The Digital Promise Global team supports our initiatives and works with the larger Digital Promise team to spur innovation in education around the world.
Meet our team:
Karen Cator, President & CEO
Karen Cator is President and CEO of Digital Promise and Digital Promise Global, and a leading voice for transforming American education through technology, innovation and research. From 2009-2013, Karen was Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, where she led the development of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan and focused the Office’s efforts on teacher and leader support. Prior to joining the department, Cator directed Apple’s leadership and advocacy efforts in education. In this role, she focused on the intersection of education policy and research, emerging technologies, and the reality faced by teachers, students and administrators. She began her education career in Alaska as a teacher, ultimately leading technology planning and implementation. She also served as Special Assistant for Telecommunications for the Governor of Alaska. Cator holds a master’s in school administration from the University of Oregon and recently received the 2014 College of Education Distinguished Alumni award. The American Association of Publishers has awarded Cator with the 2014 Visionary Award. She received her bachelor’s in early childhood education from Springfield College, and she is a member of the Aspen Pahara Fellows. She is a past chair for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and has served on boards including the Software & Information Industry Association-Education. You can reach Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathryn Petrillo Smith, Secretary & Treasurer
Kathryn Petrillo-Smith serves as Secretary & Treasurer of Digital Promise Global, as well as Chief Operations Officer for Digital Promise. Previously, Kathryn worked at the Association of Small Foundations, an organization dedicated to strengthening and inspiring small-staff philanthropy. During her nine year tenure at ASF she held a variety of positions, most recently Managing Director. Kathryn also worked in environmental policy at the Environmental Protection Agency, implementing innovative market-based mechanisms to reduce air pollution and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria. Kathryn holds an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Cornell University. You can reach Kathryn at email@example.com.
Vic Vuchic, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director of the Learner Positioning Systems
Vic is a seasoned thought leader in education technology and philanthropy. He is an expert in learning science, innovation, and scaling what works and has launched game-changing initiatives that have increased access to education and improved learning for tens of millions of learners in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Prior to Digital Promise Global, Vic consulted with a number of foundations and organizations on education technology, innovation and philanthropy. Prior to consulting, Vic developed strategies and managed over $100 million in technology-focused grants at the Hewlett Foundation to launch and grow the Open Educational Resources movement and create and advance the Deeper Learning strategy. Vic completed a master’s degree in education and technology at Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Vic also received a scholarship and attended Berklee College of Music for a year. Previous experience includes working at startups in Silicon Valley for eight years with expertise in human-centric system design and innovation methodologies. You can reach Vic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Jarred, Senior Communications Fellow
Will is a veteran education industry strategist with over 20 years of experience in brand management, strategic marketing communications, advertising, and print and digital media. His background spans Pre- K-12, Higher Education, Adult Education, and ESL/EFL/ELT domestically and globally. He has launched and marketed an array of products and services for teachers and administrators including textbooks, online and interactive curriculum, assessments, and teacher professional development. Most recently, Will was Associate Executive Director of Marketing, Communications and Development for the National Association of Elementary School Principals, where he led all aspects of the member experience, including membership services, publications, digital marketing, and strategic partnerships. Prior to NAESP, Will spent 17 years in educational publishing, working for several global organizations including Cricket Media, ETS, and Pearson. Will began his career at AOL as a member of the original team that launched the AOL brand nationwide. Will resides in Alexandria, VA, is an avid cyclist and tennis player, and enjoys spending time with his two daughters. You can reach Will at email@example.com.
Josh Weisgrau, Program Director, Maker Learning
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Josh helped develop the makerspace and maker learning program at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, PA, and has taught Photography, Information and Digital Literacy, Computer Science, Shop, and STEAM. He is a co-founder of Rough Cut Schools, consulting and advocating for media literacy and production in schools around the world. Before that, he worked in theaters and schools teaching kids about technical theater and design. Josh has a B.A. in theater from Wesleyan University and a Masters of Liberal Arts with a focus in media and cultural studies from Temple University. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chelsea Waite, Program Director, Global Learning
Chelsea Waite directs Digital Promise Global’s work with international partners and global learning programs. She is responsible for managing corporate partnerships for Digital Promise, as well as the 360 Filmmakers Challenge, a project that engages students in sharing their stories through 360 degree video. Prior to coming to Digital Promise, Chelsea was an English teacher and program coordinator at two universities in the Northeast of Brazil, working to increase access to English language learning and international study opportunities. Chelsea’s work in Brazil began through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program, where she was assigned to support professors in an English teacher training program at an interior state university. Chelsea is accredited by the Partnership Brokers Association, and has a certification in Advanced Facilitation from the UN and Soliya. She graduated with a degree in history from Brown University, and is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Innovation from the University of Cambridge. Chelsea can be reached at email@example.com.
