A NYC-native, Alexsis takes great pride in her ability to walk, talk and think fast — preferably with a bagel and coffee in hand. Originally getting her start as a litigation paralegal, Alexsis was fortunate enough to pivot her skills in a way that nurtures her commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity by way of joining the Code Nation team.
Francesca started her career in Digital Marketing before dedicating two and a half years building a workforce development non-profit: coop.cx. She is continuing the work of creating more equitable pathways to careers by supporting Code Nation’s mission behind the scenes. Francesca’s love for Excel is only surpassed by her love for Pepe, her mischievous, but very cute, dog.
Before joining Code Nation, Riley taught (and learned from!) students in Harlem and Seattle, Washington. She is dedicated to educational equity and providing students with opportunities to achieve agency over their futures. In her free time, Riley enjoys curating Spotify playlists and searching for the best tacos in NYC.
Joliz is a youth development specialist originally from the Bronx. She’s trained students and educators in Croatia, South Africa, and every borough of NYC. She joined Code Nation to provide students with the tools to disrupt the tech industry. Joliz can be found testing recipes and enjoying her reign as pop culture trivia queen.
Back in 2012, a new job led Maurya to learn to code, which led to founding Code Nation. She wanted to build pathways to the tech economy for students who might not otherwise have the opportunity. Previously, Maurya was a middle school teacher in Philadelphia and coordinated volunteer-based after- and out-of-school programs for NYC high schoolers.
For the past decade, Claude has worked at education nonprofits improving student outcomes in the Bay Area’s most underserved communities. He’s dedicated to making sure all students have access to the technology and skills they need to be successful. He spends his spare time being a Dad to his sons, Asante and Massai, and his dog, Sandei.
Gabriel started his career teaching game design and development and discovered his love of education after seeing his students learn to turn their ideas into reality. Outside the office, he can be found playing his current video game of choice, laughing at his own jokes, and hanging out with his cat.
Emily is a former middle school teacher with experience creating culturally relevant social studies and writing curricula in Houston and New York City. She believes Code Nation’s work is a huge step forward in closing the opportunity gap. Emily loves going on adventures around and out of the city, reading voraciously, and learning new things.
Eliza launched her career in the D.C. public education scene as an early childhood educator. She has 2 Master’s degrees and is dedicated to providing equitable access to resources for all students, which is how she found Code Nation! She enjoys biking, cooking, and searching for the best salt and vinegar chips on the planet.
Chrystina’s experience teaching in both rural and urban communities fueled her passion for providing access and opportunities to all students. In her free time, Chrystina loves binging on podcasts and documentaries, writing, dancing, and taking long walks with her dapper pup, Albert.
After moving to New York from St Louis, Peter began his journey learning and teaching computer science. He is passionate about providing youth with tools and experiences to develop the technology of the future. Outside of Code Nation, you can find Peter playing soccer or submitting pull requests on GitHub.
Shantina Jackson, PhD, has been a STEM education leader in the Bay Area for over 10 years. She loves her hometown of Richmond, California and is passionate about connecting students of color to careers in tech. Away from the office, Shantina can be found singing karaoke, playing old school arcade games, and devouring books about the history of education in the United States.
Carolynn taught middle and high school math in Las Vegas before joining Code Nation. Her experiences studying computer science in college, advocating for educational equity and diversity, and incorporating critical pedagogy drive her work with Code Nation. Outside of work, Carolynn enjoys yoga, art museums, and exploring new cities.
Courtney taught from coast to coast before landing in NYC as an instructional coach supporting classroom teachers. Courtney is excited to provide volunteers and Code Nation staff with coaching and best teaching practices, ensuring all students receive a quality educational experience. She’s a farmer’s market enthusiast who enjoys cooking and spending time in the sun.
Alyxe’s deep experience in community organizing and nonprofit work in NYC and abroad demonstrate her commitment to ensuring all students have access to high-quality educational opportunities. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, reading, and spending time with friends and family, including Sylvie Loisaida, her diva cat.
Rebecca is a Code Nation alumna currently attending Hunter College, majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics. Rebecca knows first-hand the impact Code Nation has had on the career trajectory of students here in New York. Outside of work, Rebecca enjoys exploring the city with friends, coding, and attending a variety of meetups.
Ta Lynn began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans giving students unique study abroad opportunities in places like Thailand. She joined Code Nation to continue supporting youth in realizing their full potential by exposing them to new career pathways. As a fresh New Yorker, she enjoys exploring different areas of the city.
Before coming to Code Nation, Shane taught middle school science in San Antonio through Teach for America and was a campus leader for Citizen Schools in East Harlem. He is deeply passionate about equipping students with the skills and experiences needed to become our future innovators and leaders. Shane enjoys biking around the city and hanging out with his cats, Harriet and Marvin.
