Board of Directors

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Craig BarrettDr. Barrett is chairman and president of BASIS Charter Schools, Inc., an operator of charter schools in Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, DC. He is a leading advocate for improving education in the United States and has been involved in the creation or leadership of numerous organizations working in this field. Dr. Barrett retired as chairman of Intel Corporation in May 2009. He joined the company in 1974 as a technology development manager. In 1992, he was elected to Intel’s board of directors and was named chief operating officer in 1993. Dr. Barrett became Intel’s fourth president in May 1997 and chief executive officer in 1998. He was named chairman of the board in May 2005.

Dr. Barrett earned a BS, MS, and PhD, all in materials science, from Stanford University between 1957 and 1964. After graduation, he joined the Stanford University Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and remained there until 1974, rising to the rank of associate professor. Dr. Barrett was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Physical Laboratory in the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1965 and was a Fulbright Fellow to the Technical University of Denmark in 1972. He is the author of over forty technical papers dealing with the influence of microstructure on the properties of materials and wrote a textbook on materials science, The Principles of Engineering Materials (1973).

Dr. Barrett chairs Change the Equation, a national science, technology, engineering, and math [STEM] initiative; and the National Forest Foundation. He is vice chair of Science Foundation Arizona, co-chairs the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advisory Board, and is a board member of Achieve, Inc., an education reform organization working to raise academic standards and graduation requirements; K12 Inc.; Society for Science and the Public. He served until 2009 as chairman of the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development, which works to bring computers and other technology to developing parts of the world.

Jason HughesJason Hughes is a real estate developer, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He is an accomplished businessman whose success and philanthropic work have been recognized and celebrated throughout the southeast region. His work is transforming neighborhoods, creating jobs and improving the lives of families in underserved communities.

Hughes began his entrepreneurial journey in 2011 by founding Hughes Consultant Group. In 2015, he opened Capital City Collision, in North Baton Rouge with the goal to revitalize an area plagued by persistent vacancies and lack of economic development. In 2016, Hughes founded Project 70805 to promote social and economic growth in the same community where he spent much of his youth. The non-profit organization provides education support, outreach programming and scholarship opportunities.

Over the years, Hughes has been recognized for his investments in the community. He was a 2019 Baton Rouge Business Report 40 Under Forty Honoree, a 2019 Scotlandville PAC Future Ready Executive Champion, and a 2020 Baton Rouge Alliance for Students’ Changemaker. His passion for youth, education, and economic empowerment is exemplified in the philanthropic and entrepreneurial investments he continues to make in his community.

Liz SmithAs the Alliance’s CSO, Liz Smith develops, refines, and oversees implementation of the organization’s key strategies. Liz has extensive experience in advocacy developed over a decade-long career in public policy and governmental affairs. Liz honed her skills as the Senior Vice President for Economic Competitiveness at the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, where she oversaw the organization’s policy, projects, and government relations team. Her eight-year tenure at BRAC came after five years as the Research Director for SCI Research, a Baton Rouge marketing research company, where she ran public opinion polls, electoral focus groups, and jury research.

In addition to her role on the BASIS Baton Rouge board, Liz serves as a board member for the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, is a member of the Public Affairs Research Council’s Constitutional Convention Steering Committee, and is a Louisiana Senate President appointee to the state’s Early Childhood Care and Education Commission. She has previously served on the board of directors for Leadership Baton Rouge Alumni, the Up Alliance, Volunteers in Public Schools, LA Workforce Development Board 21, Theatre Baton Rouge, and the Baton Rouge Family and Youth Services Center.

In 2016, Liz was named one of the Baton Rouge Business Report’s Forty under 40. She is a member of the 2014 class of Leadership Baton Rouge. She has received awards from the Louisiana STEM Expo and the Louisiana Association of Business Educators for driving business support of public schools. Liz is also an Education Attainment Fellow of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

Liz earned her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Riverside. She holds a Juris Doctorate and a Bachelor of Civil Law from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert School of Law.

