Meet Our Team

Staff Listing

Whitney Allgood

Chief Executive Officer

Jonathan Cohen

Co-Founder and President Emeritus

Darlene Faster

Chief Operating Officer, Communications Director

Susan C. Gentile

Development Director

Serena La Rocque

Director of Education

Julio Gonzalez

Information Technology Director

Jack Heidgerd

Director of Finance

Ivon Yin

Finance & Admin Coordinator

Frederick Chute

Junior IT Associate

Amanda Weitzel

Senior School Support Coordinator

Romina Fraiegari

School Support Manager

Shannon McCarthy

Education Services Manager

Mylisa Nogra

School Support Coordinator

Christian Villenas

Director of Research and Evaluation

Marisa Zalabak

Education Specialist


NSCC’s Trustees have provided essential support to our growing organization. In addition to providing crucial fiscal support, they contribute organization-building assistance in many indispensable ways.

Carol Vance Wall, Vice Chair – trustee emeritus
Co-founder Craig Upper School, Mountain Lakes, NJ Director, Vance Wall Foundation

Dafna Dothan
Chief Risk Officer, Leumi.

Dana Roitberg Weir
Associate, Paul Hastings LLP, New York, NY

Daniel J. Rosenstein
Managing Director, Deutsche Bank

David M. Becker
Bethesda, Maryland

George Igel, MD, Chair
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College

Gerald Rothstein, Treasurer
Consulting Research Analyst, J.M. Dutton and Associates, LLC

Harris Jaffe
Counsel, Beckman Lieberman & Barandes (retired)

Jeffrey Krauss
Managing Member at Public Pension Capital

John P. Stern
President, Storm King Art Center

Michael S. Appelbaum
Merrill Lynch

Mark J. Epley
US Chairman, Jamieson Corporate Finance, LLPL

Mauro Bonugli
VP Resources Group, General Atlantic

Michael Herskovitz
Senior Vice President & Partner, AllianceBernstein

Nelson Leung
VP, Group Director, Analytics

Ronda Muir
Founder and Principal, Law People Management, LLC,

Silvana De Luca
Executive Director & Co-Founder / Impact Legacy

Stephen Krupa
CEO Psilos Group Managers, LLC

Trev Huxley
Co-founder and CEO Muze Inc

Stephen Krupa
CEO Psilos Group Managers, LLC

Whitney Allgood, CEO
Chief Executive Officer at NSCC

NSCC’s Professional Advisors have provided essential support to our educational and resource development projects. We are honored to have many of the nation’s leading K-12 educational, health/mental health, social emotional learning and character education experts advising us. We are deeply indebted to their council and wisdom.

J. Lawrence Aber, Ph.D.
Professor in Applied Psychology, New York University

Mark Alter, Ph.D.
Professor of Educational Psychology, Programs in Special Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, Steinhardt School of Education, New York University

Victor Battistich, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Education, Division of Educational Psychology, Research and Evaluation, Center for Character and Citizenship, College of Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D.
Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education, College of Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Larry Clark
President, Comprehensive Health Education Foundation, Seattle, Washington

James Comer, M.D.
Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry and Associate Dean, Yale University School of Medicine, Yale Child Study Center

Maurice J. Elias, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University; Vice-chair, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning

Peter Fonagy, Ph.D.
Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis and Director of the Sub-Department of Clinical Health Psychology at University College London. He is Chief Executive Designate of the Anna Freud Centre, London

Howard Gardner, Ph.D.
John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor in Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

William Johnson, Ed. D.
Superintendent, Rockville Center School System; Past President, New York State Association of Superintendents; Adjunct Professor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Catherine Lewis, Ph.D.
Professor of Education, Mills CollegeSteve Marans, Ph.D.Director, National Center for Children Exposed to Violence; Professor of Child Psychiatry, Yale Child Study Center

Nicholas M. Michelli, Ph.D.
Presidential Professor in Urban Education, City University of New York

Ramon Murphy, M.D.
Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics, The Mount Sinai Hospital

Professor Nel Noddings
Emeritus Professor of Education, Stanford University School of Education

Donald L. Rosenblitt, M.D.
Clinical Director, Lucy Daniel's Center for Early Childhood; Director, Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst, UNC-Duke Psychoanalytic Education Program

Peter Salovey, Ph.D.
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, Department of Psychology, Yale University

Roger P. Weissberg, Ph.D.
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago; Executive Director, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning

Stuart Twemlow, M.D.
Baylor College of Medicine, Dept. Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and the Menninger Clinic

In 2007, the Education Commission of the States and NSCC formed the National School Climate Council, a non-partisan group of policy and practice leaders involved with a range of educational, policy, collaborative and advocacy efforts. The NSCC is the ‘home’ for the Council.

History: In 2006 the National School Climate Center (NSCC) and the Education Commission of the States conducted a State Department of Education school climate policy scan that revealed a glaring and socially unjust gap between school climate research and school climate policy, practice and teacher education. The Council’s mission is to narrow the gap to support student learning and positive youth development.

The School Climate Community Council considers a positive School Climate to include. . .