A former educator, youth coordinator, and public policy analyst, Andrew is inspired by Code Nation’s mission to mold new leaders in tech and is grateful to play a role in making the field more accessible and inclusive for people of all backgrounds. He enjoys jazz, long walks, and fried plantains.
Rebecca is a teacher turned entrepreneur. As Code Nations’s first hire and founding Program Director, she was thrilled to grow the organization in NYC before moving back home to California to open Code Nation in the Bay Area as our founding Bay Area Executive Director. Today she’s our Chief Executive Officer and spends her free time backpacking in the High Sierra and riding her bicycle.
After teaching in his native city of Newark, Michael was eager to get involved in the tech industry. Code Nation offered him the chance to combine his love for technology and education in a way that would open doors for students. In his spare time, Michael enjoys cooking.
As a Bronx native of Dominican heritage, Jessica is passionate about providing students from low-income backgrounds with the tools they need to overcome institutional barriers and have more choices. Outside of work, you can find Jessica reading, kickboxing, exploring neighborhoods, and watching standup comedy!
After teaching in Romania and Brooklyn, Meg was inspired to join the Code Nation team and continue the work of making education more equitable and tech more accessible to all students. In her spare time, Meg enjoys yoga, exploring new restaurants, and watching reality competition shows.
As a Code Nation alumna, Patricia secured an internship in UX design at Group Nine Media. She is a student at the City College of New York and plans to graduate with a degree in Electronic Design and Multimedia. At Code Nation, she currently helps alumni find opportunities. Patricia also enjoys reading comic books and painting.
Since leaving the classroom, Naomi has worked in various sectors of the education industry. She found her way to Code Nation, inspired by the right balance of equitable and impactful high-quality STEM education. In her spare time, Naomi is singing, dancing, working out, or exploring NYC’s food scene.
A former elementary school teacher in New Orleans, Emily is excited to build out Code Nation’s Bay Area program and continue teaching students to be self-motivated learners preparing them to tackle life beyond the classroom. Emily is a certified yoga instructor, enjoys exchanging book recommendations, and finding the most delicious new ice cream flavors.
Previously, Moe worked as a Student Ambassador for New York Institute of Technology Career Services. Outside of work, Moe is pursuing a degree in Computer Science. In his spare time, you can find him working on a side project, gaming on his PlayStation, or traveling the world.
After law school, Lia taught English to middle school and high school students and most recently helped Kaplan to develop curriculum for law students. Her desire to remedy the inequalities in our education system led her to Code Nation. Lia’s favorite activities are challenging others in competitive board games, solving puzzles, and playing with her dog, Max.
Jake has a passion for social justice issues, especially ones affecting the Bay Area. He comes to the team having managed operations in the food and beverage industry for the past several years and looks forward to bringing those skills to a more rewarding field. In his free time, you can find him in the mountains, seasonally shifting between backpacking, skiing, and fly fishing.
Erica stays inspired by students’ creativity, volunteers’ investment in students, and the long-term impact of these meaningful relationships. When she’s not sharing stories about Code Nation’s mission, she can be found either petting a random dog or doing a downward-facing dog in Brooklyn.
Suh taught math and science in the Mississippi Delta before moving to teach in Brooklyn, New York. She is passionate about opening doors to students and families in under-resourced areas and helping them navigate new opportunities. Outside of work, you can find Suh reading historical fiction, playing classical music, learning to cook, and road-tripping.
Josh’s two decades of leadership experience include growing consumer technology companies and scaling global marketplaces. He currently serves as Etsy’s Chief Executive Officer, leading the company as it builds a platform that empowers creative entrepreneurs around the world. He is also a member of Etsy’s board of directors. He previously served as President of Consumer Products and Services at American Express, CEO of Skype, and CEO of shopping.com, and he held various executive roles at eBay. Earlier in his career, Josh co-founded Evite, Inc. where he also served as the company’s CEO. He is currently on the board of directors of Shake Shack. Josh has a deep commitment to community and civic engagement. He serves as Chairman of Code Nation. He’s also a member of the Stanford Business School Management board and was previously on the board of the Lincoln Center Theater. Mr. Silverman holds a BA (Magna Cum Laude) in Public Policy from Brown University, and an MBA from Stanford, where he was class Co-President and an Arjay Miller Scholar.
Maurya Couvares is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Code Nation, a national nonprofit that equips students in under-resourced schools with the fundamental coding skills and professional experiences that together create access to careers in technology. For her work with Code Nation, Maurya has been honored as an IgniteGood/Huffington Post Millennial Impact Fellow, an Ashoka Emerging Innovator, a Catalyst by the City of New York, a NY Business Journal Woman of Influence and was named as one of seven millennials “too busy changing the world to take selfies.” In 2006, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from BC, graduating cum laude with a major in Philosophy and a minor in American Studies. While an undergraduate at BC, she spent a year abroad in England at Oxford University, Mansfield College where she studied philosophy and politics as part of a visiting student program. Maurya is also an All American triathlete and competed with Team USA at the triathlon world championships in 2017.
Dahni-El is passionate about sustainability, technology, and creating opportunity for young people. In 2000, he co-founded DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to support public school students and classrooms in need. Dahni-El served as the first Operations Director in New York City and later as the Acting Executive Director in Los Angeles. Donations through the DonorsChoose.org platform exceed $640 million. As an attorney, Dahni-El served as Senior Counsel at Mondelēz International (f/k/a Kraft Foods Global, Inc.) providing general business and legal counseling for the procurement, corporate affairs, customs, logistics, R&D, and sustainability functions. Currently, he serves as Senior Corporate Counsel at Just, Inc. (f/k/a Hampton Creek, Inc.) in San Francisco. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Dahni-El is a graduate of Harvard University, Georgetown University Law Center, a former Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, an Oliver Scholar alumnus, and a Bleeker Fellow. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at St. Paul’s School and the Board of Directors at both Restore Oakland and the Ecological Citizen’s Project.
Dr. Elizabeth Davidson Pisacreta (Liz) is the co-founder of Code Nation and has previously served as its Chief Education Officer, responsible for overseeing program implementation, volunteer training, and curriculum development. In addition to serving as Code Nation’s Secretary of the Board, Liz is currently a senior researcher at Ithaka S+R, where she leads the American Talent Initiative, a collaboration between Ithaka S+R, the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and 86 top colleges and universities, each committed to enrolling and graduating more low- and moderate-income students. Previously, Liz served as the deputy chief strategic officer in the Division of Talent, Labor and Innovation at the New York City Department of Education, where she oversaw policy, communications, and implementation of NYC’s teacher evaluation and development system for more than 75,000 teachers and 1.1 million students. Liz also has experience consulting with various educational organizations on data strategy and analysis, and teacher and school evaluation design and implementation. Liz began her professional career teaching high school math in Philadelphia’s public schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in Economics and Education from Columbia University.
Ms. Aptman is the Chief Investment Officer for Belfer Management LLC, a family investment firm that emphasizes energy, real estate, financial services and certain consumer-facing businesses. Prior to joining Belfer Management LLC, Ms. Aptman managed the small and midcap value investment strategy in the Asset Management Division of Goldman Sachs. Ms. Aptman started her investment career as an Equity Analyst for Scott Black at Delphi Management. Ms. Aptman has served on the Boards of Directors of public and private companies including Presidential Financial and American Midstream Partners. Ms. Aptman is currently a Director of Del Taco Restaurants and is Chair of the Compensation Committee. Ms. Aptman is a Member of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation Investment Committee as well as the Investment Committee of Tufts University. She is also a Member of The Brookings Council. Ms. Aptman received a BA from Tufts University in Political Science and Asian Studies and is a CFA® charter holder.
Peter Boyce II is an investor at General Catalyst, an early-stage venture capital firm headquartered in Cambridge, MA with offices in Palo Alto, SF and NYC. In addition to his work at GC, he also co-founded & manages Rough Draft Ventures: a program to support technology entrepreneurship on university campuses. Prior to his time at GC, he worked for online education marketplace Skillshare, helped launch GoGirl Finance (an online community for personal finance education), worked in media at Bad Boy Entertainment, and co-founded Harvard Ventures & HackHarvard. Peter is a graduate of Harvard University, earning a B.A. in Applied Mathematics and a Secondary in Computer Science, with focus on Behavioral Economics & Network Theory. He grew up in New York City, where he graduated from Stuyvesant High School. Outside of his time investing, Peter is Vice Chair of Harvard 2013’s 5th Year Reunion Committee, a member of the Guggenheim’s Young Collector Council, and is proud to serve as a non-profit board member to support communities he is passionate about: Harvard in Tech, AMANDA+JAMES, Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association, and Code Nation.
Caryn Effron is a senior managing director with Ackman Ziff Real Estate and has over 20 years of experience in commercial real estate finance. In 2008 she founded GoGirl Finance, an online community geared towards empowering women in all stages of life to become financially confident and knowledgeable through the development of financial literacy skills. Caryn is also an experienced angel investor, an advisor to 37Angels and has particular interest in edtech and women’s entrepreneurship. In addition, Caryn is on the board of Say Yes to Education – a non-profit education foundation committed to increasing high school and college graduation rates for inner-city youth throughout the country; a member of the board of Games For Change – a non-profit which facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts; and a member of the board of Code Nation – a non-profit which empowers students to be creators of technology by offering computer programming classes in under resourced high schools, and summer internship opportunities where they apply their coding skills. Caryn received her BA from The University of Michigan and MBA from New York University.
