving more than 300,000 students. Prior to being named Secretary of Education, Julia was principal of Keleher & Associates, LLC., a boutique consulting firm based in Washington, DC that provided strategic and performance management services to various federal state and local agencies.  Julia is known for her remarkable ability to operationalize strategic initiatives and translate ideas into new practices. She has designed and implemented various large-scale change initiatives over the course of her 20 year career. She excels at helping organizations find new ways to optimize their performance.

Prior to founding Keleher & Associates, Julia was a senior manager at the US Department of Education. There, she focused on using data and analytics to inform grants planning and management. During this time, Julia was recognized as an emerging leader in government and was selected to participate in the Excellence in Government (2011) and Federal Executive Institute (2012) programs. She co-authored a paper on the use of risk analytics to manage grant portfolio for the IBM Center for Business of Government.

Julia earned her BA in Political Science and MS Ed in Psychological Services from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her MBA in 2013 and holds a doctorate degree in Education Leadership from the University of Delaware. In addition to her work with Keleher & Associates, Julia holds an adjunct appointment at The George Washington University’s Business School.