Leading Through Uncertainty
Paulette Carter is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is President/CEO of the Children’s Bureau of New Orleans, a non-profit organization which offers an array of mental health services to children and families in the greater New Orleans area. Ms. Carter has worked at Children’s Bureau for the past 19 years, starting her employment with the organizations as an entry level mental health clinician and now serving in her 12th year as President/CEO. Paulette is also active on several community Boards and workgroups including the New Orleans Children and Youth Planning Board, the Trauma Informed Learning Collaborative for Schools, the Center for Resilience Board of Directors, and the Louisiana Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Initiative. She is an adjunct instructor at the Tulane School of Social Work and proud mother of two very active teenage daughters.
Rian Wright was born in, and lived most of her life in, Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from high school, Rian earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Central Michigan University. Rian moved to Austin in 2006 for graduate study and earned her Master’s in Higher Education Administration (2008) and Ph.D. in Education Policy and Planning (2016) from The University of Texas at Austin.
In 2011, Rian moved to Houston and continued her work with The University of Texas at Austin as the Assistant Director for the University of Texas-Outreach Centers, a program dedicated to supporting high schools in their college readiness initiatives. Under her leadership, UT Outreach Center in Houston grew from supporting 1 high school in Houston to supporting 6 High Schools and enrollment grow from 20 to 200.
In 2013, Rian joined the KIPP Sunnyside High School (KSHS) as the founding Director of College Counseling. She supported the founding class of 2014 to 100% college acceptance, 98% college matriculation, 100% FAFSA completion, and 1.18 million dollars of gift aid. In 2015, she continued her work at KSHS as an Assistant Principal for the 12th grade. During her time as Assistant Principal, she coached 3 Advanced Placement courses and her work increased Advanced Placement pass rates by 20%. Rian currently serves as the School Leader of KIPP Sunnyside High School. Under her leadership, KIPP Sunnyside High School has increased enrollment, broadened the STEM program, earned distinction in Math, Science and Social Studies from the State of Texas, and quadrupled enrollment in Advanced Placement courses.
In her free time, Rian likes to spend time with her husband Kevin and her two children, Makenzie and Jaxson.
Hanna Campbell is the Senior Manager for The Moth's Education Program. She's been working in educational and nonprofit spaces for the past decade. In that time, she’s served as the founding Director of Operations for two middle schools, designed a training program for future school operations leaders and served as a consultant on teacher preparation and school design initiatives. In addition to her BA in English from Amherst College, Hanna holds a master's degree in Nonprofit Management from The New School.
Astrid R. Cruz-Negrón is a Puerto Rican teacher who works in the center of the Island of Puerto Rico. She teaches Spanish and History. Astrid is a working mother. She is an environmentalist, union worker and political activist working on causes related to freedom, social justice and human rights. After Hurricane María, she provided support to communities through the Center for Mutual Aid of Utuado.
Douglas Harris is Professor of Economics, the Schleider Foundation Chair in Public Education, Director of the Education Research Alliance for New Orleans, and Director of the newly formed National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice (REACH), all at Tulane University. Both centers provide objective, rigorous, and useful research about market-based school reforms, including charter schools and school vouchers.
Harris is known for taking on controversial topics, highlighting uncomfortable realities, and studying novel solutions to education. His nearly 100 publications are regularly cited in the national media, including The Atlantic, New York Times, New Yorker, NPR, and the Washington Post. His book, Value-Added Measures in Education (Harvard Education Press, 2011) was nominated for the national Grawemeyer Award. He is currently working on a new book about the New Orleans school reforms (University of Chicago Press, 2020).
With his focus on education policy, he has advised a dozen state departments of education, six governors, and elected officials from three foreign nations. He was also testified before the U.S. Senate and worked with the Obama Transition Team and Administration on school accountability, college scorecards, community college policies, and college financial aid policies.
Harris is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and former school board member. He is married and has two daughters.