ExcelinEd is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports state leaders in transforming education to unlock opportunity and lifelong success for each and every child.

Policy Is Our Purpose

Focused on educational quality, innovation and opportunity—both within and outside of the traditional system—ExcelinEd advances a broad range of student-centered policy solutions to:

Increase Student Learning

Advance Equity

Ready Graduates for College and Career

Our Approach


We host the National Summit on Education to annually convene the brightest minds in education policy, and we facilitate networks of states and partner collaboratives to inform policy and practice.


We bring deep policy expertise and implementation experience to develop and support state leaders with customized, student-centered policy solutions.


We conduct and leverage research to understand how policies translate to rising academic achievement, closing the equity gap, improved college and career readiness and real-world student success.

Our Board

Our Team

Patricia Levesque

Chief Executive Officer

Deena Reppen

Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer Diaz

Vice President, Communications

Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds

Vice President, Policy

Tom Greene

Vice President, Advocacy

Jess Langhaim

Vice President, Development

Tim Abram

Associate Policy Director, Educational Opportunity

Liya Amelga

Managing Director, Strategy and Operations

Madeleine Ashour

Senior Advocacy Associate

Sarah Bishop-Root

Program Director

Jess Boyd McCullough

Deputy Director, State Communications

Brandi Brown

Director, External Affairs

Kymyona Burk, Ed.D

Policy Director, Early Literacy

Cara Candal, Ed.D.

Policy Director, Educational Opportunity

Melissa Canney

Policy Director, Innovation

Raquel Cisneros

Associate Director, Development

Nicole Costello

Executive Operations Manager

Ashley DeMauro Mullins

Senior Regional Advocacy Director, Northeast

Sam Duell

Policy Director, Charter Schools

Zach Eckert

Regional Advocacy Director, Midwest

Mike Ferro

Data Transformation Manager

Joe Follick

Director, State Communications

Katie Franquist

Regional Advocacy Director, West

Pam Griggs

Director, Finance & Compliance

Adriana Harrington

Policy Director, Innovation

Christy Hovanetz, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Fellow, Accountability

Carrie Jenkins-Kelly

Director, Administrative Services

Matthew Joseph

Policy Director, Funding

Scott Kittel

Policy Director, Florida

Lily Landry

Regional Advocacy Associate

Kristin Lock

Director, Marketing & Digital

Lowell Matthews, Jr.

Policy Director, College & Career Pathways

Danielle Mezera, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Fellow, Innovation

Debbie Mortham

Regional Advocacy Director, Florida

James Mosteller

Senior Advocacy Associate

Katherine Munal

Regional Advocacy Director, Gulf

Alice Neira

Senior Advocacy Associate

Meghan Presnell

Deputy Director, Marketing & Digital

Lisa Raguso

Events Manager & Arts for Life! Program Director

Matt Robinson

Associate Policy Director, Innovation

Barbara Ross

National Director, Communications

Jody Shughart

Operations Manager

Heather Slager

Operations Manger

Jesse Stickle

IT Manager

Divya Sridhar, Ph.D.

Policy Director, Digital Equity

Quentin Suffren

Senior Advisor, Innovation Policy

Josh Thomas

Regional Advocacy Director, Southeast

Kayla Ward

Policy Analyst

Real Stories

Personalized learning motivates these very different sisters and brings joy back to school.
Learn how a private choice scholarship for students with autism transformed young Paul into a happy, talkative six-year-old.  


As a result of ExcelinEd’s work and partnerships:

  • More students have educational choice.
  • More children are reading on grade level.
  • Students are better prepared for college and career.
  • Academic achievement is rising.


The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) was launched by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2008 to build on and expand successful education policies implemented in Florida. ExcelinEd’s engagement has grown from three states in our first year to 40+ states a year since 2016.