Board of Directors
The Connecticut Center for School Change’s Board of Directors brings passion, deep expertise, and eclectic experience to school and district improvement. The board members have served as top leaders drawn from the worlds of not-for-profit, business, government, philanthropy, and higher education.
Dudley Williams, Jr.
Dudley Williams Jr. recently retired as senior vice president, Corporate Citizenship and Diversity at GE Asset Management in Stamford. His prior professional experience includes roles as assistant to the commissioner at the Connecticut State Department of Education, Charter School Program manager, and 15 years in the publishing industry.
Dudley is currently chairperson of the Connecticut Center for School Change and serves on the Stamford Board of Finance. His previous community service roles include president of the Stamford Board of Education; chairman of The Nellie Mae Education Foundation; treasurer of the Connecticut Science Center; director of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education; and board member of the Board of the United Way of Western Connecticut. He also was a member of the Connecticut Commission on Educational Improvement, and was appointed by Governor Malloy to the Education Cost Sharing Task Force.
Elsa M. Núñez
Dr. Elsa M. Núñez is president of Eastern Connecticut State University. She joined the University in 2006 following more than 20 years as a senior administrator at such institutions as City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of Maine System. She has firmly established Eastern’s reputation as Connecticut’s only public liberal arts university, and under her leadership, Eastern is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 25th top public regional university in the Northern United States.
Elsa has been a tenured faculty member of English at Ramapo State College, the College of Staten Island (CUNY), and Lehman College (CUNY). She also holds a faculty position as Professor of English at Eastern. Author of two books “Pursuing Diversity” (1992) and “Hanging Out and Hanging On: From the Projects to the Campus” (2014), she also has published numerous articles on language acquisition, diversity and other education issues.
Elsa received her B.A. from Montclair State College, her M.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a doctorate from Rutgers University.
Len Miller, a Certified Public Accountant, founded Miller & Company in 1970, which is the predecessor to O’Connor Davies. In 1990 he founded SoundWaters, an environmental education organization focusing on science education and Long Island Sound. Len was chair of Stamford Achieves, an organization helping to close the achievement gap in Stamford, Connecticut
Len served as treasurer for Governor Malloy’s gubernatorial campaigns in 2010 and 2014, is treasurer of Center for School Change, Inc., and is currently chair of Discovering Amistad He is a graduate of University of Connecticut.
Mendi is Chief Community Impact Officer at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Mendi leads grantmaking, programs, advocacy, community engagement and data science and evaluation for the $220 million regional funder. As the key liaison for cross-sector collaborations with nonprofits, funders, external constituent groups and local elected officials, she oversees the $17 million Fund for Women & Girls; Center for Nonprofit Excellence, Fairfield County’s largest capacity-building hub that serves 400+ nonprofits annually; and systems change initiatives to close the opportunity gap in education, employment, housing and health.
Prior to joining the community foundation, Mendi had diverse, cross-sector experience. She has been a strategic consultant to more than 40 of the largest U.S.-based philanthropic organizations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates, Ford, William and Flora Hewlett, W.K. Kellogg, Robert Wood Johnson, David and Lucile Packard and Walton Family foundations.
Her experience in the private and nonprofit sectors includes work at Goldman Sachs & Co., Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the law firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, which has repeatedly been ranked the country’s top law firm. Mendi has also served in public sector leadership positions, most recently as the Director of Development and Policy for the City of New Haven, where she secured $15 million in competitive funding for the city and developed strategies for innovation, advocacy and process improvement.
Mendi has a Bachelor in Economics cum laude from Harvard College; a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, reproductive and mental health awareness, and loves trying new recipes. Mendi is Vice Chair of the NY-NJ-CT Anchor Opportunity Network and serves on the Western Connecticut Economic Development District. She and her husband live in her hometown, New Haven, with their doodle, Belle.
David E. A. Carson
David Carson is an actuary with over 60 years of experience in the insurance, banking and mutual funds industries, including 15 years as chief executive officer of People’s Bank (now Peoples United).
Carson was elected to the West Hartford Board of Education in 1969 for a four-year term. This began a period of continuous involvement in Connecticut public education. For the past 20 years he has served on the Board of the Connecticut Center for School Change, eight years as chair.
Erin L. Haberman is director of Community Relations for Travelers and a senior program officer for the Travelers Foundation. In this role she is responsible for the company’s charitable giving volunteerism in Connecticut, as well as community resilience programs, including Travelers Fortifies Homes and the Travelers Excellence in Community Resilience Award.
Previously, she was the director of Public Policy Initiatives for the Travelers Institute, where she was responsible for all aspects of the development, promotion and implementation of Travelers Institute initiatives. In her first role at Travelers, she worked in Corporate Communications, managing external communications for Community Relations and the Travelers Foundation, Travelers Championship, Investor Relations, Human Resources and other corporate activities. Prior to joining Travelers, she worked as an account executive at Teak Media Communications in Boston, where she conducted public relations for numerous accounts, including Brandeis University and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Trinity College. She currently serves on the steering committee for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Connecticut Working Cities Challenge. She also is the co-chair of the Connecticut Council of Philanthropy’s Hartford Funders Group. Erin is a graduate of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Leadership Academy.
Steven Hernandez, Esq. is the executive director for the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors. Mr. Hernández previously served the CT state legislature as director of public policy and research for the Connecticut Commission on Children. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Hernandez served seven years as legislative and budget director in the office of Washington, D.C., Councilmember Jim Graham. Mr. Hernández served as a clerk to two judges in the District’s Court of Appeals and as a consultant to the Washington law firm Baker & Miller, PLLC. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Bennington College in Vermont in 1995 and a juris doctor degree from the Washington College of Law at American University.
David Nee has held a variety of positions in corrections at the municipal, federal and state levels, culminating in his service as director of the Office of Program Development for the Massachusetts Department of Corrections. During his career in philanthropy, David has exercised national leadership in a variety of fields. He was a founding member of the board of the National Community Aids Partnership, now the National AIDS Fund. From 1981 to 1993 he served the Florence V. Burden Foundation and then the Ittleson Foundation as executive director.
Starting in 1993, David helped to co-create the National Collaborative for Violence Prevention. He co-chaired the governing board of the Collaborative, now incorporated as the Institute for Community Peace. David became the first executive director of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund in 1993. The Memorial Fund works collaboratively to improve education for Connecticut’s children by supporting school change, informing the public debate on educational issues and strengthening the involvement of parents and the community in both K-12 education and predominately, in early care and education.
David graduated from Harvard College, holds a master’s degree in English from Yale University, and a master’s degree in business administration from Boston University.
Ted Sergi has spent 50 years in education and public policy in Connecticut. He is the former Connecticut Commissioner of Education and founding president of the Connecticut Science Center. He serves on the Boards of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Connecticut Science Center.