Ms. Monique Scott Spaulding is both a businesswoman and community leader. As the franchise owner of Jani-King of Baton Rouge, Ms. Spaulding has been able to pursue her passion of helping others achieve their dreams. Since 1998, she has grown her business into one of the top Jani-King franchises in the region, winning multiple sales and Franchise of the Year awards. Ms. Spaulding’s commercial cleaning franchise specializes in educational, health care and industrial facilities. Before Jani-King, Ms. Spaulding was the resource pool manager at General Health Systems, where she provided staff for hospitals, school districts and medical practices, and picked up business and management skills. As a business leader, Ms. Spaulding has had the opportunity to serve on several boards and organizations to give back to the community and encourage entrepreneurship on a wider scale. She is a staunch advocate for education, children and the arts and believes that education and hard work are key to success.

Dr. Donald Carson, the son of a collegiate basketball player and a NFL Hall of Famer, had a certain affinity to sports. As a child growing up he played multiple sports including basketball, football, baseball and tennis. Through his love of sport, he was afforded the opportunity to continue collegiately and was awarded a scholarship to play football at Savannah State University. He was able to walk onto the basketball team as well, where he would excel. Dr. Carson also excelled academically and graduated from Savannah State with a bachelor’s degree in biological science. Upon leaving Savannah, he attended Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia where he obtained a master’s degree in medical sciences. He stayed in Virginia and obtained his medical degree from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia. His passion for medicine and people lead him to Springfield, Illinois, where he completed his residency training in Family Medicine with Southern Illinois University. Currently Dr. Carson lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he is practicing medicine in Family & Sports Medicine with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. He also serves as a team physician for Louisiana State University & Southern University.

Jessica BaghianJessica Baghian is a proven systems leader committed to ensuring opportunity and achievement for every child, particularly students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. As President of Watershed Advisors, Baghian supports government leaders, advocacy organizations, high-quality vendors, and funders to scale promising ideas in the education sector. She has a deep track record in developing quality measurement systems and implementing early childhood education policies.

Prior to co-founding Watershed Advisors, Baghian served as Assistant State Superintendent and Chief Academic Policy Officer for Louisiana’s Department of Education, an agency serving 700,000+ children. Her portfolio included statewide assessments, systems of accountability and reporting for all schools, expansion of quality early childhood programming, and all data system functions including privacy and strategic research. During her tenure, Louisiana students achieved record-high college enrollment rates, graduation rates, TOPS-eligibility (state-funded scholarship) rates, postsecondary credentialing rates, and ACT scores, and Louisiana was the fastest improving state in the country on Advanced Placement. Over the past decade, Louisiana ranked in the top ten for growth among states in all four core subjects of NAEP.

A graduate of Louisiana State University, she went on to earn a law degree from Harvard University. She began her educational career as a middle school math teacher in a small town outside of New Orleans.

Eboni Thompson BuchananEboni Thompson Buchanan, MHSA, currently serves as the Vice President, Physician Services at Woman’s Hospital, where she manages the operations of Woman’s Hospital employed physician group, the physician practices, and the medical staff office. Previously, she worked for MedStar Health as the Women’s and Infants’ Services department administrator, overseeing the strategic direction and operations of all inpatient and ambulatory services of one the largest women’s health divisions in the DC/Maryland/Virginia metropolitan area. Eboni also served as an Operations Manager with MedStar House Call Program, managing day to day operations of a homebound geriatric program. Additionally, Eboni worked for Holy Cross Health, a member of Trinity Health, as an Administrative Fellow and a Physician Practice Manager, where she managed two geriatric internal medicine practices, one of which she opened. She is a member of several organizations including, American College of Healthcare Executives, National Association of Health Service Executives, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Eboni currently serves on the alumni boards for both the University of New Orleans and the University of Michigan School of Public Health Department of Health Management and Policy. A native Louisianan, Eboni graduated from the University of New Orleans and the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.

DeAnna Rowe

Executive Director, BBR Schools, Inc.

(480) 248 9077