Many members of the Braven team were the first in their families to go to college, are the sons and daughters of immigrants, and/or come from underrepresented backgrounds in the professional workforce. Amongst our team there are also people from the most privileged backgrounds. We are all united by a common belief that our nation is better in the short- and long-term when the door of economic opportunity is open to all.
Braven is a startup and that requires our team members to do a little bit of everything! Each of us has the title of Founding Team Member, and below you’ll find our areas of focus in case you want to get in touch with any questions.
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Aimée was inspired to found this innovative nonprofit based on deep passion and belief that our next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere. Her experiences being from an underrepresented background in the professional workforce, and many of her closest friends and family members, made her determined to ensure the doors of economic opportunity were not quietly shut on some of our nation’s hardest working and most promising young people. Aimée spent the majority of her career at Teach For America. She held various senior leadership roles, including leading the organization’s groundbreaking work around its human capital and diversity efforts. Earlier in her career, Aimée taught sixth grade; led the Breakthrough/Summerbridge New Orleans site and worked for the national organization. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a Braddock Scholar, a Draper Richards Foundation Entrepreneur, and a Camelback Ventures Fellow. A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Aimée resides in Chicago with her husband, three children, and playful Boxer dog. Aimée enjoys scuba diving, traveling, and dancing her heart out in her living room with her family on Dance Friday’s. In addition to our blog, you can engage with her about our work @eubanksdavis.
Hometown: San Mateo, CA
Andrea joined Braven as a founding member in 2013 to launch the organization’s first pilot program with college students. This pilot grew into the organization’s core program, and as a senior leader on the team since then, Andrea has influenced the organization’s vision, theory of action, strategy, and operations. Now as Bay Area Executive Director, Andrea oversees local programming, partnership building, and development. Her career started as a high school teacher–a catalytic experience that inspired her lifelong commitment to serving students and families in under-resourced communities. Later, as Managing Director of Recruitment at Teach For America, Andrea led a team to recruit and select teachers from the close to 50,000 applicant pool annually. Every day at Braven she draws on her deep belief in the potential of young people, her teaching and learning expertise, and her well-versed understanding of the hiring bar for college graduates. Andrea received a B.A. in Communications & Business from the University of Southern California. She loves being back home in the Bay Area where she enjoys hiking in the humidity-free sunshine and spending quality time with her parents and lifelong friends.
Hometown: New Hampshire
Brian joined Braven in 2013 to design and implement its online strategy. Before Braven he led a team of twenty software engineers and designers to create software solutions in the financial data services industry. He entered the world of edtech startups because he firmly believes that a healthy society depends on not only equal opportunity, but also equal social connections and contexts that serve as the ground for individuals to realize their creative and intellectual capacity. Brian earned a B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics from Boston University. In his spare time Brian loves to travel, hike, camp, and explore with his wife and kid.
Hometown: New York, NY
Before joining the Braven team in 2015, Edgardo managed KIPP DC’s KIPP Through College career readiness and internship program Future Focus, which supports high school and college students with accessing the tools, experiences, and networks for professional success. Having started his career in the private sector, Edgardo was inspired by a growing movement to close the gap of professionals of color in leadership positions in the workforce. To that end, he is excited to work in service of Braven’s mission fueling volunteer Leadership Coach pipelines in the Bay Area as well as providing them with training and ongoing support. Edgardo earned a B.A. in Communications: Public Relations from Marist College and an M.Ed in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During his spare time, Edgardo enjoys exploring beaches and hiking trails, participating in fitness classes, and trying new restaurants.
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY and Tel Aviv
Ehud joined Braven in the summer of 2014, bringing with him more than two decades of professional experience, spanning the worlds of visual design and technology. Ehud helps where he can, mostly in
improving our online product and brand experience. Prior to Braven, he product-managed one of the world’s first and largest Big Data projects, designed brands, visuals, and interactive experiences for do-gooders like Al Gore and NRDC, co-authored a TED talk, and designed a Lions Award-winning mobile game that helps children with asthma. Ehud received a B.A. in Business and Psychology from the Open University of Israel. Ehud spends his free time soaking up New York City culture, traveling and camping, ranting about bad usability, or simply hanging out with his wife and daughter in their backyard.
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Jeana came to Braven in 2014 with over 15 years of professional experience in both the private and public sectors. Previously, Jeana was a Managing Director of Design at Teach For America, where she stewarded transformative leadership development experiences for early and senior management. Her personal experiences have made her keenly aware of the privilege her education has afforded her, and she has resolved to ensure that every individual has the opportunity to lead to his or her fullest leadership potential. Jeana has the opportunity to work in service of this vision at Braven by leading the design of The Braven Accelerator. Jeana received an B.A. in International Relations and Elementary Education from Wellesley College. Outside of Braven, you can find Jeana snapping photos, exploring the outdoors, and living life with her friends and family.
