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ISKME Board Gains Two Education Pioneers: Milliron and Houston Help Institute To Reinvent Education

Sylvia Paull,, 510-388-8932

March 29, 2012 (Half Moon Bay, CA) – ISKME, or the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, has been a pioneer in knowledge sharing and educational innovation since 2002, when it was founded by President Lisa Petrides as a nonprofit to help K-20 educational institutions and their support organizations, such as foundations and government agencies, expand their capacity to collect, share, and apply information to create environments for open learning and success. Today, two leaders in the transformation of education, Mark Milliron, leveraging digital technologies, and Jonah Houston, applying design thinking to organizational change, have joined the ISKME Board. In addition, current ISKME board member Lance Izumi, a Senior Fellow in California Studies and Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, will become ISKME Board Chair.

Milliron was recently appointed the first chancellor of WGU Texas, the nonprofit, online university established by the state of Texas. Formerly, the award-winning educator, author, and speaker distinguished for his championship of college completion and student success, was Deputy Director for Postsecondary Improvement at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He was also a former vice president at SAS, the world’s largest private software company, where he directed education and medical practice. His focus has been on improving success in higher education with an emphasis on leveraging technology.

Houston has spent more than a decade with IDEO, one of the world’s top design firms, where he has led a variety of systems and organizational design projects, such as developing experiential training programs for the entire 60,000 Transportation Security Administration workforce. For the past four years, he has volunteered with ISKME to conceptualize and design the Action Collab as a key component of Big Ideas Fest, in which participants collaborate to prototype a solution for a given education challenge. Houston has also taught engineering design classes at Santa Clara University and Stanford University.

“I’m delighted to add these two creative minds to our board, especially since they are helping to lead what is arguably the greatest transformation in education since the Renaissance,” said ISKME President and Founder Lisa Petrides. “Mark Milliron brings the perspective of someone who has led the drive for college completion and who understands the power of digital technologies to help students and teachers achieve success. His work with the Gates Foundation also gives us a perspective on the role of foundations in furthering open learning systems.

"For the past four years, we’ve been fortunate enough to have received the support and vision of Jonah Houston, a leader in the application of design thinking to education,” Petrides added. “His contribution to the design of the Action Collabs has propelled  Big Ideas Fest (http:/ into high gear, and includes our new Big Ideas in Beta initiative, which is now incubating three of the ideas developed from the Action Collab teams.”

As newly appointed board chair, Lance Izumi will bring the experience of his 6 years on the ISKME board, which includes ISKME President Petrides as well as Greg Anderson, Dean and Associate Professor, Morgridge College of Education; Andreea Serban, Interim Vice Chancellor of Education Services, Coast Community College District; and Mike Marshall Smith, former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information, Visit  ISKME (


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The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to the study, spread, and strategic use of data use, information sharing, and knowledge collaboration in education.