BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Charter Authority in DC

Washington Latin Public Charter School is authorized by and accountable to the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB). This board evaluates all DC public charter schools for academic results, compliance with applicable local and federal laws, and fiscal management.  We are held accountable to the PCSB for our results and the goals established in our charter agreement. Washington Latin is ranked Tier One (see Our Results for more detail).

Washington Latin Board of Governors

Washington Latin is governed by an all-volunteer board, responsible for oversight of the school’s academic and fiscal well-being. Our Board of Governors is comprised of a maximum 15 members. The Board currently includes parents of Latin students, who bring this important perspective to our discussions about the school’s current work and future direction. There are seven Board-led committees, and the full Board meets eight times per year.  If you have questions about the board, please contact Peter Anderson, Head of School, or Ken Merritt, Board President.
Ken Merritt, President

Ken Merritt is the founder and managing partner at Merritt Advisory Group. He has over 30 years helping companies align organizational goals, functional capabilities, and leadership gravitas. His progressive leadership experience in strategy and leadership advisory spans across multiple industries, types of organizations, and business functions. Ken has served as a Board Director for both a private operating company and not-for-profit organizations. He joined the Washington Latin Board of Governors in the fall of 2019.

Laurie Ballenger, Vice President

Laurie Ballenger is General Counsel to The Donohoe Companies Inc, one of the DC region’s largest real estate companies, and is involved in all aspects of the company’s real estate and operating businesses. She has over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate law in both private practice and as a corporate executive. Prior to joining Donohoe, she practiced commercial real estate law with the firms of Bregman Berbert Schwartz & Gilday, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and also served for nine years as General Counsel to The Artery Capital Group LLC, a privately-held commercial real estate company. Laurie and her husband have five children, four of whom are graduates of Washington Latin. She joined the board in 2018.

Brendan Williams-Kief, Secretary

Brendan Williams-Kief is Executive Vice President of Georgetown Public Affairs LLC where he focuses on assisting clients with media, communications, and government affairs needs, particularly in the areas of education, health care, technology, and economic development policy. He draws on his experiences as a former journalist, at the highest-levels of municipal politics, and for an internationally respected advocacy organization to help clients develop their message and ensure that it is heard. Prior to his time in politics, Brendan was an evening news editor at NBC Washington, the leading news bureau in the Nation’s Capital. He has also served as Director of Communications for the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), leading media relations and messaging for NCEE’s work around the globe. Brendan served in a number of critical roles in city politics in Washington DC, including as the Chief of Staff, Communications Director, and Committee Director for the D.C. Council’s Committee on Education. Brendan was instrumental in building winning legislative campaigns, securing critical public policy reforms, and generating positive press coverage in local and national media outlets. Brendan is a graduate of the George Washington University (GWU) in Washington DC, with a degree in Political Communication. At GWU, he was a scholarship member of the University’s nationally competitive policy debate team.

Elizabeth Pollitt Paisner, Treasurer

Elizabeth Pollitt Paisner is the Corporate Vice President, Financial Analysis and Feasibility for Quadrangle Development Corporation, a leading full-service real estate developer in Washington DC. Prior to joining Quadrangle in 2014, she worked for the Office of Economic Development Finance for the Government of the District of Columbia. She has been involved in real estate and economic development in DC for over 20 years. Early in her career, she served as a senior consultant to Arthur Andersen. She serves on the board of the Hill Center on Capitol Hill and is the parent of two students at Washington Latin. She has a Masters in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Business Administration from Villanova University, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell is an accomplished executive whose career and experience traverse law, public service, trade association advocacy, the C-suite and board governance. Currently he is a principal of Wroxton Civic Ventures LLC, an advisory services concern, where he provides strategic advice, direction, and support to nonprofit organizations in energy and education. He is also President of CFV Holdings LLC, a small batch winemaking concern. Prior to Wroxton, Barry enjoyed a 16-year career at Waste Management (NYSE: WM) as a member of the company’s senior leadership team serving in several leadership roles including Chief People Officer, Chief Legal Officer and senior vice president of public affairs and communications. Before WM, Barry held leadership roles in government relations for CIGNA Corporation (NYSE: CI) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Barry’s public service began as counsel, and later chief of staff to United States Senator Arlen Specter. Barry began his professional career practicing law with two Washington DC law firms. In addition to Washington Latin’s Board of Governors, Barry is a member of the board of directors of Rubicon Technologies Inc (NYSE: RBT), a digital marketplace for waste and recycling; serves as vice chair of KIPP DC Public Schools; and is a member of the board for each of CityBridge Education and The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Barry holds an AB from Dartmouth College and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, and is the father of three adult children. He joined the board in 2018.