Hometown: Queens, NY
Lissete, who joined Braven in 2016, recently earned a B.A. in International Studies from the City College of New York. As a first-generation college student and child of immigrants she developed an interest in college access, mentorship, and career development for inner-city students like herself. Prior to Braven, she worked at Teach for America as a Campus Campaign Coordinator where she helped recruit a diverse group of Corps Members in NYC. She also worked as a Peer Mentor at the Stella and Charles Guttman Community College where she gained knowledge on the college admissions process, and career coaching. Lissete is excited to lead the NYC Area Fellow experience from recruitment through alumni support. She is passionate about helping students, regardless of background, gain the skills and networks that can empower them to reach their full potential. In her free time, she loves salsa dancing and traveling.
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts
Lucy joined Braven in 2015 as an Education Pioneers Analyst Fellow. Prior to joining the team, she spent a year as a consultant in Mercer’s Human Capital practice and worked on the internal evaluation team at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, an education non-profit serving West Philadelphia schools and communities. At Braven, Lucy focuses on performance management and strategy. She is thrilled to be working at an organization committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of background, have access to the skills and networks that can empower them to reach their full potential. She deeply believes that Braven is addressing a critical inequality of opportunity in the college-to-career pathway. Lucy earned a B.A. in Criminology and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, you can find Lucy exploring Bay Area hiking trails, playing volleyball, and spending quality time with other people’s pets.
Hometown: Roseland, NJ
As a first-generation college graduate and a child of immigrants, Sheila is compelled to pay the educational opportunities she received forward and to work to make the American Dream possible for everyone. Sheila started her career as an education policy analyst for New York City Council Member Eva Moskowitz and helped found Harlem Success, the flagship school in the Success Academy network. After law school, she joined Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, where she focused her practice on investment management. At Braven, Sheila leads the New York City Area team and oversees the organization’s development efforts. She feels incredibly fortunate for the mentors she’s had and to be surrounded by smart colleagues, inspiring students, and committed volunteers. Sheila received a B.A. in History and Literature from Harvard College and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Outside of Braven, Sheila loves reading up on wellness, doing yoga, and frequenting restaurants, including her family’s in Newark, NJ.
Hometown: Washington, DC
Tess, who joined Braven in 2016, designs all aspects of the accelerator for both regions. As a Teach For America corps member, Tess taught 2nd and 3rd grade for three years in Brooklyn, NY. Leveraging her experience in the classroom, she co-founded SmarterCookie, an education technology company that helped teachers improve their craft through video coaching. As CEO, she set the vision for the product and brought it to market. Before joining the Braven team, she coached education entrepreneurs through Camelback Ventures, an accelerator that supports underrepresented entrepreneurs creating impact in their communities. She loves that she can put her skills and passion to work in designing a best-in-class experience for Braven fellows and alumni. She has a M.Ed. from Relay Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Barnard College. In her free time, she loves listening to podcasts, camping, and exploring all the Bay Area has to offer.
Board of Directors
CEO, KIPP Foundation
Richard Barth was made CEO of the KIPP Foundation in December of 2005. Over the past ten years, he has overseen the significant growth of the network from 45 to 183 schools, dramatically expanded KIPP’s leadership development programs, advocated for high performing charter schools on Capitol Hill, and secured more than $260 million in new, long-term philanthropic commitments, including more than $100 million from the federal government.
Barth came to KIPP from Edison Schools, where he served as President of District Partnerships and managed school partnerships serving more than 40,000 students. Prior to joining Edison, Richard was one of the founding staff members of Teach For America. He earned a BA in American History from Harvard University, and is an Aspen Institute-New Schools Fellow. He currently sits on the board of directors of The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, General Assembly, ROADS Network Charter Schools, and the KIPP Foundation. Barth was named a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and Harvard University’s Chief Marshal for 2014 Commencement ceremonies.
Dr. Phillip Clay
Former Chancellor and Current Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor Phillip L. Clay, PhD served as the Chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 2001 until 2011. He also held other leadership positions at MIT and was Department Head at the Department of Urban Studies & Planning where he has been a faculty member since 1976.
Professor Clay is widely known for his work in U.S. housing policy and urban development. His current interests include organizational capacity in community-based nonprofits as well as the role of anchor institutions. Growing out of his work on MIT international strategies, he is also interested in the increasing role higher education can play in national development strategies in less developed and emerging nations.
Professor Clay is Chair of the Board of The Community Builders, Inc., one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. He is a member on several foundation and nonprofit boards, including The Kresge Foundation. Professor Clay also has experience in public higher education as a member of the board of the University of North Carolina. He is a member of the board of the Aga Khan University.
