ISKME Adds Prominent Financial Advisor, Entrepreneur, and Educator to Board

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ISKME names Ramona S. Thomas, entrepreneur in social impact philanthropy, knowledge management, and education, as new member of its Board of Directors.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif.—July 1st, 2021—To help the organization strengthen its social impact, build greater connections with philanthropy and social investors, and bolster its contributions to knowledge management in education, ISKME today announced that Ramona S. Thomas, a financial advisor for Ameriprise Financial based in New York City, will join its board of directors as its newest member.

As a financial advisor, Thomas is focused on comprehensive financial planning, investment solutions, and protection services to individuals and institutions. Thomas has built a career as a strategic planner and entrepreneur across multiple industries, including nonprofit management, venture investing, and education. 

“Ramona was a funder who supported some of ISKME’s earliest projects in knowledge management and has been responsible for measuring impact and taking organizations in new directions,” says Lisa Petrides, CEO and founder of ISKME. “She will help ISKME think through its next five-year strategy, build greater connections with funders and donors, and bolster ISKME’s value to the field in in designing, assessing, and bringing continuous improvement to education policies, programs, and practice.”

“Effective organizations regularly renew their core mission and rethink their direction,” notes ISKME board chair Jason Goecke, vice-president and general manager at Intel Corp. “ISKME is not only an international leader in open education, but in making learning and knowledge-sharing participatory, equitable, and open. Ramona’s expertise is well aligned to our mission of helping educators, funders, policymakers, and education institutions develop equitable and inclusive learning environments to improve student success.”

Ramona has served as vice president of Partners for Developing Futures, the Broomfield Colorado-based social investment fund for early-stage education entrepreneurs. She created the strategic direction and oversaw operation and investment selection processes for the fund. She managed the Fund’s investment portfolio, organized technical assistance supports for funded entrepreneurs.

Ramona’s previous positions in philanthropy include serving as director of knowledge management and evaluation at the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and as a partner at the New Schools Venture Fund. She also served as a consultant with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on knowledge management, and as a program officer at the Spencer Foundation.

“I’ve known ISKME from its earliest years, and it is great to see its significant contributions to innovation, knowledge sharing, and open education,” said Thomas. “I look forward to providing additional research-based insights into its current portfolio as well as new areas, including social and emotional learning (SEL) and measurement of social impact.”

Ramona currently serves as a research consultant for the Center for Responsive Schools and its SEL curriculum. She previously served as a research consultant for SEL’s national umbrella organization, the Collaborative for Academic and Social and Emotional Learning. Ramona holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania.

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