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Speaker Bios

Introduction | Speaker Bios

Speakers for "Addressing the Achievement Gap and Fostering Community Leadership"

Donna Ford

Ford Donna Ford, Ph.D., is professor of education and human development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Her work focuses on recruiting and retaining culturally diverse students in gifted education; multicultural and urban education; minority student achievement and underachievement; and family involvement. She consults with school districts and educational organizations in the areas of gifted education and multicultural/urban education. Ford is co-founder of the Scholar Identity Institute for Black Males. She has served two terms as a member of the board directors of the National Association for Gifted Children, and has served on numerous editorial boards, such as Gifted Child Quarterly, Exceptional Children, Journal of Negro Education and Roeper Review. She also reviews for several journals in such disciplines as urban education, child development, and counseling and development. Ford's work has been recognized by various professional organizations: Research Award from the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies; the Early Career Award and the Career Award from The American Educational Research Association; both the Early Scholar Award (1994) and the Distinguished Scholar Award (2008) from The National Association for Gifted Children; and the Esteemed Scholarship Award from The National Association of Black Psychologists. She is the author of Reversing Underachievement Among Gifted Black Students (1996) and co-author of Multicultural Gifted Education (1999), In Search of the Dream: Designing Schools and Classrooms that Work for High Potential Students from Diverse Cultural Backgrounds (2004), and Teaching Culturally Diverse Gifted Students. She received her doctorate in urban education from Cleveland State University in 1991.

J. Jean Horstman

HorstmanJean Horstman, CEO of Interise, has more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, spanning the private, public and nonprofit sectors and two continents. Before joining Interise as its first CEO, Horstman served as the national director for civic engagement and corporate citizenship at Citizen Schools. She has partnered with other national social entrepreneurs, serving in senior leadership roles with Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), and was also the managing director of the Society for Organizational Learning. She spent 16 years working in the United Kingdom and Eastern and Central Europe, where she led organizations responding to societal changes related to post-industrialism, post-communism, urban and economic redevelopment, and globalization. A graduate of Duke University and the City University of London, Horstman is a fellow of the Society for Organizational Learning and the Royal Society for the Advancement of the Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce.


Douglas Scarboro

ScarboroDouglas Scarboro, Ed.D., is the executive director of the Office of Talent and Human Capital and is education liaison for the City of Memphis. The Office of Talent and Human Capital was created by Mayor A.C. Wharton Jr. in 2010 after he was elected City of Memphis Mayor with a 61 percent mandate for his gospel of "One Memphis" and his bold vision for his city's future. The Office of Talent and Human Capital will address Memphis' key human capital needs by developing collaborative action around strategic problems with Memphis' workforcespecifically, providing strategic direction for partnerships that assist public housing residents in the development of workforce skills; increasing the number of college graduates; and developing, recruiting and retaining knowledge workers. In the role of education liaison, Scarboro keeps the mayor abreast of local, state and national education issues and serves as the mayor's primary point of contact for local K-12 and higher education institutions. Prior to working with City of Memphis, Scarboro was the director of community engagement at The Leadership Academy and has served as a founder of LaunchMemphis. He is a board member of EmergeMemphis and St. George's Independent School, and was recently chosen as board chairman of Omni Schools. He has a bachelor's degree in political science from Morehouse College, a master's degree in business administration from Campbell University and a doctorate in higher and adult education from the University of Memphis. Scarboro is an adjunct professor at Christian Brothers University teaching business strategy in the Masters of Business Administration Program.

Mark Peterson

(Little Rock-only afternoon workshop)

PetersonMark Peterson, Ph.D., is a professor of community development with the Cooperative Extension Service, University of Arkansas. Peterson is known for his effectiveness in teaching leadership principles and skills to community leaders, which lead to effective community action. He is the author of Harnessing the Power of Vision—Ten Steps to Creating a Strategic Vision and Action Plan and its successor, which has been utilized in communities in Arkansas and several other states. He has taught workshops in Canada, Peru, Italy and Germany, and consulted with the city of Kalush, Ukraine and the U.S. Ukraine Foundation, which translated his strategic visioning kit for use with other Ukrainian cities. His passion is to equip community leaders to think and act strategically in times of rapid change. Peterson is the coordinator of the Breakthrough Solutions Program, an internationally recognized partnership initiative committed to building healthy, sustainable communities and regions for the 21st century. Breakthrough Solutions has 15 partner organizations and has worked with 24 communities. These communities involved more than 9,000 local citizens in the planning process; devoted more than 37,800 hours, which is more than 18 persons working at full-time jobs for a year; and initiated a wide variety of projects with a value exceeding $70 million. The new Breakthrough Solutions Program was unveiled at the Annual Breakthrough Solutions Conference on Sept. 11, 2009, in Little Rock. Harrison C.O.R.E. (Central Organization for the Revitalization and Enhancement) is the first pilot community in this new program.