Alyse Graham

Alyse Graham is a teacher and lawyer with broad public sector experience. Alyse graduated from Yale University and received her law degree from Stanford Law School. She served as a prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and she has taught criminal law and criminal procedure at George Mason University Law School and American University School of Law. Following her career in law, Alyse joined Teach for America and became a teacher at Everett Middle School in San Francisco. She taught science and social studies in both Spanish and English as part of the school’s dual immersion curriculum, and served on the school’s Parent Engagement Committee. Alyse has also served on the Superintendent’s Committee on Equity for the San Mateo Foster City School District and consulted to Amplify, a national curriculum developer, on a new NGSS-aligned K-8 science curriculum. Alyse is a native Washingtonian who lives here with her husband and three children. 

Priya Jayachandran

Priya Jayachandran is the CEO of National Housing Trust (NHT). Since early 2018, Priya Jayachandran has led National Housing Trust (NHT). NHT is committed to the preservation of home, opportunity, and dignity through affordable housing. In her role as CEO, Priya leads NHT’s engagement in public policy, lending and energy sustainability. Priya previously led Housing Development at Volunteers of America (VOA). In her role, she managed the strategic direction, acquisition, and development of rental housing for VOA. Priya served in the Obama Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 until 2017, as Senior Policy Advisor, Director of the front office of Multifamily Housing, and ultimately as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs. Before joining HUD, Priya spent more than 15 years in community development real estate banking in New York and Washington, DC. She led client teams delivering debt and tax credit equity for affordable housing and charter schools during that time. Under Priya’s leadership, the Mid-Atlantic market at both Citi and Bank of America were the top production offices in the country. Priya is a recognized industry expert on affordable finance deal structuring. Priya has also worked as a consultant to women’s microcredit organizations in La Paz, Bolivia; at Credit Suisse as an investment banking analyst; and at California State Treasurer Kathleen Brown as a Capital Fellow. Priya earned her B.A. from the University of California and her MPA from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

Anna Jesseman

Anna Jesseman is a clinician and consultant with the Medstar Georgetown Center for Wellbeing in School Environments and a member of the Georgetown School of Medicine faculty in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Her clinical focus is on teacher wellbeing and trauma-informed teaching practices. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia and holds master’s degrees in Social Work from Columbia University and the Science of Teaching from Pace University. She is presently a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Moray House of Education. Her research interest is on the distal impact of adult wellbeing interventions on student socio-emotional capacity. Anna has worked to support students and teachers throughout her career, both as a school social worker, teacher, administrator, and clinical psychotherapist both locally and internationally. She began her career as a Teach For America Corps Member teaching Middle School Special Education at CIS 339 in the South Bronx.

Carl McFadgion

Carl McFadgion is a partner in the full-service Real Estate Construction, Property Management and Investment solution company, Affinity Group LLC and the Director of Strategy & Logistics for the District of Columbia Public School’s only 100% Special Education School, River Terrace Education Campus in Northeast DC. Carl has over 18 years of experience in Facilities, Operations, Management, and Construction as well as Entrepreneurship that equipped him with a solid knowledge of all faucets of business. Having held senior positions in Operations and Management, he has been directly responsible for the overall administration, coordination and evaluation of the various organizations’ operational functions; which includes directing and coordinating the activities of both direct and support personnel. Carl is most proud of his work to rebuild the Boys to Men mentoring program at the New Samaritan Baptist Church in Washington DC. His efforts helped to improve the visibility, processes, systems implementation, and management of the program. He received his BA in Communications from Howard University in Washington DC. 

Josiah Osgood

Josiah Osgood is Professor of Classics at Georgetown University. His teaching and research cover many areas of Roman history and Latin literature, with a special focus on the fall of the Roman Republic. He is the author of many published books, including Uncommon Wrath: How Caesar and Cato’s Deadly Rivalry Destroyed the Roman Republic. Josiah has earned BA, MA, and PhD degrees from Yale University. He is the winner of numerous awards and prizes.

