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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Denise Borders, Ed.D.
    Denise Borders, Ed.D.

    President, SRI Education, Vice President, SRI International

    Dr. Denise Borders serves as President of SRI Education, a division of SRI International. Borders also acts as a vice president of SRI International. SRI International is 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, Chair
  • Eugene White, Ph.D.
    Eugene White, Ph.D.

    President, Martin University

    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
  • Janet Womack, Ph.D.
    Janet Womack, Ph.D.

    Dr. Janet Womack is the Superintendent for Florence City Schools and has served in this capacity since 2010. 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 24 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 masters and doctorate degrees from Auburn University.

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

    Director General, American Nicaraguan School

    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 37 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 Masters in Instructional Leadership from the University of Alabama as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Colorado.

    Board Member
  • Jerry Peacock
    Jerry Peacock

    Principal, Baker High School

    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 Masters in Health Education from Oregon State University.

    Board Member
  • Jo Kirchner
    Jo Kirchner

    President and CEO, Primrose Schools

    Ms. Jo Kirchner, President and CEO of Primrose Schools, leads more than 230 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
  • Phil Jacobs
    Phil Jacobs

    Chair, Founding Partner, The Pendleton Consulting Group

    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