Our consultants bring to bear a combined 50 years of experience as strategists in the social emotional learning, non-profit, for-profit, and philanthropic spaces in service of improving the lives of children and families.
Nova Biro is a consultant to mission-driven education technology companies, institutions, and nonprofit organizations focused on developing, promoting and supporting social emotional learning (SEL). She is passionate about the intersection between SEL, equity and technology solutions to help advance, amplify, and scale impact. Nova’s consulting work includes strategic business plans, partnerships, product development, marketing and financial analysis for EdTech companies and nonprofits providing and integrating SEL solutions. In addition, she has co-founded a national network that empowers local advocates to influence and support their communities to implement high-quality SEL and a national council of providers for SEL programs and assessments.
Previously while serving as co-director at Open Circle, Nova led the development and launch of an online professional learning platform and co-authored the 2015 edition of the Open Circle Curriculum. Earlier in her career, Nova led product management teams at technology companies and directed strategic analyses for Fortune 500 companies.
Nova earned an M.B.A. and Certificate in Public Management from Stanford Business School as well as a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School and B.S. in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She has also completed SEED Seminar, a program exploring social change for educational equity, and LeadBoston, a mid-career leadership program focused on equity and social responsibility. Nova is a board member of SEL4MA and World of Wellesley.
Pamela McVeagh-Lally is an education, non-profit, and philanthropic consultant dedicated to helping all children thrive through building the field of social and emotional learning (SEL) and advancing the effectiveness and impact of SEL-focused organizations. Her clients include school districts, state departments of education, grantmaking foundations, education nonprofits, and social enterprises.
Pamela began her career in philanthropy at NoVo Foundation in New York City, where she was the founding manager of the Social and Emotional Learning Initiative. Over her six-year tenure she gained experience: designing and managing large-scale education initiatives involving multiple stakeholders, including public school districts; managing a portfolio of 40 grantees; co-developing an Initiative strategic plan; and, developing a capacity building grants program for SEL program providers. NoVo’s SEL Initiative co-developed and funded Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Collaborating Districts Initiative, the first effort to scale systemic SEL across large, urban districts in the U.S. As Tauck Family Foundation’s Fellow, she led special projects and implemented the Foundation’s social investing strategy to support youth-serving organizations and schools to promote SEL in elementary-aged children from low-income families in Bridgeport, CT. As Associate Director of Dovetail Learning, Pamela led the California-based nonprofit’s strategic planning and growth initiatives, oversaw, and improved all aspects of operations, wrote a three-year business plan to scale the organization’s K-6 SEL program, and co-led a curricula redesign.
Pamela has a background in childcare and the arts–while working professionally as an actress, she also founded NYC Sitters, a childcare professional placement company. She completed master’s degree coursework in Educational Psychology at NYU and is pursuing a master’s degree in Education with a concentration in SEL at Erikson Institute. She holds a certificate in Grantmaking and Foundations from NYU’s Heyman School of Philanthropy and Fundraising, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Otterbein University where she graduated summa cum laude with honors and distinction. Pamela is the co-founder of SEL for Ohio and is proud to serve as a board member for FuelEd and as an advisor to U.C. Berkeley’s Greater Good in Education, and SEL for U.S. While originally from the U.K, Pamela lives in Ohio and consults nationally.
Robert F. Sherman, Ph.D. has been a leader in philanthropy focused on social and emotional learning for over 25 years, integrating this interest with deep engagement on youth civic activism and social justice teaching/learning. He now works as a consultant to philanthropic foundations and nonprofits in areas of education reform, youth development and leadership, civic engagement, communications and arts education.
Until March 2013 he served as Director, Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning at NoVo Foundation where, along with Pamela McVeagh-Lally, he helped steward a robust, 8 large district learning/teaching initiative, the first major scaled program in the SEL field.
Prior to NoVo, Sherman served as Executive Director of the Action Center to End World Hunger, a division of Mercy Corps where he supervised the agency’s Global Citizen Corps, a youth activist and service program involving thousands of young people from 11 countries who convened in person and online in a yearlong peer-to-peer leadership, learning and service effort focused on local action-taking on global challenges around hunger, poverty, conflict, and human rights.
Sherman founded and directed the national Effective Citizenry program at the Surdna Foundation in New York City, where he served for 15 years. That program was anchored in SEL. Sherman served in the NYC government for 8 years, founding and directing a grassroots-focused division of the Mayor’s office. He graduated from Haverford College, and holds a clinical psychology Ph.D. from the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University.
Anne Childers, M.A., is an educator, speaker, and instructional designer with 20+ years of experience working with both non-profits and school districts. Anne is primarily focused on integrating Social and Emotional Learning into school design, classroom practices, and educator development. Most recently, she has consulted with New Teacher Center on their Direct-to-Educator platform and with counties and districts in implementing California’s Transformative SEL guidelines.