Fabiana Sofia Perera

Fabiana Sofia Perera is a Senior Faculty Associate at Defense Security Cooperation University. She is a political scientist whose work and research focuses on security and defense issues relating to Latin America and to resource-dependent countries in particular. Prior to joining the Perry Center, Fabiana was a Rosenthal Fellow at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary for Policy, Western Hemisphere Affairs. Fabiana has experience working in the public and private sectors. She worked as a research associate at Mitsubishi International Corporation focusing on Latin America and the energy and infrastructure sectors. She also has experience serving at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Fabiana holds a MA in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University and earned a PhD in Political Science from The George Washington University. For her doctorate, Fabiana completed fieldwork in Venezuela and Ecuador. Her research and analysis have appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post, CNN.com, and War on the Rocks. Fabiana grew up in beautiful Caracas, Venezuela and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Lisa Gail Rucker

Lisa Gail Rucker brings more than 25 years of experience in the fields of grants management, youth and adult education, training, organizational development, and nonprofit leadership. She has worked to create community- based programs and city-wide systems to help youth and adults obtain the education, training and other services, opportunities and supports needed to succeed in life. Lisa served most recently as is the Director of the Center for Youth Development at United Way of the National Capital Area and was the founding manager for LEARN24’s (the District of Columbia’s Out-of-School Time Network) Institute for Youth Development at the University of the District of Columbia. Before joining the United Way of the National Capital Area, Lisa was the founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Youth Development at the DC Trust. Before serving in this role, Lisa led the Literacy Initiatives at the DC Trust, including the Lifelong Learning Initiative. Lisa has also worked at Friendship House, where she was Director of Community Services and Community of Hope where she was the Youth and Adult Education Program Manager. Lisa completed her master’s degree coursework in International Education and Training at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from the University of the District of Columbia and received her BA from the University of Virginia. She has taught SAT, ESL, and GED courses both in Africa and the US, and worked with at-risk youth at Upward Bound and the Freedom Youth Academy. Lisa resides in Columbia Heights with her husband Souleymane Diallo and their five children, three of whom are Washington Latin graduates and one who is a current student at Washington Latin. Since joining our community, Lisa has been an active volunteer at the school as well as at Capitol Hill Montessori School, as well as serving on the DCPS Special Education Parent Advisory Board and working with the parent advocacy group Parents Amplifying Voices Everywhere (PAVE).

Latin Board Meetings Information

Washington Latin’s board meetings are generally held the second Thursday of each month at 6pm. We list them on this web site’s calendar.

We now use the Board on Track portal — both for our board members and the general public. All information about our board meetings is posted here and on our board portal, Board on Track, including meeting dates, agendas, and for past meetings, approved minutes.

Charter Authority in DC

Washington Latin Public Charter School is authorized by and accountable to the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board (DCPCSB). This board evaluates all DC public charter schools for academic results, compliance with applicable local and federal laws, and fiscal management.  We are held accountable to the PCSB for our results and the goals established in our charter agreement. Washington Latin is ranked Tier One (see Our Results for more detail).

Washington Latin Board of Governors

Washington Latin is governed by an all-volunteer board, responsible for oversight of the school’s academic and fiscal well-being. Our Board of Governors is comprised of a maximum 15 members. The Board currently includes parents of Latin students, who bring this important perspective to our discussions about the school’s current work and future direction. There are seven Board-led committees, and the full Board meets eight times per year.  If you have questions about the board, please contact Peter Anderson, Head of School, or Ken Merritt, Board President.
Ken Merritt, President

Ken Merritt is the founder and managing partner at Merritt Advisory Group. He has over 30 years helping companies align organizational goals, functional capabilities, and leadership gravitas. His progressive leadership experience in strategy and leadership advisory spans across multiple industries, types of organizations, and business functions. Ken has served as a Board Director for both a private operating company and not-for-profit organizations. He joined the Washington Latin Board of Governors in the fall of 2019.

Laurie Ballenger, Vice President

Laurie Ballenger is General Counsel to The Donohoe Companies Inc, one of the DC region’s largest real estate companies, and is involved in all aspects of the company’s real estate and operating businesses. She has over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate law in both private practice and as a corporate executive. Prior to joining Donohoe, she practiced commercial real estate law with the firms of Bregman Berbert Schwartz & Gilday, and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and also served for nine years as General Counsel to The Artery Capital Group LLC, a privately-held commercial real estate company. Laurie and her husband have five children, four of whom are graduates of Washington Latin. She joined the board in 2018.

