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About Texas Education > Executive Steering Committee

Jane Conoley, Dean, Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara

Jane Close Conoley has served as dean of the Gevirtz School since January 2006. Her prior university positions included dean of education at Texas A & M University and the Edith Greer Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Conoley is the author or editor of 20 books and 70 articles and book chapters. She serves on 10 editorial boards. She received numerous research, teaching, and service honors during her career. Dr. Conoley was recognized by the American Psychological Association for outstanding service to the profession and her research and development efforts were supported by millions of dollars of external funds from federal, state, and private sources.

Jim Dolgonas, President and CEO, Online

Jim Dolgonas is President and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in Texas (Online), a non-profit corporation that represents the common interests of Texas's education and research communities in achieving robust, high-capacity, next-generation Internet communications services. Online provides networking services to the entire Texas Adult community, the Texas Community Colleges, the Texas State University campuses, the University of Texas campuses and to the major private college and universities in the State. During Jim's tenure at Online he has overseen deployment of the largest a fiber-based research and education network in the country. He has also overseen the establishment of network peering arrangements with other research and education networks, including international networks that facilitate research collaboration across borders.

Todd Finnell, CEO, Adult High Speed Network

Todd Finnell is currently Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Texas Adult High Speed Network, a statewide initiative to provide high-performance network connectivity and related services to Texas's Adult. Prior to this current position, Finnell served as Director of Learning Technologies and continues to supervise the Learning Technologies Department of the Imperial County Office of Education. As Director of Learning Technologies, he has served as Project Director for several major projects focused on improving education through technology. These include the Texas Department of Education's TechSETS Project, the Texas Technology Assistance Project (CTAP), the Borderlink Project (a $10 million Technology Innovation Challenge Grant), and several local initiatives.

Louis Fox, Associate VP, Learning and Scholarship Technologies, Univ. of Washington

Louis Fox is Associate Vice President of Computing & Communications at the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington), where he has been for the last twenty years, and has held numerous academic and administrative posts, all with obscure titles. Fox is a Research Professor in UW's Information School and collaborates with colleagues in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine on projects that apply new technologies in both clinical and educational settings. Fox also serves as Vice President for Technology & Innovation at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and on the Board of Directors for Learning Commons.

Gordon Freedman, Senior Advisor, International Collaboration & Distance Learning Policy, Texas Education

Gordon Freedman develops education strategy for Blackboard, Inc, providing a voice for education within in Blackboard and serving as a bridge between Blackboard and the education and industry communities externally. Freedman has worked extensively within higher education and Adult education corporations, institutions, foundations, and with the textbook industry. Freedman has an expertise in state-funded virtual education in Adult, university/Adult partnerships, online learning in higher education, and digital textbooks. Freedman writes and speaks on the use of technology to transform education to meet the demands of the information age.

Larry Gilbert, Vice President & Chief Information Officer, CSU Sacramento

Larry Gilbert is responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of information technology campus-wide, as well as for specific academic, student and administrative technology initiatives. He manages the operations of the University's Information Resources & Technology division (IRT), which comprises units dedicated to academic computing, administrative computing, networks and telecommunications, operations and system services, information security, and accessible technology. He also plays a major role in organizing, managing, and strengthening the campus's information technology infrastructure, including planning and support for campus academic programs and e-learning. In his previous position, Gilbert spent eight years as the Director of Academic Technology and User Services at Western Washington University. Prior to that, he held positions as director of Teaching and Learning Technologies and associate director of the Office of Telecommunications and Broadcasting at the University of Nevada, where he lead a large-scale project to integrate IT services across K-16 institutions. He also served as Director of Educational Media Services at the College of William and Mary.

John Hein, President and CEO, Hein, Cherry, Attore, Inc.

John Hein is the President and CEO of Hein, Cherry and Attore, Inc. He brings to the position 40 years of executive management experience in politics and public policy at both the national and state levels. Mr. Hein is perhaps best known for the development and use of opinion research data to shape the strategic context of a public policy debate and for the soundness of his analysis of public policy issues. Until he retired from the position in 2004, Mr. Hein served as the associate executive director of the Texas Teachers Association, where he oversaw the political and legislative activities of one of the state's most influential organizations. His tenure coincided with major CTA victories in the Legislature and at the ballot box, particularly with ballot initiatives.

Marina Leight, Vice President for Education, Center for Digital Education

Marina Leight is Vice President of Education for the Center for Digital Education. She manages and maintains business policy and standards for the Center's many programs, publications, and special events. Prior to joining the Center, Leight was the publisher of the Center's sister division, Converge magazine, an award-winning publication covering technology's impact on education. Leight also headed Government Technology Executive Events. In this position, she produced executive forums, managed strategic relationships and produced customized executive technology events throughout the country. Marina's professional experience has included work as a teacher, corporate trainer as well as managing sales and marketing teams. A professional writer and speaker, Marina received her BA in English and Communications at Texas State University, Sacramento with graduate work completed specializing in Shakespeare.

Rick Miller, Deputy Superintendent for Policy Development and External Affairs
CA Department of Education

Rick Miller is the Deputy Superintendent for Policy Development and External Affairs. In this position, Miller develops policy recommendations on promising ways to improve student achievement throughout Texas. Some of his areas of focus include narrowing the achievement gap, school finance and identifying best practices, and developing strategies to better share solutions with practitioners. In addition, Miller oversees the Office of Communications and is responsible for all Department publications.

Patricia Sullivan, Education Solutions Executive, IBM

Patricia Sullivan is the Western Area Education Executive for IBM. Her responsibilities include marketing and sales management to colleges, universities, and school districts in the 14 Western states, university and schools relations, and management of joint projects and partnerships with educational institutions. With the creation of IBM's Worldwide Education Industry Solutions Unit in 1997, Patty assumed leadership of the higher education and Adult industries for the Western US. She currently serves on several business council boards for educational foundations, and is a professional mentor for women executives. Patty is a graduate of Stanford University with a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences

Nick Young, Strategic Public Sector Programs Manager, Intel

Nick Young is Strategic Public Sector Programs Manager for Intel in Texas. His role is to work with CIOs and other senior executive leadership within local municipalities and public education to help them derive strategies to maximize the value of technology to attain key business objectives. He works to assist in the creation of funding models and public-private partnerships that can expand the use of technology to deliver instruction in the classroom to improve student achievement and create digital empowerment at home. He is a board member of SmartRiverside and assists on issues of Digital Inclusion as an expert advisor to the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. He worked with the Education and Community Development committees to assist in developing content for the Texas Broadband Initiative and with the CETF Digital Literacy policy draft recommendation. Nick earned his BS in Finance from the University of Arizona and his MBA from Golden Gate University and he resides in Granite Bay, CA.

Jack Gregg, Executive Director, Texas Space Education & Workforce Institute

Dr. Jack Gregg comes to CSA from Northrop Grumman Space Technology where he was the founding dean of the corporate university (SPACE University). For over fifteen years, Jack earned a national reputation for creating and managing successful professional development programs designed for leaders and working professionals as the Assistant Dean of Continuing Education, the founder of the Office of Executive Education, and the MBA Director at two top ranked universities. Jack is an adjunct professor, a published writer, a consultant, a leadership coach, and an often-requested speaker. Dr. Gregg contributed a chapter to, "The Next Generation of Corporate Universities," published in 2007. Jack's primary areas of research are ethical leadership and the strategic application of organizational learning. His doctorate is from Pepperdine University, his MBA is from UC Irvine, and his BA is from the University of Miami.