Our Board of Directors
Goldie Hawn, Founder and Board Chair
Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award winning actress, producer, director, best-selling author and children’s advocate. She is the founder of The Hawn Foundation, a public charity with a mission to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, and happier lives. Alarmed by increases in school violence, youth depression and suicide, and the persistent failure of the education system to help children cope with increasingly stressful lives, Goldie began The Hawn Foundation in 2003 to apply cutting edge scientific research to create education programs that support the social and emotional development of children. Working with leading neuroscientists, educators and researchers, the Foundation developed MindUP™, an evidence-based curriculum and teaching model for grades K-8 that provides children with the tools to help them understand and improve their own emotions, moods and behaviors; reduce stress and anxiety; sharpen concentration; build confidence; increase empathy; and improve academic performance in school. MindUP™ is currently being taught in schools in the United States and Canada. Goldie is also the author of the best-selling A Lotus Grows in the Mud and Ten Mindful Minutes, Easy Steps to Joy and Mindfulness for Parents and Children. Ms. Hawn has been honored for her work with children. Among them, in 2009, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) presented Goldie with a special award for her work to increase public understanding of mental health.
Chris Clarke is a serial entrepreneur with a unique mix of vision, creativity and the ability to operate a global business. With a history of building groundbreaking and successful companies, Chris is always leading the way into new fields. He has a track record of 3 for 3 with successful startups. Chris’ strengths lie in setting a vision, then using his ability in creating strategic frameworks to implement that vision. He excels in new business, client relationships, brand strategy, new product development and implementing and driving a creative culture. After establishing successful companies across the globe, he has gained a strong global perspective and wide global network in the business, media and creative communities. In addition, Chris is an active philanthropist who has motivated all his offices with the idea that it’s not enough to do great for ourselves if we are not also doing good for the world.
Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D.
Nancy Etcoff is a psychologist and faculty member of the Harvard Medical School and of Harvard University’s Mind-Brain-Behavior Initiative. She directs the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Etcoff is author of Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty, and has conducted research on the perception of beauty, emotion and the brain for over 15 years.
Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award nominee Kate Hudson made her studio film debut in “200 Cigarettes,” and in her performance in Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous”, won the hearts of critics and moviegoers around the world and her performance earned her a Golden Globe Award, an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress and a BAFTA nomination, amongst numerous other honors and recognition, including the Broadcast Film Critics’ Award for Breakthrough Performance. With her partner and hair stylist David Babaii, Kate launched David Babaii for WildAid, a cruelty-free hair care product line which was developed using exotic and natural ingredients, free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals and animal products. A percentage of the proceeds for the innovative product line will be designated to benefit WildAid, a global non-profit wildlife conservation organization protecting endangered and threatened animals around the world. In May 2010, Kate announced her role as Global Brand Ambassador for Almay, where she has been the face of their new and existing cosmetic products. She represents the brand in various company-sponsored philanthropic and fundraising events, and her television and print campaigns for the brand have been running throughout the year.
With an established career in the fields of law, banking and business, Lewis Katz, founded the Cherry Hill, NJ based law firm of Katz, Ettin & Levine, served as Chairman and CEO of Kinney Parking Systems and was also Chairman of Interstate Outdoor Advertising, which became one of the largest regional Outdoor Advertising Companies in America. In November of 1998, Mr. Katz along with a partner, Ray Chambers, became the Principal Owners of the New Jersey Nets Basketball team. In September of ’99, that partnership purchased 50% of the New York Yankees and finally in August of 2000, Mr. Katz along with Ray Chambers became Principal owners of the New Jersey Devils Hockey team, which lasted until October 2004. In recent years, Mr. Katz has devoted his time and resources to serving the children of Camden, New Jersey. In June 2011 he was honored for his many contributions on behalf of the children by receiving the Boys and Girls Clubs of America President’s Award. Other recent philanthropic ventures by Mr. Katz include being the driving force behind construction of a new Baptist church in Camden, NJ. Mr. Katz chaired a Jewish Federation Campaign to construct two Jewish Community Centers, named for his parents, which currently serve the communities of Margate and Cherry Hill, NJ, respectively. Most recently he acted in similar fashion with the ground breaking for a new Jewish Community Center in Princeton, NJ, which is named for his parents as well. Finally, Mr. Katz currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Temple University. He has also recently ended his tenure on the Board of Trustees of the Dickinson School of Law, where his lead philanthropic gift resulted in the construction of two new Law buildings, one in Carlisle, PA and one at State College, PA as part of the Penn State/Dickinson Law system. Both buildings will be named in Mr. Katz’s honor. He recently accepted an appointment to the Board of Visitors of Columbia Medical School.