Susanne Nobles, Senior Manager of Strategic Outreach, Adult Learning and Learner Positioning Systems
Susanne is working with both Digital Promise and Digital Promise Global. Her focus is identifying and communicating the best learning and instructional strategies for learners of all ages and all learning differences. Prior to coming to Digital Promise, Susanne was a teacher and administrator, leading and advising 1:1 programs at middle, secondary, and collegiate levels as well as teaching English and advising yearbook staffs. She earned her Ph.D. in Composition and New Media from Old Dominion University, focusing her research on creating effective digital communities of practice. She earned her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University and her A.B. in English with Teacher Certification from Duke University. You can reach Susanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tyler Richendollar, Project Manager, Learner Positioning Systems
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Tyler was the Professional Development Manager for the City of Philadelphia’s Out-of-School Time (OST) programs for grades K-12. There, he and his team of Program Analysts developed and implemented a learning program that covered topics such as project-based learning, supporting diverse learners, and creating positive program culture. Prior to that, Tyler served as a Special Education teacher and OST Program Analyst in Philadelphia, PA, and as Education Director for a Boys and Girls Club in Camden, NJ. He earned his M.Ed. in Elementary and Special Education from Chestnut Hill College, and his BA from Rutgers University in sociology/anthropology. You can reach Tyler at: email@example.com.
Alison Shell, Research Fellow, Learner Positioning Systems
Alison is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Maryland with a focus in language and cognition. Prior to moving to D.C., she was involved in a few research projects in the Boston area, including investigating the biological underpinnings of autism at the Shriver Center and working to develop more linguistically-sound reading assessments for young-adult readers at Boston University. Alison received her M.S. in psychology from the University of Maryland and her B.A. in cognitive science from Vassar College. You can reach Alison at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Jobson, Project Manager, Learning Studios and 360 Filmmakers Challenge
Prior to joining Digital Promise Global, Lisa held numerous roles at iEARN-USA from 1997-2016, including Executive Director and Chief Program Officer. In addition to overseeing program and technology strategy, implementation, and new initiatives, she helped to launch and manage iEARN’s Adobe Youth Voices partnership, a program of the Adobe Foundation. Lisa grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee and has taught high school in Providence, Rhode Island and Mmabatho, South Africa. She holds a BA from Brown University, and an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, with a focus in International Policy Studies. You can reach Lisa at email@example.com.
Dimitri Moore, Video Producer and Digital Storytelling Coach
Since 2001, Dimitri has worked at Columbia College Chicago, Youth Speaks, Bay Area Video Coalition, Mill Valley Film Festival, SF Sketchfest, Illinois Leadership Seminars and Free Spirit Media, where he learned how to breakdown, organize and produce projects of all types. He graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BA in Film and Video Producing. Dimitri has trained youth in media production, leadership development and workshopped adults in discovering their preferred work culture. He has produced music videos for Bay Area artists, short narrative films, promo videos for small businesses, training videos for Facebook and Yahoo, and documentaries. He is currently the creator of a web series that focuses on The Ignition Point of addiction and passion and a resident at San Francisco Film Society’s FilmHouse Residency Program. Dimitri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Moore, Online Community Manager
Scott Moore has 20 years‘ experience establishing, growing, and fostering large and small online communities and the teams that support those communities using a variety of community platforms including virtual worlds, live chat systems, forums, and unconferences. He has managed and directed community at Answers.com, Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation, Communities.com, and Fujitsu, and consulted with clients such as Healthsparq, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Edutopia, and Autodesk. Scott seeks opportunities to use his experience in online communities to help people help each other to make a positive change in their own lives and those around them. You can reach Scott at email@example.com.
Elyse Gainor, Project Associate
Prior to joining Digital Promise, Elyse worked at Vital Voices Global Partnership, where she supported the VVLead Fellowship Program, a capacity-building fellowship for women leaders across the globe. Her work on the VVLead Fellowship Program included managing and producing online courses, building the fellowship’s virtual mentoring framework, producing audio stories, and organizing the fellowship’s in-person exchanges. Elyse received her Bachelor of Arts in international affairs with a concentration in international development from The George Washington University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.