Board of Directors
Greg Toppo is a senior editor at Inside Higher Ed. As part of the editorial leadership team, he coaches reporters and contributes himself as a writer to the national publication. Previously, he was national education and demographics reporter at USA Today, where he worked from 2002 to 2018. A graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, N.M., he taught in both public and private schools for eight years before moving into journalism. His first job was with the Santa Fe New Mexican, a 50,000-circulation daily.
Francisco Vara-Orta is a national reporter and data specialist for Chalkbeat, covering which institutions influence education, such as national charter-school networks and education philanthropies. He previously worked for Education Week covering philanthropy in schools, parental and community engagement and school resources, after completing a graduate school fellowship studying data and investigative journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia while working for Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Scott Widmeyer has a 30-year record in providing strategic counsel to scores of decision-makers, from presidents to governors to chief executive officers to union leaders. From working as a newspaper reporter to running major media operations for national campaigns, Widmeyer knows how to get results for his clients. His track record of successes in education, health care, politics, campaign finance, technology, trade and other public policy matters illustrate his impact as a “change agent” in things that matter most to America.
Scott Jaschik is the editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He co-leads the outlet’s editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, resources and interactive features. Jaschik has published articles on colleges in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post and Salon. From 1999 to 2003, Jaschik was the editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a graduate of Cornell University.
Joy Resmovits is the Education Lab editor at The Seattle Times, managing a team of journalists covering K-12 through higher education. She came to Seattle in 2018 from The Los Angeles Times, where she covered all aspects of schooling. Before that, she spent four years covering national education issues for The Huffington Post as a senior reporter. In the 2014-2015 academic year, she was a Spencer Fellow at Columbia University, and focused on researching education for students with disabilities.
Eva-Marie Ayala covers education for The Dallas Morning News, where she has worked since 2012. Previously, she was an education reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In 2017, she won a First Amendment award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her story on the decline of bilingual education teachers in Texas. As a member of the Dallas area chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, she served as a vice president and scholarship chair, working to boost diversity in newsrooms and coverage.
Michael Alison Chandler is a managing editor at MemoryWell, a digital platform that enlists journalists to tell the life stories of seniors. Previously, she worked as a reporter at the Washington Post, where, for nearly a decade, she covered education in DC and throughout the Washington region. She also wrote about families and gender issues for the Post. Michael was a 2001 Coro fellow in Public Affairs in San Francisco and a 2010 Fulbright fellow in Seoul, South Korea where she studied education reform in one of the world’s highest-performing systems. She joined the Post in 2005.
Steve Drummond heads up NPR’s new education reporting project, NPR Ed. Launched in March 2014, the initiative is building a nine-member team within the network – as well as partnerships with member stations around the country – to deepen coverage of this vital issue and extend it to audiences across digital platforms. Drummond brings to this initiative more than 20 years’ experience covering education issues, and more than a decade at NPR in a variety of roles. Prior to this assignment, he was the network’s senior national editor.
David Hoff is senior vice president at Hager Sharp, a communications firm based in Washington, D.C. He has been deeply involved in the education world for more than 20 years. As a journalist, he covered major events in Congress and everyday classroom lessons that illuminated larger policy issues. He left journalism to join the senior communications team for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, where he wrote speeches, launched the Department of Education’s social media presence, and developed major announcements.
Felice Nudelman is Executive Vice President of the Weiss Institute at the Say Yes to Education. The Weiss Institute is a new partnership between two nonprofit organizations with a combined half century of experience — Education and America’s Promise Alliance. The Institute brings together the best thinking, latest research and community-tested strategies for the benefit of communities seeking to help more students get on a path to adult success and seeks to expand the capacity of communities to make it possible for all young people to earn a college degree or other postsecondary credential.
Debbie Veney is director of communications for NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy based in Oakland, Calif. She leads communications and public policy and is responsible for managing the organization’s public profile. Debbie brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic communications, advocacy and media relations, as well as a deep passion for equity in education and belief in the transformative power of high-quality education.