IEL announced the appointment of three new members to its board of directors: Zakiyah Ansari, Rachel Fried, and Mark Watson. They join a strong, diverse, and inclusive board that guides IEL’s work and ensures the organization’s fealty to its mission.
Leilah Mooney Joseph
202-822-8405 x 131
WASHINGTON, DC – The Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) today announced the appointment of three new members to its board of directors. Joining the board are Zakiyah Ansari, Rachel Fried, and Mark Watson. Ansari, Fried, and Watson join a strong, diverse, and inclusive Board of Directors that guides IEL’s work and ensures the organization’s fealty to its mission to equip leaders to better prepare children, youth, adults, and families for postsecondary education and training, rewarding careers, and civic and community engagement.
Welcoming the new members of the board, IEL’s Board Chair Karen Mapp said: “I am delighted that these three spectacular individuals have agreed to join our IEL board. They bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to our group.”
Zakiyah Ansari is the Advocacy Director of the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), the state’s leading educational justice organization. Zakiyah has dedicated almost 20 years of her life to the fight for educational justice and to ending the oppression of black and brown communities. In 2013, she co-initiated “Journey for Justice,” a national grassroots alliance of community-based organizations from over 24 cities across the U.S. representing youth, parents, and families who have been impacted by harmful education policies including mass school closures. In 2017, Zakiyah was named one of the “25 Most Influential in Brooklyn” by City and State Magazine. Zakiyah also volunteers with NY Justice League and is a Women’s March Steering Committee member. “As someone who for the last 20 years has been in the struggle for educational justice for black, brown, and poor children—both in New York and nationally—it has been refreshing to be part of an organization whose vision for equity and justice aligns with mine,” said Ansari of her history with IEL. “As I transition from ally to board member, I look forward to strategizing more intimately with IEL to end educational racism.”
Rachel Fried is a social justice educator who has worked with communities across the nation, from rural Appalachian and Native American communities to urban areas on both coasts. Since graduating from Columbia University, she has spent the majority of her career creating comprehensive college and career readiness strategies focused on access and attainment for underserved students. Fried has worked in K-12 senior administration, direct service college access counseling in multiple states, culturally relevant secondary curriculum development, and undergraduate admissions for Ivy League, large public, and selective liberal arts schools. She serves on multiple boards and advises on topics ranging from strategic diversity plans to counselor community engagement. She believes firmly that true educational equity exists when all students are able to choose for themselves from all postsecondary pathways. Fried currently serves as a GEAR UP Program Coordinator at Appalachian State University. “As a humble servant to underserved students, I am inspired by IEL’s commitment to equity across boundaries,” said Fried at IEL’s spring board meeting. “The organization is uniquely poised to leverage community expertise toward truly sustainable solutions, and I look forward to being a part of that process.”
Mark Watson is Managing Director of the Boston Impact Initiative Fund which offers blended capital to address the racial wealth gap in eastern Massachusetts. He is also the founder of Keel Asset Management LLC, a financial advisory firm that provides socially responsible financial planning and investment advisory services to nonprofits and public and corporate pension plans. He holds leadership positions with the Fair Food Fund, the Triskeles Foundation, Sustainable Cape, Inc., and the MIT Sloan Initiative for Health Services Innovation, and is a former board member of the Social Venture Network. “I am thrilled to support IELs innovative ways to continually democratize access to excellent education in the nation,” said Watson upon his appointment.
IEL President Johan Uvin welcomed the new board members and lauded all three for their service: “IEL is tremendously privileged to have a board of directors that includes so many of this country’s leading equity champions—and today our slate grows even stronger and more distinguished. I look forward to working with each of the new board members in the coming years as we rise up for equity together.”
A full list of IEL’s board of directors can be found at http://iel.org/board-members.
About the Institute for Educational Leadership: Founded in 1964, the Institute for Educational Leadership’s mission is to partner with under-resourced communities to equip leaders to better prepare children, youth, adults, and families for postsecondary education and training, rewarding careers, and civic and community engagement. For more information about the Institute for Educational Leadership, visit: http://iel.org/