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Kati Haycock, President
One of the nation’s leading advocates in the field of education, Kati Haycock founded The Education Trust to promote the high academic achievement of all students, pre-kindergarten through college. In particular, the organization seeks to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that consign too many low-income students and students of color to lives on the margins of the American mainstream.
Before leading Ed Trust, Kati served as executive vice president of the Children's Defense Fund, the nation's largest child advocacy organization. Earlier, she was founding president of The Achievement Council, a California organization that assisted teachers and principals at predominantly minority schools in improving student achievement. She also served as director of outreach and student affirmative action programs for the nine-campus University of California system.
Kati speaks about educational improvement before thousands of educators, community and business leaders, and policymakers each year. A native Californian, she has received numerous awards for her service to our nation’s youth, and serves as a director on several education-related boards, including those of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, The New Teacher Project, and the Hunt Institute.
Amber Arellano, Executive Director, The Education Trust-Midwest
Amber Arellano has worked for more than two decades in journalism, public policy, and strategic public relations. Most recently, she was a columnist and editorial board writer for The Detroit News, where she used the News' online platform of more than 1.2 million visitors a month to advocate for low-income and urban students. In 2009, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists named her Commentator of the Year. Throughout her career, she has covered immigration, politics, and education in the Midwest, Southern California, and Mexico, and won national awards for race relations reporting at the Detroit Free Press. Her work has spanned the corporate, governmental, and non-profit sectors in the United States and abroad.
Amber holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy, where she specialized in poverty and employment policy. She earned her bachelor's degree in secondary education and journalism from Michigan State University, and studied at the Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico. A Michigan native, she is the first in her family to go to college. She is passionate about ensuring all Michigan kids have access to great public schools and a shot at their own American dream.
Ericka Miller, Vice President for Operations and Strategic Leadership
Before joining the staff of The Education Trust, Ericka was vice president and director of the national executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, where she led the firm’s K-12 education practice, helping to place capable leaders in mission-driven organizations and university schools of education. Prior to joining the firm, Ericka was president and chief operating officer of The McKenzie Group (now part of American Institutes for Research), a comprehensive education consulting firm with a 20-year history of providing evaluation and technical assistance services to school districts, institutions of higher education, federal agencies, foundations, and other public and private organizations. Ericka also served as legislative assistant to former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey, advising the senator on all elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education policy issues. Before her time on the Hill, Ericka was assistant professor of English literature at Mills College, in Oakland, Calif. Prior to launching her career in education, she was an editor at the Washingtonian magazine. Ericka holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a doctorate from Stanford University. She is a member of Leadership Washington's Class of 2004, and she serves on a number of nonprofit boards.
Arun Ramanathan, Executive Director, The Education Trust-West
Dr. Arun Ramanathan began his career in education as a Volunteer in Service to America in rural Appalachia. As a child advocate, he has worked in both public and non-public school settings serving children with severe disabilities, emotional disturbance, as well as victims of physical and sexual abuse. Arun has been a teacher and paraprofessional in New England and California, and has also worked in large urban school districts as a research director, executive director of government relations, and special assistant to the superintendent. He most recently served as a chief student services officer in San Diego Unified with responsibility for ten departments and a budget of $350 million. His family immigrated to the United States in 1976 and he began his schooling as an English learner. He received his doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Administration, Policy and Social Planning. He is married to Ms. Indelisa Carrillo, a teacher and reading specialist, and they have two daughters.
Sonja Santelises, Vice President for K-12 Policy and Practice
Before joining The Education Trust, Sonja was the chief academic officer for Baltimore City Public Schools, where she focused on setting academic priorities for City Schools to raise achievement of students across all schools. Sonja came to City Schools from Boston, where she was the assistant superintendent for pilot schools, a network of 23 schools with broad autonomy and a track record of successfully meeting students’ needs and improving the achievement of low-income students and students of color in particular. Prior to the pilot schools post, Sonja was assistant superintendent for teaching and learning/professional development in Boston. Before joining Boston Public Schools, Sonja lectured on urban education for two years at Harvard University and spent six years as a senior associate with Focus on Results Inc., where she worked with five major urban districts, coaching superintendents and training school leaders. Prior to that, Sonja served as executive director of the New York City Algebra Project, the local site of the acclaimed national math reform program, also present in City Schools. Sonja began her career in education as director of professional development and teacher placement with Teach for America, New York, followed by stint at a year-round school in Brooklyn where she was a founder, teacher, and curriculum specialist. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Brown University, a master of arts in education administration from Columbia University, and a doctor of education in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard.