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Board of Directors

Dr. A. Wade Boykin

Dr. A. Wade Boykin

Professor, Director of Graduate Program, Department of Psychology, Howard University
Executive Director, Capstone Institute at Howard University

Dr. Boykin is a leading educational psychologist and researcher in the areas of research methodology, the interface of culture, context, motivation and cognition, Black child development; and academic achievement in the American social context. Besides serving on MAEC’s board, Dr. Boykin is a member of the following organizations: American Psychological Association Task Force on Educational Disparities, the Research Advisory Panel for the National Minority Student Achievement Network, and Project Grad USA. Dr. Boykin served on the President’s National Mathematics Advisory Panel to inform the use of effective practices to increase academic performance of American students in Mathematics. He is a widely published author, his most recent publication, co-authored with Pedro Noguera, is Creating the Opportunity to Learn: Moving from Research to Practice to Close the Achievement Gap. He received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

James Early

Dr. James Early

Former Director of Cultural Heritage Policy, Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, Smithsonian Institution

James Counts Early retired from the Smithsonian Institution in March 2015 after thirty-one years of service in a multitude of positions. He served as assistant provost for educational and cultural programs, assistant secretary for education and public service, and interim director of the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A long-time advocate for cultural diversity and equity issues in national and international cultural and educational institutions, his applied research explores participatory museology, cultural democracy statecraft policy, capitalist and socialist discourses in cultural policy, and Afro-Latin politics, history, and cultural democracy. He curated several Folklife Festival programs including South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation (1999) and Sacred Sounds: Belief and Society (1997). James Early holds a B.A. in Spanish from Morehouse College and completed graduate work (A.B.D.) in Latin American and Caribbean history, with a minor in African and African American history, at Howard University.

Jill Moss Greenberg

Jill Moss Greenberg

Former Executive Director, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center

Ms. Moss Greenberg has more than forty-five years of experience in the field of education including: Director of the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME); Program Consultant for Homeless Children and Their Families in Baltimore County Public Schools; Multicultural Program Coordinator at the Mid- Atlantic Equity Center; and Vocational Equity Specialist at the Maryland State Department of Education. She has been a fierce advocate for women’s rights and history, leading to her induction into the Maryland’s State Women’s Hall of Fame. She has also received multiple awards including the Educators Award of National Association for Multicultural Education and Outstanding Business and Community Leadership Award. Ms. Greenberg holds an M.A. in Special Education from the University of Connecticut. She has also received multiple awards including the Educator’s Award of National Association for Multicultural Education and Outstanding Business and Community Leadership Award.

Joy Thomas Moore

Joy Thomas Moore

President and CEO, JWS Media Consulting

Ms. Moore is a widely esteemed media consultant, journalist, and editor. She brings to her work a commitment to finding innovative ways to use media and messaging techniques to further and deepen the goals of her clients. Her experience spans over three decades where she previously served as the Manager of Making Connections Communications and Media Projects with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, leading the Foundation’s national initiative into television documentaries, radio programs, and media-based community projects. Ms. Moore has contributed to numerous local and nationally syndicated television programs as a freelance writer and field producer in the New York City area, held a variety of editorial positions at WMAL-AM radio in Washington, D.C., and served as an adjunct professor in the Journalism Department at Howard University. She is the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow and George Foster Peabody Awards for Public Service, No Greater Love Foundation Award, Clarion Award for Public Service, and Chesapeake Associated Press Award. Besides her board membership with MAEC, Ms. Moore is also on the boards of the Dean’s National Alumni Advisory Board at the American University School of Communications, the Media Impact Funders, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Maryland Public Television. She earned both her B.A. in Urban Communications and an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism at American University.

