Meet Our Team

The Say Yes management team and staff bring deep and diverse experience to an organization whose work extends across communities. Our leaders have previously held senior positions at the U.S. Department of Education, in school districts and in universities; in city and county government; in the school reform movement; at the Brookings Institution and other research centers, and at The New York Times.

Board of Directors

George A. Weiss is the chairman of Say Yes To Education, Inc., a national non-profit foundation committed to opening access to post-secondary education for high poverty youth.

Mary Anne Schmitt-Carey is the President of Say Yes to Education.

Margot James Copeland is Executive Vice President and Director of Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based multiline financial services companies. In her role, Copeland…

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker has dedicated her career to improving lives through civic service.

Caryn Effron is a Senior Director at Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group, a mortgage brokerage firm that raises capital for commercial real estate nationwide.

Julie Franklin has devoted much of her time over the past 15 years in the not-for-profit arena. Her passion for education and social justice have dictated how she has spent…

Neil Goldberg is President/CEO Raymour & Flanigan Furniture & Holdings. He graduated from Syracuse University School of Management in 1975 with a B.S. in Accounting.

Joel Greenblatt is the Managing Partner of Gotham Capital, an investment partnership he founded in April 1985.

David Knott is the CEO of Knott Partners Management, LLC, which manages a group of hedge funds that he founded in 1987.

Arthur Levine is President of The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Previously, he served as President and Professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jay N. Levine is the current President and Chief Executive of Springleaf Financial Services.

Jarmaine Ollivierre is a Senior Aerospace Engineer at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Since beginning at NASA in 2009, Jarmaine’s duties have included analyzing mission profiles and objectives…

Naeemah Nelson is a Global Innovation Manager at GE Ventures.  She is a participant in General Electric’s Experienced Commercial Leadership Development program, and has global marketing and consulting experience spanning…

Sol H. Pelavin was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Institutes for Research.

Jane Toll worked for many years as a teacher and then as a custom home builder. She funded, ran and lived a program to support 60 inner city kids from third grade through college.

Contact Us

Are you inspired by the goals and approach of Say Yes? We invite you to reach out to the Say Yes National office or to a Say Yes chapter, to learn more about how you can get involved.