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Rhonda H. Lauer

President and Chief Executive Officer

Rhonda H. Lauer serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Foundations, Inc., a national nonprofit organization committed to improving the quality of education for all children. Rhonda has guided Foundations' strategic growth over the past 19 years, focusing on three critical areas of impact: improving schools and school systems, transforming out-of-school time, and engaging families and communities in education.

As a former Superintendent of Schools, Rhonda believes that the quality of school leadership matters. To advance leadership knowledge and skills, Foundations' has developed a cadre of professional educators who work with individual schools and school districts to provide interim leadership and coaching.

One of Rhonda's core beliefs is that, to succeed in life, children must learn to read at grade level by the time they finish third grade. To accomplish this goal, she has developed a strong instructional team who work in cities across America to support teachers, school leaders, and expanded learning time directors as they strive to produce outcomes that bridge the gap between those who live in low income communities and those who reside in higher income neighborhoods. Based on the results of its work, