AdvancED Leadership Team

  • Mark Elgart
    Mark Elgart, Ed.D.

    Professional background:

    Dr. Mark A. Elgart serves as the founding president and chief executive officer for AdvancED. Elgart is an international leader dedicated to helping stakeholders make decisions and take actions to improve the quality of learning experiences for every learner. AdvancED drives education improvement through accreditation, research and innovation, policy and advocacy, and education technology solutions serving more than 36,000 institutions and 20 million students worldwide.

    Elgart works closely with government agencies and other leading education-focused organizations to help establish the policies, strategic vision, and actions to propel and transform the learning experience so that every learner is prepared for the rapidly and ever changing global world.

    Elgart’s professional experiences include several years as a mathematics and physics teacher as well as an administrator at the middle and high school levels including seven years as a middle school principal. Elgart earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Springfield College, a master’s in education from Westfield State College, and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts. Elgart is the author of numerous articles and whitepapers including Meeting the Promise of Continuous Improvement and Designing State Accountability Systems for Continuous School Improvement: A Call to Action.

    Motivation comes from:

    My motivation each and every day is driven by the possibility that my actions and contributions could positively impact the life of a child. As a parent and former teacher, I know from personal experience how in one special moment an educator can change a child for a lifetime.

    President and CEO
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  • Albert Mayo
    Albert Mayo

    Professional background:
    Mr. Mayo serves as the Chief Technology Officer for AdvancED where he has spearheaded the development and implementation of web-based solutions for school improvement and accreditation processes.  Mayo has proven skills in planning and implementation of e-business and core IT technologies, including enterprise web-based applications and systems/network infrastructure. He has a solid background in the full software development life cycle, effective project management methodologies, and process re-engineering.  Throughout his extensive career, he has worked in organizations of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, in a variety of industries.

    Mayo holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree from Georgia Tech in Electrical Engineering. He is bilingual with fluency in Spanish.

    Best High School Experience:
    My fondest memories in my formative high school years are of music education, which gave me a sense of belonging and instilled the academic confidence I needed to excel. 

    Chief Technology Officer
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  • Annette Bohling, J.D.
    Annette Bohling, J.D.

    Professional background:
    Dr. Bohling joined AdvancED in 2006 and serves as the Chief Accreditation Officer to lead the organization’s Accreditation Division, which manages and oversees the accreditation functions, policies, and procedures for accredited institutions and school systems in the AdvancED network around the world. Bohling’s professional career spans 37 years, including the fields of education and law. Her experience includes teacher, administrator, deputy state superintendent, interpreter/translator, and attorney. She was the chief architect in the design of Wyoming’s assessment and accountability system under No Child Left Behind.

    Bohling’s degrees are from the University of Tulsa College of Law, University of Wyoming, Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University.

    Working for AdvancED:
    Working for AdvancED allows me to see the positive impact our work has on the lives of so many young people around the world. It is such a pleasure to work with great educators who create learning environments to ensure not only each student's individual success but also help society as a whole.

    Chief Accreditation Officer
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  • Heather Kinsey
    Heather Kinsey

    Working at AdvancED:

    Working at AdvancED gives me the ability to impact future generations. With six children of my own, I personally am driven to ensure that all children are provided an education that enables them to be successful in our ever-changing world. Through my work at AdvancED, I play a part in helping to shape the future of education on a global scale.

    Chief Operations Officer
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  • Kenneth I. Bergman
    Kenneth I. Bergman

    Professional background:

    Mr. Bergman serves as Chief Legal Officer for AdvancED and handles legal matters ranging from intellectual property; statutory, regulatory and legislative analysis; contract review and negotiation; and drafting of corporate and legal documents. He also provides advice and guidance on AdvancED corporate and accreditation issues, as well as training on a variety of Board and Governance issues. He is a former partner in the law firm Dreger, Coyle, Bergman, Pieschel & Reemsnyder, LLC and is well-versed in corporate law, employment law, intellectual property, real property, and civil litigation.

    Mr. Bergman earned his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Emory University. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (School & College Law, Corporate Counsel Law, Business Law, Intellectual Property Law, Real Property Law and Litigation Sections), Association of Corporate Counsel, and the American Bar Association.

    Best Way to Learn:

    I find that I learn best when I am in an environment where I can engage and work with others on a challenge or problem. The open discourse and free exchange of ideas that occurs when confronting a challenge oftentimes provides me with new ways of looking at and solving issues.

    Chief Legal Officer
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  • Rosario Rodriguez
    Rosario Rodriguez

    Professional background:
    Mrs. Rodriguez joined AdvancED in 2012 and serves as Chief Financial Officer. She oversees the finance department and is responsible for managing all financial aspects of the company including reporting financial results to the Board of Trustees and other stakeholders, budgeting, forecasting, banking, cash flow management, business process improvement, defining and monitoring internal controls and other company-wide projects.

    Mrs. Rodriguez has over 25 years of professional experience in accounting and finance including Big 4 public accounting. Before joining AdvancED, she was the Controller for Kaplan IT (a division of Kaplan Inc.). She has 11+ years in the education industry and has also worked in the healthcare and professional services industries.

    Mrs. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor in Science major in Accounting from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela.

    Working at AdvancED:
    I have always had a strong interest in education. Through the years I have volunteered in several capacities for schools, including serving as a board member. I believe in AdvancED’ s mission and I am thrilled to contribute to it. It is only through improving education that we can change the world for the better. I enjoy the dedication, forward-thinking culture and professional environment that we have here at AdvancED.

    Chief Financial Officer
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  • Dan Caton
    Dan Caton

    Dan Caton has been an educational leader for more than 40 years, beginning as a middle school teacher in southern California before joining the educational publishing world. Mr. Caton served in management roles in editorial, graphic design, production, marketing, sales, and software and online product development, before serving as President of Pearson Learning Group and McGraw-Hill School Education.

    Mr. Caton has served as President of the Board of the Association of Educational Publishers and was on the Executive Committee of the Association of American Publishers; he currently serves on the board of the Pinhead Institute, a Smithsonian affiliate dedicated to enhancing science education. In 2013 Mr. Caton received the Hall of Fame Award from the Association of American Publishers, recognizing lifelong service to education and the educational resources industry.

    Mr. Caton is the President of Wittel/Morris Strategic Consulting, based in Telluride, Colorado, where he advises educators and education resource providers on improving their services to children and teachers in a fast-changing world. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Claremont McKenna College and a Master of Arts in Education from Claremont Graduate University.

    Board Member, Chair
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  • Denise Borders, Ed.D.
    Denise Borders, Ed.D.

    Dr. Denise Borders served as president of SRI Education, a division of SRI International, from 2012-2018. Borders also was vice president of SRI International, a nonprofit, independent research center serving government and industry while working on some of the world’s most important problems, collaborating across technical disciplines to spark new ideas and solutions. Most recently, Borders was senior vice president and director of the U.S. Education and Workforce Development (USEWD) Group at FHI 360, which acquired the technical and managerial experts and programs of The Academy for Educational Development (AED) in 2011. At AED, Dr. Borders served for 10 years as a senior vice president where she oversaw program operations covering a broad spectrum of projects, such as birth-adult education, early child development, gender equity, youth, disabilities, workforce/economic development, research/evaluation, and education policy and practice. Prior to joining AED, she was president and chief executive officer of The McKenzie Group where she focused on research, assessment, accountability, and K-12 reform in urban school districts. She also has been a senior administrator and teacher in many school systems. Her experience spans multiple areas—academia, for-profit, nonprofit, federal government, and public sectors. She holds a Doctorate of Education in Psycholinguistics and Research, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching, and a Master of Arts in Urban Education all from Columbia University, Teachers College. She also earned a Master of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY Cortland/Cornell University.

    Board Member
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  • Ellen Haley
    Ellen Haley

    Ellen Haley brings extensive experience in educational assessment and business leadership to her role on the Measured Progress board. She served as a senior executive of CTB/McGraw-Hill for more than 20 years, including 8 years as president. Ms. Haley’s business expertise spans business development, acquisitions, sales, finance, and operations. Ms. Haley also has extensive experience in all aspects of assessment, including product development, custom test development, and transitions to online test delivery. Her experience in assessment technology provides her with insight into the opportunities and challenges of the current online testing environment.