With an M.A. in Educational Technology Leadership from George Washington University, master’s studies in New Media Design at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, and a B.A. in Journalism and Technical Communications from Colorado State University, she brings writing, digital production, and storytelling into all of her work.
Anne is passionate about bridging research to practice and a focus on the design of instruction that supports the integration of social, emotional, and academic development. Throughout her career, she has stayed committed to working both inside and outside our public school systems, returning to the classroom in 2019-2020 to focus on SEL integration into academics as well as arts integration, a process which then supported healing and reflection through the traumas of 2020. Anne currently focuses on developing digital solutions that center student agency and student voice as levers for change.
Anne is skilled in instructional design, public speaking, educational technology, professional development, and storytelling. She resides in northern California and consults nationally. Learn more about Anne here: annechilders.com.
Kamilah Drummond-Forrester, M.A. is a leader, author, speaker, trainer, coach, and education program developer and consults to SEL and equity focused organizations across the U.S. Kamilah most recently served as Director of Open Circle, an evidence-based SEL program from July 2017- January 2021. Prior to that she led Open Circle’s teacher development programming, which prepares educators to implement and integrate the Open Circle Curriculum. Kamilah also delivers training and coaching to teachers, administrators, and support staff.
Kamilah’s professional career has fueled her passion for SEL, equity, and youth development. Her experiences as Co-Founder and Director of Wellness at a Boston charter school and her work as Director of an award-winning, educationally-based re-entry program at Suffolk County House of Correction have afforded her unique insight into the importance of social and emotional learning in the lives of children and the adults who care for them.
Kamilah received her Bachelor’s in Psychology and African American Studies from Brandeis University and earned a Master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling as well as a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies from Assumption College.
Kamilah is attuned to the changing landscape of education and works to create curricula, professional development, and implementation support that keeps the wellbeing of students at the center while meeting the needs of schools and educators. Kamilah lives in Massachusetts and consults nationally.
Dr. Lorea Martínez Pérez is the award-winning founder of HEART in Mind, a company dedicated to helping schools and organizations integrate Social Emotional Learning in their practices, products, and learning communities. She has worked with schools, districts, and organizations to guide SEL implementation efforts, including training teachers and leadership teams, and provided guidance to educational technology and media companies to help them integrate SEL in their products.
An educator who has worked with children and adults internationally, Dr. Martínez is a faculty member at Columbia University Teachers College, educating aspiring principals in Emotional Intelligence. She has conducted extensive research in the SEL field with a focus on SEL implementation, principals’ Emotional Intelligence, teacher preparation, and school climate. She frequently blogs about how to incorporate SEL in teaching practices, leadership and parenting.
She received her Doctor of Philosophy, magna cum laude, in Quality and Innovation in Education from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. In 2014, she was awarded the American Education Research Association Graduate Student Award for Excellence in SEL Research from the SEL Special Interest Group.
Dr. Martínez started her career as a special education teacher and administrator. A native of the Costa Brava in Spain, she currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two daughters. Learn more about Lorea here: Lorea Martinez
Lori Nathanson, Ph.D is a strategist, researcher, and trainer with more than 15 years of experience working toward equity and excellence in education. As a researcher with expertise in emotional intelligence, Lori values both evidence and emotions. As a yogi, she integrates body and mind through yoga practice. Through consulting, she is better able to integrate her professional and personal learning in the service of others. Her career is devoted to equity and excellence in education, and she believes emotional intelligence, part of the social and emotional learning (SEL) field, is a powerful lever to increase equity.
Lori’s own public school education in Norwalk, CT, set her up to attend and work at world class universities. She is a Duke Blue Devil first and University of Virginia Wahoo second. As an undergraduate, Lori created a personalized program of study combining psychology, education, and policy at Duke University (BA). She continued with interdisciplinary studies for her doctorate at the University of Virginia (PhD). Her dissertation focused on developing a fidelity implementation measure for Responsive Classroom, an evidence based social and emotional learning program. Her Yale postdoctoral fellowship expanded her school-based experience by implementing and studying RULER, an approach to teaching emotional intelligence. As research faculty at NYU and Yale University, Lori honed her research skills and connected research to practice and policy with an emotional intelligence focus.
At this stage of Lori’s career, she is excited to ground her knowledge and values in schools and non-profits serving children to increase impact. She enjoys working with both adults and children and extends her work to other organizations looking to incorporate the science of emotional intelligence into their practices. Lori has extensive experience with SEL programs, both as a researcher and developer, and author of multiple publications on emotional intelligence, SEL, equity, and connected topics. She serves on numerous committees and boards, including the R3SET Scientific Advisory Committee and Yoga Foster. Lori is based in New York City and consults nationally.