Barbara Scherr

Barbara R. Scherr

Family Involvement Coordinator, Maryland State Department of Education

Ms. Scherr has had more than 25 years of public service working in the areas of childcare, safe and drug-free schools, homeless education, family literacy, and family engagement. Her primary responsibility is building capacity for educators by providing technical assistance and training to Maryland’s school systems and on family, school, and community engagement as defined by Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. She was instrumental in developing several statewide parent outreach initiatives including a family literacy campaign, Take 15 for the Family; Title I Parent Involvement training model for school teams, and most recently Maryland’s PreK-12 Family Engagement Framework. Ms. Scherr’s vision is to encourage, equip, and empower educators to increase effective family engagement and community partnerships for increased academic performance of all children.

Susan Shaffer's staff photo

Susan Shaffer

President, MAEC
Executive Director – Center for Education Equity

Susan has been a nationally recognized expert for more than four decades. Her transformational work in public schools has centered on the development of comprehensive technical assistance for system wide change, training on educational equity and culturally responsive pedagogy and practice, school climate and culture, family, school, and community engagement, and multicultural gender-related issues. Currently, Ms. Shaffer is the Executive Director of MAEC’s Center for Education Equity. She also represents MAEC as a partner with the Chief State School Officers to create a State Consortium on Family Engagement, developing a Birth to Age 21 Family Engagement Framework for 18 states. Ms. Shaffer has published extensively on gender equity, family engagement, civil rights, multicultural education, and disability. Her publications include a co-edited journal, Equity-Centered Capacity Building: Essential Approaches for Excellence & Sustainable School System Transformation, and co-authored book, How to Connect with your iTeen: A Parenting Road Map 


Ms. Shaffer serves on several boards, including the National Association of Family, School and Community Engagement since 2013, (co-founder) and the Bowie State University School of Education Board of Directors from 2012 to 2019 as well as the Harmony Through Education Board of Directors since 2006. Her other equity work includes Continuous Improvement for Equity and as a national member of the Model Design and Initiation program with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; with the Collaborative Action for Family Engagement (CAFÉ) State Family Engagement Center since 2019; as the Co-Chair of the Maryland Family Engagement Framework Committee; a member of the Equity-Centered Capacity Building Network since 2014; she has been a member of the Committee of Title I Practitioners for the Maryland State Department of Education since 2010; and she is a member of the Maryland Superintendent’s Family Engagement Advisory Council. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her service, leadership, and significant contribution to curricular materials on women. She holds a B.A. in History and M.A. in education from the University of California, Berkeley. 


headshot of Marjan Shallal

Marjan Shallal

Busboys and Poets, DC

Marjan Shallal has served two terms on the HDC Board working on the Development Committee, including a stint as its Chair. She was appointed by Mayor Bowser in 2015. Marjan is a political activist and co-owner of Busboys & Poets restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. A critic of U.S. and Iranian policy, she recently traveled to Iran where she met with human rights and women’s rights activists. Marjan received a Master in International Telecommunication from George Mason University and has over 17 years of experience in data processing and project management at various telecommunication companies in the DC metropolitan areas. In 2018, Marjan received a Master of Social Work from the Catholic University of America. Since then, she has worked mainly with the chronically mentally ill homeless population at Pathways to Housing DC, an agency that employs the Housing First model. She has also worked at Saint Elizabeth Hospital, a public psychiatric facility in Washington, DC, for individuals with serious and persistent mental illness who need intensive inpatient care to support their recovery. She currently volunteers at a drop-in center for the homeless population in Washington, DC.

Dr. Warren Simmons

Dr. Warren Simmons

Former Director, Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University

Dr. Simmons directed and led the strategic vision for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, developed to improve conditions and outcomes in American urban and high-needs schools. Previously, Dr. Simmons headed the Philadelphia Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that played a key role in helping the School District of Philadelphia implement a comprehensive school reform agenda called Children Achieving, ensuring that all children could have access to a high quality education. As a grant maker at the National Institute of Education and Annie E. Casey Foundation, he developed and funded initiatives on youth and adult literacy, community development, and urban school reform. He also served as Director of Equity Initiatives for the New Standards Project, a coalition of 17 states and six school districts focused on designing performance-based assessments, advanced curricular reforms, and instructional reforms. Dr. Simmons received his B.A. in Psychology from Macalester College in St. Paul and earned a doctorate in psychology from Cornell University.

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