Board of Directors

Julie Mikuta, Chair

Senior Director of Education, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation

Julie is the Senior Director of Education at the Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Prior to joining the Schusterman Foundation, Julie was a Partner in NewSchools Venture Fund’s West Coast office, where she focused on teacher preparation and the firm’s human capital investment strategy and management assistance. She began her career in education teaching high school science in New Orleans through Teach For America. Prior to joining NewSchools, she was Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at EdBuild, led trainings for leadership teams of large urban districts at the Center for Reform of School Systems, and served as an elected member of the DC Board of Education from 2001 until 2004.

Board member since 2011.

John Legend

Entertainer and Education Activist

John Legend is a recording artist, concert performer and philanthropist. He has won nine Grammy awards and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people. Throughout his career he has worked to make a difference in the lives of others, and in 2007 he launched the Show Me Campaign (, an initiative that uses education to break the cycle of poverty. John sits on the Boards of The Education Equality Project, Teach for America, Stand for Children and the Harlem Village Academies and co-chairs the Harlem Village Academies’ National Leadership Board.

Board member since 2011.

Vince Roig, Treasurer

Founding Chairman,Board of Helios Education Foundation

Vince Roig serves as Founding Chairman of the Board of Helios Education Foundation. Prior to forming the Foundation, Vince was the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Southwest Student Services Corporation and its affiliates for over 20 years. He serves or has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Teach for America National, Arizona College Scholarship Foundation, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Phoenix Aviation Advisory Board, Arizona Stand for Children Advisory Committee, Take Stock in Children, Valley of the Sun United Way and the Phoenix Art Museum.

Board member since 2012.

Kira Orange Jones, Secretary

Senior Vice President, Teach for America

Kira is a Senior Vice President for Teach for America, responsible for overseeing a cohort of Executive Directors over 15 regions across the Midwest and South. Prior to this position, she ran the New Orleans operations, and operations across the State for a decade.

Kira holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University, an M.Ed. in school leadership from Harvard University and serving her second term as an elected member of Louisiana’s Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). Kira is also a moderator for the Pahara fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Network. Kira is one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

Board member since 2017.

Allana Jackson

Allana Jackson is a partner in Bridgespan’s Boston office where she focuses on the Education and Children, Youth, and Families practices. Her work with nonprofit organizations and foundations has included strategic planning, talent strategy, organizational design, and customer strategy with public school districts, charter management organizations, foundations, and innovative nonprofits.

Prior to joining Bridgespan, Allana was a manager at Bain & Company in its Consumer Goods & Retail Practice where she helped clients with a range of issues including organizational effectiveness, growth strategy, and mergers & acquisitions. Allana was also a member of Bain’s pro-bono Education practice where she worked with clients in K-12 education and led Bain’s relationship with Rowe Elementary School, a Bain-sponsored school in Chicago.

Allana graduated from Harvard University with her BA in Economics and Sociology. She also has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, where she was a Siebel Scholar. A native of Atlanta, Allana currently lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and son.

Frances Messano

Frances Messano is a Senior Managing Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund where she leads the Innovative Schools Invent (new schools) and Diverse Leaders investment teams. She also designs the content for our annual Summit conference.

Previously, Frances served as Vice President of Strategy on Teach for America’s Strategy, Innovation and Organization Development Team. In this role, she led the development of TFA’s long-term, national strategy. Before that, Frances was an Associate Partner at Monitor Institute, the social impact practice within Monitor Deloitte’s strategy consulting arm, where she helped education organizations scale their impact through strategy development, organizational design, leadership development, and program design. She also expanded the Institute’s education practice and developed the strategy for Deloitte’s social impact service line. Additional experiences include working at Morgan Stanley for four years in equity sales and structuring.

Frances has an MBA from Harvard Business School and AB from Harvard College. She serves on the board of GO Public Schools, Latinos for Education, Charter Board Partners and Catalyst:ED, and as an advisor to RISE Colorado. She is also a Pahara-Aspen education fellow. Frances is a first-generation college graduate and an alum of Prep for Prep, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, non-profit organizations that she credits with helping her gain access to educational and professional opportunity.

Dr. Tequilla Brownie

A native Arkansan, Dr. Tequilla Brownie is passionate about interrupting intergenerational poverty and improving social mobility for all students, and views education as a key conduit for equity and meaningful change. Dr. Brownie is an Executive Vice President with The New Teacher Project (TNTP), a national education consulting firm based in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Brownie co-leads TNTP’s consulting team that works with districts and departments of education all over the country. Her team’s work is focused on improving local and national academic outcomes and disrupting educational inequities.

Before joining TNTP, Dr. Brownie worked for nine years in Memphis City Schools, where she oversaw the district-wide effort to improve student outcomes by increasing teacher effectiveness. Working alongside TNTP’s staff, Tequilla helped build community support for quality education, and drove human capital reforms that led to significant policy changes. She is also a licensed therapist and worked as a school social worker, where her focus was on supporting students’ and families’ efforts to improve academic and social outcomes. Dr. Brownie is a sought-after national speaker on policy issues, and frequently presents to key state legislatures and other leaders at the national and local level to drive important policy changes related to educational equity.

Dr. Brownie is a proud graduate of a rural Arkansas public school system. She holds an undergraduate degree from Yale, a masters degree from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, and a doctorate of education from the University of Memphis, where she completed her dissertation on policy implications surrounding teacher effectiveness.

Dr. Brownie and her husband, Derrick, U.S Army (Ret.), reside in Marion, Arkansas, with their 9 year-old son, Markell.

All Stand for Children Leadership Center Board Members are independent voting members.

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