Jeffrey Montgomery is a Managing Partner of GMT Communications Partners. Jeff has 25 years of private equity investment experience in the Communications Industry. He conceived the idea for the first dedicated private equity fund focused on the communications industry in Europe in 1986, which culminated in the establshment of Baring Communications Equity in 1991, Jeff was the managing partner from inception to 2000, and was Chairman of the Executive Committee. The group became independent in 2000, and was renamed GMT Communications Partners. A total of €775 million has been raised and managed by the team since inception. As industry practitioners, GMT focuses heavily on developing new strategic directions for established businesses that are able to benefit from new communications technologies. Since its foundation, GMT has invested in 30 companies and completed over 100 transactions across 19 countries, exclusively in European media/communications. Prior to co-founding GMT, Jeff was a managing director of the Veronis Suhler & Associates communications investment fund in New York. Prior to this, he spent 10 years in operating positions in the publishing and cable TV industries, principally on international assignments. Jeff has an MBA from the Wharton School, an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and is a fellow of the Lauder Institute of International Studies. He holds a BA from Hobart College. Jeff and his wife Valerie are Patrons of The Royal Anniversary Trust, The Serpentine Gallery, The Tate Modern and the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado. Jeff is also active in helping US-based charities become established in the UK.
Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation. He is also one of the world’s leading speakers with a profound impact on audiences everywhere. The videos of his famous 2006 and 2010 talks to the prestigious TED Conference have been seen by an estimated 200 million people in over 150 countries. For twelve years, he was professor of education at the University of Warwick in the UK and is now professor emeritus. He has received honorary degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design, Ringling College of Arts and Design, the Open University and the Central School of Speech and Drama, Birmingham City University and the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. He was been honored with the Athena Award of the Rhode Island School of Design for services to the arts and education; the Peabody Medal for contributions to the arts and culture in the United States, the LEGO Prize for international achievement in education, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the Royal Society of Arts for outstanding contributions to cultural relations between the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2005, he was named as one of Time/Fortune/CNN’s ‘Principal Voices.’ In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the arts. He speaks to audiences throughout the world on the creative challenges facing business and education in the new global economies. His book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (Penguin/Viking 2009) is a New York Times best seller and has been translated into twenty-one languages.
Award-winning film producer Teri Schwartz is dean of the world famous UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, bringing with her a history of producing award winning feature films, robust connections to Hollywood and emerging media, and a vision to provide students with strong creative and practical skills that position them for an enriching and rewarding life across the entire landscape of media. She previously served as the inaugural Dean of Loyola Marymount University’s (LMU) School of Film and Television (SFTV). Commitment to story and storytelling grounded in humanism in all its forms has been a guiding principle in Dean Schwartz’s life as an artist and educator. A few of her many film credits include the Golden Globe Best Picture nominee “Sister Act,” “Beaches,” “Nuts,” “Life With Mikey,” “Joe Versus the Volcano,” “When Billie Beat Bobby” and “Hope.” Her projects have garnered nominations in a variety of categories for Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, MTV and CLIO awards.
Morton Sherman, Ph.D.
A well-respected, nationally recognized educator with more than 25 years’ experience in raising academic standards, closing achievement gaps and uniting stakeholders has been named the new superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). Among his many honors and appointments, Sherman is an appointed member of the New Jersey Governor and Commissioner of Education to the Selection Committee for Executive County Superintendents; is a present member of the National Superintendents Roundtable; and is a founding member of the Public Schools for Tomorrow, a national group of superintendents whose goal is to bring about change in schools so that all children learn to high standards and their personal growth and talents are nurtured. He is a nationally recognized leader in education, speaking frequently about children’s mental health, student achievement, curriculum and staff development. He has written and published more than 200 articles.
Judy Willis, M.D., M.Ed.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Judy Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for fifteen years before returning to university to obtain her Teaching Credential and Masters of Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has taught in elementary, middle, and graduate schools and currently teaches at Santa Barbara Middle School. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) publishes her books for education professionals: Research-Based Strategies To Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist/Classroom Teacher (2006), Brain-Friendly Strategies for the Inclusion Classroom (2007), and Teaching the Brain to Read: Strategies for Improving Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension (2008). She is completing a fourth book about research-based strategies for math instruction.