Chiefs for Change Announces Its Fourth Cohort of Future Chiefs

Chiefs for Change
March 14, 2019

WASHINGTON, DCChiefs for Change, a bipartisan network of state and district education chiefs,  today announced the fourth cohort of its Future Chiefs leadership development program:

  • Jessica Baghian: Assistant Superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education (LA)
  • Mohammed Choudhury: Chief Innovation Officer, San Antonio Independent School District (TX)
  • Pauline Dow: Deputy Superintendent for Academics and School Leadership, San Antonio Independent School District (TX)
  • Christine Fowler-Mack: Chief Portfolio Officer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (OH)
  • Eric Hall: Chancellor for Innovation, Florida Department of Education (FL)
  • Marie Izquierdo: Chief Academic Officer, Miami-Dade Public Schools (FL)
  • Aleesia Johnson: Interim Superintendent, Indianapolis Public Schools (IN)
  • LaTanya McDade: Chief Education Officer, Chicago Public Schools (IL)
  • Allen Smith: Senior Deputy Superintendent, Equity, Denver Public Schools (CO)

Future Chiefs are bold and innovative leaders helping to transform our nation’s schools and preparing for even greater roles in education. They will participate in a year-long program of collective learning on issues that are central to effective leadership and will receive coaching and mentorship from members of the Chiefs for Change network.

“The Future Chiefs program has begun to shift the way some of our nation’s most prominent education chiefs think about leadership transitions,” said Chiefs for Change Board Chair and Louisiana State Superintendent of Education John White. “We owe it to our students to continuously prepare and lift up education leaders who are making a difference, so that great work will be strengthenednot compromisedin the passing of the baton.”

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core to the Future Chiefs program: 78 percent of those in Cohort Four are leaders of color and 67 percent are women. The group is also diverse politically and geographically.  

“These remarkable Future Chiefs are united in their fierce commitment to expanding equity and opportunity across our nation’s schools. I’m proud to support this group of talented leaders and look forward to seeing the impact they will have as chiefs,” said Chiefs for Change member and San Antonio Independent School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez.

Of the 25 leaders who made up the first, second, and third cohorts of the Future Chiefs program, one third have become superintendents or state chiefs. Most recently, Penny Schwinn was selected to lead the Tennessee Department of Education, succeeding Chiefs for Change member Candice McQueen, and Susana Cordova was selected to lead Denver Public Schools, succeeding Chiefs for Change board member Tom Boasberg.

“The Future Chiefs program was invaluable in helping me prepare to take on the responsibilities of an education chief,” said Future Chiefs alumna and Superintendent of Denver Public Schools Susana Cordova. “Chiefs for Change has built a community of leaders who empower each other to do what’s best for kids and build off each other’s successes. I’m thankful to be a part of this growing network.”

The emerging leaders in the program will be recognized at the Future Chiefs Cohort Four launch event at 4 p.m. on April 9 at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel. Co-hosted by the Fordham Institute, the event will include a discussion on shattering the glass ceiling for women superintendents and state chiefs. To join us for the event, please RSVP here.