    With more than 30 years of experience leading educational assessment activities, Ms. Haley understands assessment policies and practices. She has worked directly with customers to help implement sound testing programs. She values the expertise of assessment staff and of education stakeholders, and appreciates the partnerships necessary to accomplish the important work of creating high-quality assessment products and services for schools.

    Ms. Haley holds a Master of Science degree from Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California; and a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, Detroit, Michigan.

    Board Member
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  • Eugene White, Ph.D.
    Eugene White, Ph.D.

    Dr. Eugene White is the president of Martin University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is an educational pioneer in Indiana with over 30 years of experience in education. He was the first African American high school principal in the Fort Wayne Community Schools and in the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township’s North Central High School; the first African American superintendent of the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township; and the first African American president of the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents (IAPSS). He has achieved numerous honors including Outstanding Superintendent of the Year and has served in leadership roles with several organizations including as president of the board of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. He also is an accomplished author having written a book for colleagues and practitioners on leadership and co-written a book on school diversity. He completed his doctoral work at Ball State University, graduate work at the University of Tennessee, and undergraduate work at Alabama A&M University.

    Board Member, Vice Chair
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  • Janet Womack, Ph.D.
    Janet Womack, Ph.D.

    Dr. Janet Womack is a retired Superintendent for Florence City Schools. Dr. Womack has experience as a classroom teacher, elementary and high school principal, system level Director of Instruction K-12, Regional Inservice Center Director, and Director of Federal Programs and Student Assessment. She has extensive experience with effective leadership, data analysis and continuous improvement. Dr. Womack has served as Chair of the AdvancED Alabama Council and a member of the AdvancED Accreditation Commission. She has 26 years in education and during that time received numerous awards and accolades including her selection as the 2016 Alabama Superintendent of the Year. Dr. Womack’s passion is in the K-12 arena in ensuring success for all students. The Florence City Schools system is recognized as a leader in innovation and has won numerous state and national awards. The high school’s graduation rate is 96 percent, one of the top graduation rates in the state. Womack also has garnered success through the implementation of a 1-1 technology initiative, launching of the Florence Academy of Fine Arts and operation of the Florence Virtual School.

    Dr. Womack received her undergraduate degree from Jacksonville State University in Elementary Education and her master's and doctorate degrees from Auburn University.

    Board Member
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  • Jeff Keller, Ph.D.
    Jeff Keller, Ph.D.

    Dr. Jeff Keller serves as director general of the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, Nicaragua. The American Nicaraguan School (ANS) is a private, non-profit, coeducational multicultural institution, founded in 1944. With grades from Nursery through Grade 12, ANS is composed of students of more than 35 different nationalities. Previously, Keller served as the superintendent for the American School Foundation of Monterrey in Mexico. The American School Foundation of Monterrey is a private, non-profit, independent, international day school that provides a U.S.-type education to international and Mexican students from Nursery through Grade 12. Dr. Keller previously served as the assistant superintendent at ASFM from 1991 to 1994. He also has served as assistant director for the Inter-Regional Center for Curriculum and Materials Development in Barranquilla, Colombia. He began his education career as an elementary teacher in Tallahassee, Florida. Currently he is a member of AdvancED’s Council on American International Schools. He has over 40 years of experience working in SACS CASI accredited schools including chairing and serving on dozens of SACS CASI Quality Assurance Review teams. Dr. Keller is fluent in English and Spanish. He has a doctorate in Educational Administration and a master's in Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Colorado.

    Board Member
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  • Jerry Peacock
    Jerry Peacock

    Mr. Jerry Peacock has been principal of Baker High School in Baker City, Oregon for the past 20 years. He began his career as a high school teacher of multiple subjects in a small eastern Oregon community. He then served as an assistant principal at the high school level before taking a position as an elementary principal for seven years.  He also has served on the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and was president-elect prior to NWAC joining AdvancED as an accreditation division. In addition to his involvement in education, he has served on numerous boards and committees in his community and at the state level. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Auburn University in Health and a master's in Health Education from Oregon State University.

    Board Member
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  • Jo Kirchner
    Jo Kirchner

    Ms. Jo Kirchner, president and CEO of Primrose Schools, leads more than 378 franchised schools nationwide. She oversees strategic direction for the company, manages its vision to maintain service excellence and brand leadership strategy, while guiding new business development to drive quality, sustainable growth, and profitability.