Dr. Stephanie J. Hull earned her bachelor’s degree in French Literature at Wellesley College and her master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard University in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Her dissertation focused on the cinematic adaptation of Enlightenment literature and culture. She began her academic career as an assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at Dartmouth College, becoming Assistant Dean of the College after serving in that capacity for an interim year in her fourth year and discovering an affinity for administration. As a dean in the First-Year Office, Dr. Hull also taught as an adjunct assistant professor in the Women’s Studies Department and directed the Integrated Academic Support program, which provided tutoring to first-generation students and underrepresented minority students in English, math and physics. After six years at Dartmouth, Dr. Hull went on to serve for five years as the Assistant to the President and Secretary of the College at Mount Holyoke College, where she also taught as an adjunct in the French Department. For the next eight years, she was Head of the Brearley School, a girls’ K–12 college preparatory school in New York City, where she led a highly successful capital campaign and long-range planning process and oversaw the introduction of a number of new initiatives, including a partnership with a nearby public charter girls’ middle school and a summer travel/study program with trips to India, China and Vermont. A Massachusetts native, Dr. Hull resides in Princeton and also has a home in Easton, Connecticut. She is currently studying Mandarin and oil painting; her hobbies include dressage, mystery novels, and collecting and restoring vintage Vespa scooters.
Scott is the Founder of Evidon, Inc., a Warburg Pincus-backed investment that was acquired by Crownpeak in an all-cash transaction in 2017. He now serves as Senior Advisor to the Crownpeak CEO & Board of Directors in addition to serving as Interim Chief Digital Advisor (pro-bono) at Brown University. Evidon created the market for Privacy Regulatory Technology, built Ghostery into the web’s most popular consumer privacy tool, achieved profitability and generated a positive cash return to investors. In addition to selling Evidon to CrownPeak, successfully sold Ghostery to Cliqz, a Hubert Burda Media & Mozilla-owned company, in an all-cash transaction. Previous career experience includes: Entrepreneur in Residence at Warburg Pincus, President and CEO of About.com, a part of The New York Times Company, General Manager of The New York Times on the Web, Vice President and General Manager of Multex’s business-to-consumer division (acquired by Reuters after an IPO). Management consulting at The Boston Consulting Group and in investment banking at Merrill Lynch & Co. Scott is active in STEM education causes, including serving on the Board of Directors of Code Nation and co-lead of the Brown University Digital Transformation Project Steering Committee. He holds an AB in Public Policy from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sarah Min has built a wide-ranging career in media and technology. Most recently, she was the EVP Corporate Development and Marketing at ScrollMotion, an enterprise software company. Sarah helped to produce among the first consumer apps in iTunes, including People.com, Esquire, and the NFL Superbowl, and went on to work with Fortune 500 clients such as GE and Genentech. During her tenure from 2008 – 2013, Sarah helped the company grow from eight people to 160 employees, and raise several rounds of capital. Currently, she is a digital media consultant, most recently for HBO. Prior to ScrollMotion, Sarah had an extensive career in the magazine business as the managing editor of several high-profile publications, including Domino, a Conde Nast magazine launch, Talk and Vibe magazines. In addition, she was a director of corporate development at media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Sarah was also President of the literary journal and publishing company McSweeney’s. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at 826NYC and the Wooden Nickel Foundation. Sarah holds a BS in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Lauren is an experienced technology executive having spent her career at IBM addressing complex business challenges in a broad variety of roles including technology, strategy, transformation, sales and talent development. Prior to her retirement, she was Vice President, Strategy and Transformation for IBM Software Group, responsible for the sales force strategy for the company’s multi-billion dollar software business. Previously, she was a leader in IBM’s transformation to cloud computing serving as Chief Technology Officer in corporate strategy. Currently, Ms. States serves as an independent director on the publicly held corporation boards of Clean Harbors, Inc. (NYSE:CLH) and Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE:WBS). She also serves on the Board of International House, NY, the Dean’s Executive Council of Northeastern University, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, and as a Director for Code Nation. She holds a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a Fellowship with Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative in 2015, focused on improving the participation of women and minorities in the tech industry. Lauren was inducted into the Women in Technology International, Women in Science and Technology Hall of Fame in 2014. Silicon Republic named her one of the 40 Women Leading Tech around the World in 2016. In 2017, Savoy Magazine listed States among the “2017 Most Influential Black Corporate Directors.” In 2018, Lauren received the Grace Hoadley Dodge Award for Community Leadership from the YWCA of New York City.
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