Brendan Williams-Kief, Secretary

Brendan Williams-Kief is Executive Vice President of Georgetown Public Affairs LLC where he focuses on assisting clients with media, communications, and government affairs needs, particularly in the areas of education, health care, technology, and economic development policy. He draws on his experiences as a former journalist, at the highest-levels of municipal politics, and for an internationally respected advocacy organization to help clients develop their message and ensure that it is heard. Prior to his time in politics, Brendan was an evening news editor at NBC Washington, the leading news bureau in the Nation’s Capital. He has also served as Director of Communications for the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), leading media relations and messaging for NCEE’s work around the globe. Brendan served in a number of critical roles in city politics in Washington DC, including as the Chief of Staff, Communications Director, and Committee Director for the D.C. Council’s Committee on Education. Brendan was instrumental in building winning legislative campaigns, securing critical public policy reforms, and generating positive press coverage in local and national media outlets. Brendan is a graduate of the George Washington University (GWU) in Washington DC, with a degree in Political Communication. At GWU, he was a scholarship member of the University’s nationally competitive policy debate team.

Elizabeth Pollitt Paisner, Treasurer

Elizabeth Pollitt Paisner is the Corporate Vice President, Financial Analysis and Feasibility for Quadrangle Development Corporation, a leading full-service real estate developer in Washington DC. Prior to joining Quadrangle in 2014, she worked for the Office of Economic Development Finance for the Government of the District of Columbia. She has been involved in real estate and economic development in DC for over 20 years. Early in her career, she served as a senior consultant to Arthur Andersen. She serves on the board of the Hill Center on Capitol Hill and is the parent of two students at Washington Latin. She has a Masters in Public Policy from University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Business Administration from Villanova University, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell is an accomplished executive whose career and experience traverse law, public service, trade association advocacy, the C-suite and board governance. Currently he is a principal of Wroxton Civic Ventures LLC, an advisory services concern, where he provides strategic advice, direction, and support to nonprofit organizations in energy and education. He is also President of CFV Holdings LLC, a small batch winemaking concern. Prior to Wroxton, Barry enjoyed a 16-year career at Waste Management (NYSE: WM) as a member of the company’s senior leadership team serving in several leadership roles including Chief People Officer, Chief Legal Officer and senior vice president of public affairs and communications. Before WM, Barry held leadership roles in government relations for CIGNA Corporation (NYSE: CI) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Barry’s public service began as counsel, and later chief of staff to United States Senator Arlen Specter. Barry began his professional career practicing law with two Washington DC law firms. In addition to Washington Latin’s Board of Governors, Barry is a member of the board of directors of Rubicon Technologies Inc (NYSE: RBT), a digital marketplace for waste and recycling; serves as vice chair of KIPP DC Public Schools; and is a member of the board for each of CityBridge Education and The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Barry holds an AB from Dartmouth College and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, and is the father of three adult children. He joined the board in 2018.

Alyse Graham

Alyse Graham is a teacher and lawyer with broad public sector experience. Alyse graduated from Yale University and received her law degree from Stanford Law School. She served as a prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and she has taught criminal law and criminal procedure at George Mason University Law School and American University School of Law. Following her career in law, Alyse joined Teach for America and became a teacher at Everett Middle School in San Francisco. She taught science and social studies in both Spanish and English as part of the school’s dual immersion curriculum, and served on the school’s Parent Engagement Committee. Alyse has also served on the Superintendent’s Committee on Equity for the San Mateo Foster City School District and consulted to Amplify, a national curriculum developer, on a new NGSS-aligned K-8 science curriculum. Alyse is a native Washingtonian who lives here with her husband and three children.

Priya Jayachandran

Priya Jayachandran is the CEO of National Housing Trust (NHT). Since early 2018, Priya Jayachandran has led National Housing Trust (NHT). NHT is committed to the preservation of home, opportunity, and dignity through affordable housing. In her role as CEO, Priya leads NHT’s engagement in public policy, lending and energy sustainability. Priya previously led Housing Development at Volunteers of America (VOA). In her role, she managed the strategic direction, acquisition, and development of rental housing for VOA. Priya served in the Obama Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 until 2017, as Senior Policy Advisor, Director of the front office of Multifamily Housing, and ultimately as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing Programs. Before joining HUD, Priya spent more than 15 years in community development real estate banking in New York and Washington, DC. She led client teams delivering debt and tax credit equity for affordable housing and charter schools during that time. Under Priya’s leadership, the Mid-Atlantic market at both Citi and Bank of America were the top production offices in the country. Priya is a recognized industry expert on affordable finance deal structuring. Priya has also worked as a consultant to women’s microcredit organizations in La Paz, Bolivia; at Credit Suisse as an investment banking analyst; and at California State Treasurer Kathleen Brown as a Capital Fellow. Priya earned her B.A. from the University of California and her MPA from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.