  • Norms, values and expectations that support people feeling socially, emotionally and physically safe.
  • People are engaged and respected.
  • Students, families and educators work together to develop, live and contribute to a shared school vision.
  • Educators model and nurture an attitude that emphasizes the benefits and satisfaction from learning.
  • Each person contributes to the operations of the school and the care of the physical environment.
                                                                       - (National School Climate Council, 2007)

Philip Brown

Senior Practice Consultant

​Philip Brown, PhD, is a Senior Practice Consultant at NSCC. He is also a Fellow of the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University where he founded and directed the Center for Social and Character Development. He has been principal investigator on several U.S. Department of Education grants, including research studies on evidence-based practices. Phil has served in student support services related management positions in the New Jersey Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 25 years, as a school board director, founder and president of the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional and Character Development and is a member of the National School Climate Council. With colleagues from Fordham and Marshall Universities he is co-editor of the Handbook of Prosocial Education (2012).

Deborah Haber

Senior Practice Consultant

Deborah Haber, M.Ed., is a Senior Practice Consultant at NSCC. Deb is formerly EDC Vice President and expert educator for 30 years, is a nationally recognized leader in developing and directing national resource, training, and technical assistance programs and centers for state and federal agencies. Her passion is around creating safe and supportive learning environments for children and youth so they may grow into healthy and thriving adults. She has more than 20 years of experience in strategic management aimed at enhancing TA effectiveness and efficiency as well as in and providing assistance to enhance cross-sector collaboration and systems transformation in states and communities. For 11 years, she directed the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, overseeing an annual budget of $6-8 million and leading a team of 40 professionals to support 350 Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) school/community grantees and 35 Project LAUNCH state and local grantees. Prior to this, she oversaw the $3.5 million training and TA Center for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), delivering TA to over 50 state education agencies and 18 large, urban districts. As director of EDC’s Center for School and Community Health (CSCH), she provided strategic direction and management for (among others) the Tribal Juvenile Detention and Reentry Training and Technical Assistance Center, the Tribal Youth Program Training and Technical Assistance Center, and the Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention. She has more than 30 years of experience in education, school and behavioral health, and in delivering services to professionals and practitioners that helps them to better meet the needs of the children, youth and families they serve. She is especially interested in developing readily accessible tools and materials that empower local leaders, professionals, and practitioners to succeed in solving community problems based on research and best practice. She is an expert curriculum developer, trainer, and facilitator. Her decades of experience collaborating with the key stakeholders in the field ensure that her strategic decisions are informed, pragmatic, culturally competent, and embraced by the target audiences. Ms. Haber received her M.Ed. from Boston University and is currently seeking certification in positive psychology.

Randy Ross

Senior Policy and Practice Consultant

Randy Ross, M.S., M.A., is a Senior Policy and Practice Consultant at the National School Climate Center. Her special focus is on projects related to civil rights and equity concerns. As co- leader (with Jessica Savage, Esq.) of the NSCC Policy and Civil Rights Team, she provides technical assistance and professional development services to school districts and state education leaders wishing to address equity issues in their school climate, discipline, and bullying/harassment policies and practices. Randy served for almost nine years as Senior Equity Specialist at the New England Equity Assistance Center at Brown University. Her work focused on implementing an equity-centered school climate model, which includes distinguishing between bullying and discriminatory harassment and culturally responsive social-emotional learning (SEL). She has worked with numerous districts to support their implementation of agreements with the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Previously, Randy served under the New Jersey Attorney General in the Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations, where she initiated and led “New Jersey Cares About Bullying,” a statewide, state-sponsored coalition of government and nonprofit stakeholders. She has taught at all levels, from pre-school to graduate students. Randy received her B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. in Educational Leadership from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. She is a member of the National School Climate Council and serves on the Steering Committee of the Social Emotional Learning Alliance of Massachusetts.

Kori J Hamilton Biagas

Senior Education Consultant

​Kori Hamilton Biagas has over ten years of experience in instruction, education policy, and technical assistance. Kori has a unique and broad perspective of the interworking of education from the classroom to the national policy level. She has held various roles with national centers focused on supporting students with disabilities and connecting students in rural communities with opportunities in college and career. Her localized work at regional centers addressed educational inequity on the basis of religion, race, gender, national origin, and socioeconomic status; the implications of implicit & explicit bias on school culture and climate; school transformation from a culturally responsive lens; alternatives to exclusionary discipline practices; and using data to interrupt pathways from schools to prisons.Ms. Hamilton Biagas is the founder of JustEducators, a consulting firm that provides technical assistance and professional development to schools and school districts nationally. She has worked as a secondary teacher in Los Angeles, a dissemination coordinator, technical assistance provider, and trainer serving Arizona, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. Her experiences have provided her with an understanding of the impact policy can have on outcomes for families, schools, and school districts, particularly for marginalized groups within those communities. Currently, she uses that expertise to provide support to schools, districts, and state education agencies across the country as a trainer, thought partner, and advocate for equity. Kori holds a M.A. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles, Center X and a B.A. from Georgetown University.