MEET THE BOARD
Mark H. Dalzell, Chairman
Mark Dalzell served as the Senior Vice President of Capital Research Company and a fixed income portfolio manager for The Capital Group Companies, a large Los Angeles-based investment management firm. Originally from Pittsburgh, Mark earned an undergraduate degree in international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University in 1976, and a master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1979. He has lived in New York and London, and moved to Los Angeles in 1997. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy. Mark is also an active board member of the Los Angeles Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, where he serves on the Governance Committee and the Finance and Community Affairs committees.
Shiho Ito, Secretary
Shiho Ito is a community organizer and founding director of Pueblo Nuevo Development Group, the grass-roots community development group that began in 1992 and in 1999 launched the Camino Nuevo schools. As an immigrant and English language learner, she is passionate about educational access and equity. Shiho has led outreach initiatives at Larchmont Charter School, chaired the education committee at Ikar, an egalitarian Jewish community, and organized a non-profit foundation to support Millikan Middle School Math Academy. Prior to the birth of her children, she worked in film production and acquisitions for the Japanese market. She earned her B.A. from Yale University where she majored in English and East Asian Studies.
Cindy Lee Smet, Treasurer
Cindy Lee Smet had a professional career in finance prior to having a family. While her three sons were attending the public elementary schools in Hermosa Beach, she was an active volunteer and board member in both the PTO and the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation. She is a founding trustee of the Vistamar School, an independent high school in El Segundo, which opened in 2005. Cindy and her husband John have a family foundation which, among other initiatives, funds a literacy program at four Catholic elementary schools in the Los Angeles area. Onward Readers supports children in the early grades achieve reading proficiency. Cindy also sits on the board of the California Science Center Foundation. With a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia, she started her career as a commercial lender for a large bank in Georgia and earned her MBA at UCLA. She also worked in securities sales at Citicorp Investment Bank and for three years in corporate finance at PaineWebber and Company.
Celia Garcia Alvarado
Celia Garcia Alvarado is the Vice President of Corps Member and Alumni Impact at Teach For America in Los Angeles. In her role, she leads the largest regional team that is responsible for coaching and developing corp members and supporting and accelerating the leadership trajectory and impact of all alumni in the education sector. Prior to joining Teach For America, she was the Executive Director for Education Pioneers' Western Region, overseeing the organization's work in California, Colorado and Washington and successfully leading the launch of a new program site in Denver. Celia began her career as an educator in the Los Angeles Unified School District and was named Teacher of the Year in 2003 for her district. She was later a Managing Director on the teacher leadership development team at Teach For America-Los Angeles, and led the team responsible for coaching and developing close to 300 corps members who collectively taught approximately 22,000 students in low-income communities across Los Angeles County. Celia received her B.A. from Stanford University, her Ed.M. from Harvard University and Ed.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola Marymount University’s Graduate School of Education.
David Gidlow is an executive in the apparel industry, specializing in product development, sourcing, and manufacturing. He has worked for a mix of large corporations including Warner Bros. and Macy's as well as smaller, entrepreneurial companies such as BUM Equipment and Babystyle. He has traveled extensively in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. A native of St. Louis, David earned a B.A. in Political Science from Occidental College and MBA in Marketing from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. He is an avid swimmer, cyclist, and baker.
Rachel Hunt is an urban education reform leader and practitioner. She is committed to ensuring that all young people have access to a high quality, public education that prepares them for college, careers, and life. Rachel founded and led a diverse, top-ranking, 6-12 charter school in a Massachusetts district that had historically performed in the lowest 10th percentile of the state. There she pioneered a charter-district collaboration and was elected to serve on the city's school board. Since stepping down as a school leader, Rachel has consulted to public schools and school systems. She earned her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her M.Ed. in School Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Gabriel Sandoval is a Partner at Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, a California-based law firm representing over 450 educational institutions including universities, community colleges, school districts, and charter schools. Prior to joining the firm, Gabriel served in President Barack Obama’s administration as Senior Advisor and Director of Policy for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In this capacity, Gabriel advanced Executive Order 13555, which focused on expanding and improving the educational opportunities and outcomes for Latinos from cradle to career. While in the Obama administration, Gabriel also served as Senior Counsel in the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education—the largest office of the federal government focused exclusively on ensuring that students are not discriminated based on race, color, national origin, sex, or disability. Gabriel is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and an American Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He earned his B.A. with departmental honors from Stanford University and J.D. from Columbia University School of Law, where he was a recipient of a Human Rights Fellowship.