Our Team

This guide is based on research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It was written, designed and published by a full-service team at FHI 360.

The FHI 360 Team

Nancy Gannon has 30 years of experience as a teacher, coach, principal, and district administrator in the NYCDOE, where she led city-wide review and adoption of standards-based curriculum, developed and implemented the school quality review process, and launched the middle school literacy initiative. She serves as Senior Advisor of Teaching and Learning for FHI 360’s education programs, informing the design and development of the programs.

Maud Abeel, EdM, has more than twenty years’ experience developing, directing, and implementing national, state and local education initiatives to improve secondary to postsecondary outcomes for youth in under-resourced communities. In addition to her work at FHI 360 as a Senior Advisor on Postsecondary Success, Maud is a consultant nationally for college and career readiness initiatives and advocacy efforts.

Risa Sackman serves as the Director of U.S. Education at FHI 360, with over two decades of experience providing leadership and support to schools and school districts, higher education, non-profits, foundations, the federal government, and cultural organizations, as well as to school improvement initiatives at the school, district, and state level. Ms. Sackman has deep experience designing programs and supports in the areas of dropout prevention, equity, literacy, social emotional learning, positive youth development, chronic absenteeism, postsecondary readiness, middle grades reform, child/adolescent development, and educational leadership.

Misha Galley, Senior Writer, Editor and Communications Advisor, US Education, is an accomplished writer and editor with more than twenty years of experience exploring the most pressing education issues in the United States. She began her career as a journalist for Education Week newspaper, has been published by Harvard University Press, and has led complex communications initiatives for small projects and large multi-national organizations.

Kari Kraus is a passionate advocate for youth well-being and whole child development, with a background in arts and community based programming she has spent the last 6 years focused on making schools in Chicago and NYC resource hubs within their communities to best serve students, families, and staff.


  • Felix Fernandez
  • Eleanor Newsome
  • Frances Santiago
  • Megan Fraker
  • Pam Sutton


Deanna Saab
Krista Gill


Alexandra Anormaliza, Executive Director, NYC Department of Education
Lynn Dole, Principal, Greenfield Middle School
Tracy Fray-Oliver, Vice President, Bank Street Education Center
Dr. Stephen Peters, CEO, TPG, LLC
Pilar Ramos, Co- Principal Arts & Letters 305 United
Dr. Julie Spencer, Assistant Superintendent, Durham Public Schools
Sarah Taylor, English Teacher, Lee Vining High School
Daniel Voloch, Vice President, Curriculum & Instruction, New Visions for Public Schools


The FHI 360 team recognizes the critical role educators around the country played in informing the guide. To all those who completed surveys, participated in focus groups, and responded to calls for information, we thank you. We especially would like to acknowledge our advisory group members for their repeated willingness to share their experiences, review our progress, and provide ongoing feedback.

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