WASHINGTON - Michael Cohen, president of Achieve, announced today two major changes in Achieve's leadership that will further position the Washington-based non-profit organization for success as it continues to support states in the implementation of major college- and career-ready reforms and help make college and career readiness the norm for all students.
Michael Gilligan, formerly the Director of Strategic Initiatives and Resource Development at the Hunt Institute in North Carolina, has joined Achieve as the new Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. In this position, he will focus on building state coalition support for the Common Core State Standards, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the broader college- and career-ready agenda across the American Diploma Project Network states. He will also coordinate Achieve's relationship with partners and allies. With his 25-plus years of experience in education reform, Michael comes to Achieve with critical skills in coalition-building, advocacy, and organizational leadership, as evidenced by his former role at the Hunt Institute as well as previous roles as the acting director of development for the New York City Department of Education, the executive director the Anne & Kirk Douglas Foundation, and the founding director in Louisiana for Teach For America.
In addition, Alissa Peltzman has been promoted to Vice President of State Policy & Implementation Support, where she will be leading Achieve's efforts to support the 35 American Diploma Project Network states on key content and policy issues related to the advancement, implementation, and sustainability of the college- and career-ready agenda. Alissa first joined Achieve in 2005 as a Policy Analyst and most recently served as the Director of State Policy & Leadership Development. Before joining Achieve, Alissa spent three years teaching elementary school in Washington, DC through Teach For America.
"I am very excited to welcome Michael to Achieve, where he will continue his lifelong work to ensure all students have the opportunity to access a high-quality education," said Michael Cohen, "and I am equally excited for Alissa to advance to her new position, which is a natural step for her after eight years of exceptional service to ADP Network states."
Created in 1996 by the nation's governors and corporate leaders, Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit education reform organization based in Washington, DC, that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability. Achieve is leading the effort to make college and career readiness a national priority so that the transition from high school graduation to postsecondary education and careers is seamless. In 2005 Achieve launched the American Diploma Project Network. Starting with 13 original states, the Network has now grown to include 35 states educating nearly 85 percent of all U.S. public school students. Through the ADP Network, governors, state education officials, postsecondary leaders and business executives work together to improve postsecondary preparation by aligning key policies with the demands of college and careers. Achieve partnered with NGA and CCSSO on the Common Core State Standards Initiative and was selected by states to manage the PARCC assessment consortium. The PARCC consortium was awarded Race to the Top assessment funds to create next generation assessments in math and English aligned to the CCSS. Achieve is also managing a state-led process to develop K-12 Next Generation Science Standards based on the National Research Council's Framework for K-12 Science Education. For more information about the work of Achieve, visit www.achieve.org.