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a doctorate from MIT. Professor Clay lives in Boston.
Semi-Retired Teacher, Community Volunteer
Since 2004 Susan has been working for educational equity in Newark, New Jersey. She currently volunteers two days a week with Kindergarten to 8th grade students in the KIPP schools. With the elementary students she provides classroom support in ELA and math while with the middle school students she is a lunchtime tutor/mentor. Susan is the co-chair of the Teach For America – New Jersey Board. For the past three years Susan and her “little sister” Imani have been matched together, and Susan also serves on the local board of Big Brothers / Big Sisters. Susan’s other commitments include the New Jersey Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Montclair Public Library Foundation, and her church community. Susan taught second grade at Kent Place School and third grade at The Montclair Kimberley Academy. Previously she worked as a Media Planner at the Ogilvy & Mather offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York on accounts from Mattel Toys to Kimberly Clark and American Express.
Susan received a Bachelor’s degree with honors in Sociology from the University of Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Bank Street College in New York City. She and her husband, Tom, live in Montclair, NJ. Their daughter Ellen is a Teach For America alum in her 5th year of teaching math, and their son Michael is teaching English and technology in an Akanksha school in Pune, India. Susan loves to read, cook, and travel, and no trip is complete without sending postcards to her students.
Aimée Eubanks Davis
Founder and CEO, Braven
Aimée was inspired to found Braven based on deep passion and belief that our next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere. Aimée spent the majority of her career at Teach For America. She held various senior leadership roles, including leading the organization’s groundbreaking work around its human capital and diversity efforts. Earlier in her career, Aimée taught sixth grade, led the Breakthrough/Summerbridge New Orleans site, and worked for the national organization. She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a Braddock Scholar, a Draper Richards Foundation Entrepreneur, and a Camelback Ventures Fellow. A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Aimée resides in Chicago with her husband, three children, and playful Boxer dog.
Entrepreneur in Residence, City Light Capital
Greg is an Entrepreneur in Residence at City Light Capital. He focuses on early stage investments in educational software and services companies. He serves as an Expert-In-Residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab and coaches entrepreneurial students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mr. Gunn co-founded Wireless Generation, Inc. in 2000 and served as its President and Chief Scientist.
Prior to founding Wireless Generation, Mr. Gunn served as a Product Manager for InterDimensions, Product Manager for Clique.com, and an Associate at the Carlyle Group in Washington, D.C., where he focused on investments in new media, healthcare, and systems integration businesses. He currently is a Trustee of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and of the Center for Excellence in Education. Greg was named one of Fast Company magazine’s “100 Most Creative People in Business” in 2012. He received an M.B.A. and Master’s in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Gunn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Chicago. He also attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.
Executive Director, Startup:Education
Jen Holleran is the Executive Director of Startup:Education. She has led Startup:Education since its inception in 2010.
Jen spent the first decade of her career as a high school teacher and principal. Prior to Startup:Education, she focused on school leadership – she worked with Oakland Unified School District to create small schools and prepared principals to lead those schools. She was the founding executive director of Bay Area’s New Leaders for New Schools, which attracts, trains and supports principals to dramatically improve district and charter schools in Oakland and the Bay Area. She co-authored A New Approach to Principal Preparation, which draws on innovative promising practices from principal preparation programs around the country in order to help school systems develop more effective leaders. She also worked as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. before joining Oakland Unified. Immediately prior to joining Startup:Education, Jen served as an independent consultant for several large foundations that supported principal leadership development.
Jen is a Pahara / Aspen Institute fellow in the Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She serves on the board of Phillips Exeter Academy, the Foundation for Newark’s Future, Newark Charter School Fund, the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE) and The Braven Accelerator.
Jen holds an MBA from Yale School of Management and a BA and MEd from Harvard. Outside of work, Jen and her child psychiatrist husband are busy raising young twin sons in Boston, MA.
Managing Director, Draper Richards Kaplan
Stephanie Khurana is a Managing Director in the Boston office responsible for identifying and supporting Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneurs. Stephanie was on the founding team of Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP), a visionary startup in the tech space that was one of the first entities to foresee the transformation from mainframe-centric solutions to client-server architecture and packaged solutions. She previously was Co-Founder, CEO, and Director of Surebridge, Inc., a web-based software provider that was ultimately sold to Time Warner, Inc. She has served as Acting Executive Director at the Tobin Project, a nonprofit organization that sits at the forefront of major research initiatives to address some of society’s most pressing problems and helps transform public policy debates. She currently serves on its Board of Directors.
Ms. Khurana received her B.S. in Applied Economics with a concentration in International Relations from Cornell University, an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an M.P.P. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.