Anthony Dallmann-Jones, PhD, is Professor of Differentiated Instruction for All Students - DIAL Program - at Marian University north of Milwaukee. He is the author of 10+ books including the bestselling SHADOW CHILDREN (about potential dropouts) and his new book, FIXING PUBLIC EDUCATION ~ The January Education Model, due out in late May of 2014. Tony believes that we cannot truly reform education by little alterations or additional programs or tweakings. "We need a paradigm shift. Basically we need to start over with what we know works, and that fundamentally is Learner-Centered Education, whereby the adults accommodate the children's needs, talents, abilities, and interests rather than the children being "standardized" to fit adult's needs. Tony is big into self-help, has published several books on stress management and personal problem-solving, and runs a website titled DoctorZest.com where he posts ideas, articles, etc. on how to get in control of one's life. Dr. DJ is also a professional artist and formerly owned a prominent art gallery on State Street in Madison, WI.
Antonio Buehler founded Abrome to fundamentally change the way the world views education. He wants society to reject the notion that education should be a standardized product in which children are expected to be passive recipients of instruction that is chosen and delivered by adults. Antonio wants learners to be able to direct their own education so they can live rich, fulfilling lives. He believes that by providing learners with the opportunity to take full ownership of their education, Abrome will help save millions of lives, and in the process change the world. Prior to founding Abrome, Antonio worked as an admissions consultant to individuals applying to top colleges and MBA programs. He also worked as a middle school and high school teacher at an alternative school in Austin, TX. Before he dedicated his career to education, Antonio spent time in private equity, investment banking and the military. Outside of work, Antonio founded the Peaceful Streets Project, served on the board of a child bereavement non-profit, volunteered at an orphanage in Bulgaria, coached high school football in Germany and has personally mentored and tutored dozens of children. Antonio earned a BS in Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an MBA from Stanford University and an Ed.M. in education from Harvard University.
Robert Enlow is the President and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, an organization dedicated to promoting universal school choice. Mr. Enlow is the Co-editor of the book Liberty and Learning, Milton Friedman’s Voucher Idea at Fifty and author of Grading Vouchers, Ranking America’s School Choice Programs. His articles and quotes have appeared in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Arizona Republic and National Review. In addition, Enlow sits on a number of boards including the Indiana Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the Economic Club of Indianapolis, School Choice Ohio, School Choice Indiana and Hoosiers for Economic Growth Network. Prior to joining the Friedman Foundation, he lived and worked in England where he worked as a Deputy Day Center Manager and Social Worker for St. Botolph's Project. While in England, he also served on the School Board of two inner city schools in London. From 1990-92, Robert attended Oxford University where he worked on a post-graduate degree in Theology. He received his BA degree from Seattle Pacific University.
Michael Strong is the CEO and Chief Visionary Officer of FLOW and Radical Social Entrepreneurs. Prior to co-founding FLOW, he spent fifteen years as an educational entrepreneur, including creating a charter high school in rural New Mexico that was ranked the 36th best public high school in the U.S. on Newsweek’s Challenge Index. He is the author of The Habit of Thought: From Socratic Seminars to Socratic Practice and is the lead author of Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems. He serves on the advisory boards of Peace through Commerce, The Lifeboat Foundation, Tri-Linc Global, and the Moorfield Storey Institute. He was educated at Harvard, St. John’s College, and the University of Chicago. He blogs on education at The Purpose of Education is Happiness and Well-Being for All and provides consulting services for personalizing education and creating customized schools through startuplearning.me.
George Leef serves as Director of Research at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. Mr. Leef was the editor of Educating Teachers: The Best Minds Speak Out (2002), and continues as a regular columnist for Forbes.com, National Review’s Phi Beta Cons, and SeeThruEdu.com. He was a vice president of the John Locke Foundation and director of the Pope Center until the Pope Center became an independent entity in 2003. Previously, Leef was on the faculty of Northwood University, where he taught economics, business law, and logic. He has also worked as a policy adviser in the Michigan Senate and was book review editor of The Freeman from 1996 to 2012. Leef is the author of Free Choice for Workers: A History of the Right to Work Movement (2005), and has published articles and reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Regulation, the Christian Science Monitor, the Cato Journal, and other publications. He has testified before committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and the legislatures of Michigan and North Carolina and has made numerous TV and radio appearances. George has a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law.
Danielle’s passion for disrupting education led to her current role, in which she leads the design and operations of the internationally recognized Thiel Fellowship. After graduating college in 2002, she decided to go the entrepreneurial route instead of enrolling in a PhD program. Leaving behind everything she knew, she moved to California where she started an educational consulting business serving the homeschooling community. It was this group of passionate and driven young people who inspired her to create Innovations Academy, a charter school in San Diego, which she led for 4 years. She currently sits on the board of the school. Danielle finds leading the Thiel Fellowship a perfect fit with her drive to transform education, her love of entrepreneurship, and her fascination with science and technology.
Jennifer A. Grossman for several years directed education policy at the Cato Institute, where she promoted school choice. She has been published in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and appeared on O'Reilly, Larry King and Politically Incorrect. She wrote speeches for both Bush presidencies and served as senior writer on the Kemp Commission for Tax Reform and Economic Growth. As a Senior Vice President at Dole Food Company – the world's largest fruit and vegetable company – she created and ran a nutrition Institute focusing on promoting the health benefits of a plant-based diet. More recently she has focused on a libertarian media start up, JAGTV.com.
Steve Foerster is president of New World University, which is based in the Caribbean and reaches students in economically developing countries worldwide through distance learning and partner organizations. He is a longtime proponent of the development and use of open educational resources, and founded the Free Curricula Centre in support of this movement. As an advocate for socially responsible business and a promoter of entrepreneurship as the best way to spur economic development, he also volunteers as the Education Director for the Washington, D.C. chapter of Conscious Capitalism.
Liz Dreckman serves as President and Executive Director of Arizona School Choice Trust. Dreckman has worked in the world of education reform and school choice for over a decade. She previously served as Development and Outreach Manager for the Alliance for School Choice and American Federation for Children, and outreach coordinator for the Institute for Justice. Dreckman also conducted education research and authored education studies and publications for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and State Policy Network. Dreckman has an honors degree in political theory and constitutional democracy from James Madison College at Michigan State University.
Bob Bowdon is the Executive Director of Choice Media, an education reform news service that produces a daily newswire, Twitter feed, original videos, and the Ed Reform Minute daily podcast. Bowdon directed two popular documentary on the subject of education policy. His first, The Cartel, was a film about corruption in public education that won twelve film festival awards, a national theatrical release, and distribution from Warner Brothers. His new film, The Ticket, is about seven forms of school choice in seven states across the country. In his non-education reform endeavors, Bowdon has appeared as the recurring character Brian Scott for the Onion News Network, reporting fake, satirical news stories for both seasons of the Onion's IFC cable channel show, and web videos. He also hosted Two-Way Street a nationally syndicated PBS public policy debate show. Before that, Bowdon spent six years as an anchor/reporter for Bloomberg Television. Prior to his media career, Bowdon earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and a M.S. in Engineering Management from Stanford University.