Leading Through Uncertainty
A former NYC Department of Education high school history teacher, Miriam Altman is CEO and Co-founder of Kinvolved, a social enterprise that takes a holistic approach to fighting student absenteeism, combining technology tools and human interventions to increase funding to school districts, create more economically viable communities, and improve graduation rates.
Miriam’s responsibilities include strategic planning and execution, business development and sales, fundraising and investor relations, and external relations and representation, and more.
Kinvolved has been featured in outlets including the New York Times and National Public Radio, and has won awards from The Robin Hood Foundation, Teach For America, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, and more.
Miriam is a winner of the Gratitude Award, Forbes 30 Under 30, and the Jo Ivey Boufford Award for Innovative Solutions to Public Service Challenges by New York University. She was a 2018 School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) Entrepreneurial Fellow at Columbia University, a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation entrepreneur, and is an Education Pioneers and Teach For America Corps alumna.
Miriam earned an MPA from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, where she is an Adjunct Professor in the Social Enterprise specialization, an MA, Ed., from Lehman College, and at BA with Honors from Brown University.
Elizabeth Chou joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2010 and is a Partner. She is a board director for Kickboard and LearnPlatform, and a board observer for APDS, BetterLesson, Galvanize, PresenceLearning, Graduation Alliance and previously for Questar Assessment, Moodlerooms, Think Through Learning and Three Ring.
Prior to New Markets, Elizabeth was a Senior Associate at The Gladstone Companies, a family of public funds (NASDAQ: GLAD, GAIN, GOOD) providing private equity, debt and real estate financing based in McLean, VA. At Gladstone she invested in and managed equity control and mezzanine debt investments in middle market companies in specialty manufacturing and healthcare services. Prior to Gladstone, Elizabeth was an Account Executive with M&T Bank’s Middle Market Commercial and Industrial Lending Group in Philadelphia, PA.
Elizabeth graduated with Honors from Mount Holyoke College, with a major in Politics and received a MBA from Columbia Business School. Elizabeth lives in Connecticut with her husband and two young children
Superintendent of Meriden Public Schools, Meriden, Connecticut; K-12 8600 students, doctoral degree from the University of Hartford.
Dr. Mark Benigni, Superintendent of the Meriden Public Schools, is known for his innovative leadership, emotional intelligence, and labor-management collaboration. Fostering a climate and culture of transparency, Dr. Benigni and team members put students at the center of all decisions and work tirelessly to ensure that “Here, Students Succeed”. Committed to providing equity and expanding learning opportunities through a district digital transformation for all students, Dr. Benigni was recognized as a 2015 Education Week Leader to Learn From and received the Social Justice Award from the CT Coalition to End Homelessness. Under his leadership, innovations include BYOD K-12 guidelines, a 1:1 device initiative, and student-centered learning approaches, and implementation of extended day schools,. Further examples of creative programming are the STARS Program for students with autism and Success Academy for over-age and under-credited high school students. The Meriden Public Schools was a recipient of a 2016 National School Boards Association Magna Award and a 2016 and 2018 District of Distinction Awards from District Administration. Since Dr. Benigni's arrival in 2010, the Meriden Public Schools has increased student academic achievement and growth, while reducing suspensions by 82%, expulsions by 93%, and school-based arrest by 92%. Dr. Benigni served as a teacher, principal and four-term Meriden mayor. Authoring over 35 articles in educational journals and publishing his book, Mentoring Matters, with Rowan and Littlefield Education, Dr. Benigni has presented at national venues and taught doctorate classes. Dr. Benigni currently serves as co-chair of the Connecticut Association of Urban Superintendents, is Second Vice President of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents Board of Directors, and was a recipient of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans Award by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce. While at the helm of the Meriden Public Schools, the district was featured by Edutopia "Schools That Work", a recipient of a Model School Award from the International Center for Leadership in Education, awarded a Team Award from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), chosen by HundrED for global innovation, selected as a Google for Education Reference District, awarded the HP Intel 2017 Schools of TechExcellence, recognized by Future Ready Schools, and selected by Digital Promise as a member of the League of Innovative Schools.
Stephanie Khurana is responsible for identifying and supporting DRK Entrepreneurs. Stephanie currently serves on the boards of DRK portfolio organizations Empower Schools, GlobalXplorer, Kinvolved, and WattTime. She previously served on the boards of DRK grantees Braven, EdBuild, and Immigrant Justice Corps.
Stephanie was on the founding team of Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP), a visionary startup in the tech space that went public and was one of the first entities to foresee the transformation from mainframe-centric solutions to client-server architecture and packaged solutions. She previously was Co-Founder, CEO, and Director of Surebridge, an early software as a service web-based software provider which was ultimately sold to Time Warner.
She has served as Acting Executive Director at the Tobin Project, a nonprofit organization that sits on the forefront of major research initiatives that address some of society’s most pressing problems and helps transform public policy debates, inspired by economics Nobel laureate James Tobin. She currently serves on their Board of Directors. Stephanie received a “Top 40 under 40” award from the Boston Business Journal in 1999. She serves on the President’s Council of Cornell Women and is a Faculty Dean of Cabot House at Harvard University. She has served on Harvard University Task Forces and Committees in the areas of diversity, inclusion and belonging; sexual assault prevention; and public service among others. She has consulted with clients ranging from early stage to established organizations in the nonprofit, technology, and healthcare sectors and serves on several social enterprise boards.
She received her BS in Applied Economics with a concentration in International Relations from Cornell University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.