Anna Jesseman

Anna Jesseman is a clinician and consultant with the Medstar Georgetown Center for Wellbeing in School Environments and a member of the Georgetown School of Medicine faculty in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Her clinical focus is on teacher wellbeing and trauma-informed teaching practices. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia and holds master’s degrees in Social Work from Columbia University and the Science of Teaching from Pace University. She is presently a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Moray House of Education. Her research interest is on the distal impact of adult wellbeing interventions on student socio-emotional capacity. Anna has worked to support students and teachers throughout her career, both as a school social worker, teacher, administrator, and clinical psychotherapist both locally and internationally. She began her career as a Teach For America Corps Member teaching Middle School Special Education at CIS 339 in the South Bronx.

Carl McFadgion

Carl McFadgion is a partner in the full-service Real Estate Construction, Property Management and Investment solution company, Affinity Group LLC and the Director of Strategy & Logistics for the District of Columbia Public School’s only 100% Special Education School, River Terrace Education Campus in Northeast DC. Carl has over 18 years of experience in Facilities, Operations, Management, and Construction as well as Entrepreneurship that equipped him with a solid knowledge of all faucets of business. Having held senior positions in Operations and Management, he has been directly responsible for the overall administration, coordination and evaluation of the various organizations’ operational functions; which includes directing and coordinating the activities of both direct and support personnel. Carl is most proud of his work to rebuild the Boys to Men mentoring program at the New Samaritan Baptist Church in Washington DC. His efforts helped to improve the visibility, processes, systems implementation, and management of the program. He received his BA in Communications from Howard University in Washington DC.

Josiah Osgood

Josiah Osgood is Professor of Classics at Georgetown University. His teaching and research cover many areas of Roman history and Latin literature, with a special focus on the fall of the Roman Republic. He is the author of many published books, including Uncommon Wrath: How Caesar and Cato’s Deadly Rivalry Destroyed the Roman Republic. Josiah has earned BA, MA, and PhD degrees from Yale University. He is the winner of numerous awards and prizes.

Fabiana Sofia Perera

Fabiana Sofia Perera is a Senior Faculty Associate at Defense Security Cooperation University. She is a political scientist whose work and research focuses on security and defense issues relating to Latin America and to resource-dependent countries in particular. Prior to joining the Perry Center, Fabiana was a Rosenthal Fellow at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary for Policy, Western Hemisphere Affairs. Fabiana has experience working in the public and private sectors. She worked as a research associate at Mitsubishi International Corporation focusing on Latin America and the energy and infrastructure sectors. She also has experience serving at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Fabiana holds a MA in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University and earned a PhD in Political Science from The George Washington University. For her doctorate, Fabiana completed fieldwork in Venezuela and Ecuador. Her research and analysis have appeared in numerous publications including The Washington Post, CNN.com, and War on the Rocks. Fabiana grew up in beautiful Caracas, Venezuela and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Lisa Gail Rucker

Lisa Gail Rucker brings more than 25 years of experience in the fields of grants management, youth and adult education, training, organizational development, and nonprofit leadership. She has worked to create community- based programs and city-wide systems to help youth and adults obtain the education, training and other services, opportunities and supports needed to succeed in life. Lisa served most recently as is the Director of the Center for Youth Development at United Way of the National Capital Area and was the founding manager for LEARN24’s (the District of Columbia’s Out-of-School Time Network) Institute for Youth Development at the University of the District of Columbia. Before joining the United Way of the National Capital Area, Lisa was the founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Youth Development at the DC Trust. Before serving in this role, Lisa led the Literacy Initiatives at the DC Trust, including the Lifelong Learning Initiative. Lisa has also worked at Friendship House, where she was Director of Community Services and Community of Hope where she was the Youth and Adult Education Program Manager. Lisa completed her master’s degree coursework in International Education and Training at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont, a Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from the University of the District of Columbia and received her BA from the University of Virginia. She has taught SAT, ESL, and GED courses both in Africa and the US, and worked with at-risk youth at Upward Bound and the Freedom Youth Academy. Lisa resides in Columbia Heights with her husband Souleymane Diallo and their five children, three of whom are Washington Latin graduates and one who is a current student at Washington Latin. Since joining our community, Lisa has been an active volunteer at the school as well as at Capitol Hill Montessori School, as well as serving on the DCPS Special Education Parent Advisory Board and working with the parent advocacy group Parents Amplifying Voices Everywhere (PAVE).

Latin Board Meetings Information

Washington Latin’s board meetings are generally held the second Thursday of each month at 6pm. We list them on this web site’s calendar.

We now use the Board on Track portal — both for our board members and the general public. All information about our board meetings is posted here and on our board portal, Board on Track, including meeting dates, agendas, and for past meetings, approved minutes.