Jay Altman, Board Chair
Jay is an educator, school leader and social entrepreneur. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of FirstLine Schools. He has founded several schools and nonprofit organizations, including Leading Educators and New Orleans Summerbridge. As Director of Education for London-based ARK Schools, developing a network of academies in England. Jay has helped develop training programs for leaders of open admissions urban schools, including Future Leaders, a program for aspiring principals of open-admissions urban schools, and Teaching Leaders, a program for mid-level school leaders. Jay serves on the boards of Leading Educators and the Teaching Trust.
Leona Christy, Founder and CEO
Leona brings 15+ years of experience scaling up organizations and leading high-performing teams. As a founding team member at Safal Partners, she played a leading role in growing Safal to one of the premier education consulting firms in the nation and led projects with the Federal Department of Education, leading foundations, non-profits, and school districts. Prior to Safal, Leona led Pratham USA, a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring education access and quality for children in developing countries, from start-up to scale. Previously, she has worked with the World Bank and Unilever. Leona has an MPP from Duke University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore.
Bebe Ryan, COO
Bebe Ryan has worked with various schools, charter management organizations, and nonprofits, leading efforts in project design and implementation, fundraising, growth and strategic planning. Most recently, she served as National Development Director for Rocketship Education, leading the strategic planning and fundraising efforts as the organization triples the number of students served. Bebe has held senior leadership roles in talent management, strategy and fund development at Firstline Schools and KIPP New Orleans, and launched and led Revolution Foods' Louisiana business. Bebe began her education career as a development officer for Teach For America. She has also served on the board of Propeller, a social entrepreneurship non-profit. Bebe holds a BA with honors from Bowdoin College.
Nayab Luqman, Finance, Technology & Operations
Nayab Luqman is passionate about both entrepreneurship and social impact, leading her to join the Catalyst:Ed team shortly after the company launched. Nayab graduated from Dartmouth College in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Economics and French. Afterwards, Nayab moved to New York and joined RBC Capital Markets as an investment banking analyst, specializing in corporate asset-backed finance. In 2013, she relocated and joined RBC's education finance team in Los Angeles, where she spent two years mapping and restructuring general obligation bond programs for California K-12 schools and community colleges. In 2015, Nayab became an active member of the startup community in New Orleans, further developing her skills in finance and capacity building within education.