The Board

Meet Our Board of Directors

Max Levasseur Head Shots

Max Levasseur

Board Chair
Max Levasseur is a seasoned business professional with expertise in Technology Strategy and Operations Management. He has worked in a range of public and private arenas, including Fortune 500 corporations, the Federal Government, and innovative tech start-ups. Max is currently a Sr. Technical Program Manager in the Engineering division of Google. As a long-time resident of the DC Metro area, Max has contributed more than a decade of volunteer service to youth welfare and education in the District, including terms on the boards of a child development center and public charter schools, and time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate. Max is a graduate of Harvard College with an AB in Economics and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Elaine

Elaine Harris

Secretary
Elaine is the Founder of Golden Rule Technology, a firm that uses new technologies, design thinking, and innovation to bring fresh solutions to issues of bias and inclusion. Prior to Golden Rule, Elaine co-founded Breakthrough Marketing Technology, a business and marketing analytics consultancy where she worked with business leaders in manufacturing, technology, and advertising using market-based insights to support strategic decision-making. She serves on the MIT Alumni Association Board of Directors and on the Board of Advisors for Diversity, a tech company in the diversity and inclusion space. Elaine holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Beth Blaufuss

Mary Beth Blaufuss

Audit Committee Chair
Mary Beth Blaufuss (Beth) is a former English teacher and has taught in an Australia, Nashville, and Prince George’s County at a variety of private, public and religious schools. Ms. Blaufuss led Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC for twelve years. As vice-principal she implemented the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and expanded the program to include IB for all as the school’s president. She serves as the senior director for principal support for the Partnership for Inner City Education. She has served on boards at the Latino Student fund, the Harpeth Hall School, and St Anselm Abbey School. She consults with a variety of nonprofits on strategic planning, capacity building, program design and curriculum development. Blaufuss is a graduate from Yale College and received a Master’s Degree from Vanderbilt. Beth has been serving as an advisor for GGA and has extensive experience as head of school. Beth will transition from advisor to Board Chair.
Shalini Benson

Shalini Benson

Board Treasurer
Shalini Benson brings over 20 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors. Shalini has served five federal agencies, all in a mission support capacity. As a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, she led the finance and budget operations for the National Flood Insurance Program, a $5B enterprise; oversaw the human relations aspects of a 400+ person organization; and developed relationships with stakeholders within the executive and legislative branches. She was also the Vice President of Headquarters and Operations at A Wider Circle, a local anti-poverty nonprofit organization. Shalini holds a BA in Political Philosophy from Brandeis University and an MA in Public Policy from Georgetown University.
Maureen

Maureen Colburn

Board Member
Maureen Colburn is an executive with over fifteen years of leadership experience in the nonprofit and public education sectors. She currently serves as the Executive Director of JUST TRYAN IT and is skilled at working collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders to develop and grow organizations, talent systems and quality education programs. Maureen founded the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women, a highly successful public charter school in Baltimore and established a network of Young Women’s Leadership Schools in NYC along with affiliate schools across the country. She holds a BA in History and Theology from Fordham University and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from New York University.
Marilyn Edmonds

Marilyn Edmunds Bowser

Board Member
Marilyn is a Human Resources and Talent Consultant who has worked in the Washington, DC charter school space most recently as the Director of Talent and Human Resources for DC Scholar Public Charter school in Ward 7 of Washington, DC. Marilyn has extensive experience in diversity recruitment, talent management, and human resources. Her passion lies in developing and implementing education and people programs to support equity and achievement.

As a former teacher and self-described people connector, she has recognized the importance of transforming the educational system and broader society through the power of connecting people to opportunities.

Marilyn was born and raised in the Washington, DC metro area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Saint Paul’s College and an MS in Education from Johns Hopkins University. In her free time, you can find her spending time with her husband and three young children. She also serves on The Collective alumni board of color for Teach for America.
Mary Anna Pendleton

Mary Pendleton

Board Member
Mary Pendleton serves as the Director of Literacy at DC Prep. As the organization’s first Director of ELA, her responsibilities have centered around overseeing and owning curriculum development, programmatic leadership, and the development of ELA leaders across all five schools. She served as a corps member with Teach for America in New Orleans. While in the classroom, Mary taught 3rd-12th grades before moving into teacher-leader roles such as ELA Department Chair and Grade Level Leader. Mary holds a BSW in Social Work from the University of Georgia and a Master of Education from American University.
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Laura Bartos

Board Member
Laura Bartos is a Vice President at JBG SMITH working on their Washington Housing Initiative, a platform devoted to preserving affordability for working people in communities across the region where there is a high risk for displacement. She has worked in the real estate industry for over 5 years in various investment and asset management roles across asset classes like office, senior living, apartments, and retail. Prior to a career in affordable housing, Laura worked as an 8th grade science teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina as a corps member with Teach for America. Laura was born and raised in Rochester, NY and holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and public health from Johns Hopkins University and a Master's in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Laura is a founding member of Level Leaders - a multiracial network of women committed to real action for racial equity. Through angel investing and authentic conversations about the racial wealth gap, Level unites powerful women from various industries and backgrounds through the common goal of uplifting businesses led by Black women. With this in mind, Laura believes in the power of a strong female network that supports women to achieve big goals in historically male-dominated industries.
Shobha_Giordano_1

Shobha George

Board Member
Shobha George is a solution facilitator who conducts business with a stance for equitable prosperity and relies upon 15 years of Fortune 500 project planning and implementation experience. She has effectively presented vision, perspective, or position to build collaborative environments in organizations, which include non profits, U.S. Government agencies, and corporations. Shobha is currently a Change Agent in the Value Management Organization at the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve System. Financial literacy, service learning and entrepreneurship have been endeavors she supported at the Education division in USA TODAY and in her volunteer work. For more than a decade, she raised funds for the Josh Anderson Foundation as means to provide teenage suicide prevention resources in high schools throughout the nation. Shobha grew up in the DC Metro area, is a graduate of University of Maryland at College Park with a BS in Finance, and has a MBA from Thunderbird School of International Management.