    Kirchner first began her career with Primrose Schools over two decades ago. Working with Primrose Schools' founders, she developed the concept of franchising a research-based educational environment for preschool children. At Primrose, she serves as a member of the Primrose Schools Advisory Council and oversees the Primrose Schools Board of Directors. She founded the Primrose Children's Foundation, which provides financial support to not-for-profit organizations supporting young children. Kirchner also serves on the AdvancED Corporation and Distance Education Council and the AdvancED Accreditation Commission.

    Before joining Primrose, she was the president and founder of Creative Logistics, an Atlanta-based marketing firm offering strategic planning, advertising and public relations. She previously served as vice president and publisher at two Atlanta-based magazine publishing companies and as a sales executive for Proctor Silex Corporation. Kirchner graduated with an associate degree in marketing from Ohio Career College.

    Board Member
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  • Karen Cowe
    Karen Cowe

    Karen Cowe is an education industry executive with more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, professional development, business development, and operations. She has worked extensively in the curriculum, technology, and textbook arenas, including as president of Key Curriculum Press.

    In addition to her understanding of the complexities of the U.S. education landscape, she has valuable insights into education in other nations, having built relationships with education distributors in Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

    Ms. Cowe holds an MBA from Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga; and a bachelor’s degree from Saint John’s College, York, England.

    Board Member
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  • Paul Ramsey
    Paul A. Ramsey

    Beginning his career as a teacher at the high school and college levels, Paul A. Ramsey went on to a 30-year career with Educational Testing Service (ETS). After early work in teacher licensing and national testing programs, Mr. Ramsey became Senior Vice Present of the Global Division. In that role, in addition to overseeing national testing programs in English language proficiency, he worked on educational reform and assessment in the international arena, most notably in Qatar.

    Since retiring from ETS, Mr. Ramsey has served as a consultant in international education and assessment, and in diversity. His main work now is overseeing two charitable organizations he co-founded: Friends of Puerto Aventuras (FOPA) and The India Group (TIG). FOPA provides English education and post-secondary scholarships for students in a Mayan community in Mexico. TIG offers scholarships to low-caste children and basic healthcare to their families in three communities in India.

    Mr. Ramsey received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan—all in English Literature and Language. Today he continues to travel extensively, enjoying the friendships and professional acquaintances he has made over the years and miles.

    Board Member
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  • Phil Jacobs
    Phil Jacobs

    Mr. Phil Jacobs is a founding partner for The Pendleton Consulting Group, an Economic Development Consulting business in Atlanta, GA. He spent 34 years working for BellSouth/AT&T in various roles such as corporate officer, president of operations for BellSouth-Georgia, president of business services for AT&T Southeast, and president of BellSouth business services. He also worked for two years on an international assignment of Optus Communications in Sydney, Australia, as chief operating officer. Jacobs also has distinguished himself as a leader among civic organizations, serving as former board chair for the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement, Georgia Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Georgia Early Learning Initiative, and Metro Atlanta United Way. He completed his undergraduate work at Denison University.

    Board Member, Past Chair
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  • Richard Swartz
    Richard Swartz

    Richard Swartz served as Vice President, Strategy, Products, and Portfolio at Measured Progress from 2010 through 2017. His vision and leadership led to the growth of our district and classroom portfolio of products and services that help educators improve teaching and learning.

    Mr. Swartz is a veteran assessment professional and educator. Before coming to Measured Progress, he served as president of Riverside Publishing. He previously served as president of ETS Technologies, Inc., a for-profit subsidiary of Educational Testing Service, leading successful efforts to commercialize ETS’s online learning and assessment technologies, including e-rater, ETS’s natural language-processing automated essay-scoring technology.

    During his 30 years in the testing industry, Mr. Swartz distinguished himself as a leader in the areas of assessment research and development, technology, and the creation of innovative products for both the domestic and international markets. His ongoing interest is in finding ways to more thoroughly embed authentic assessments in the learning process.

    Mr. Swartz received a master’s degree from The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Mansfield State University.

    Board Member
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Leadership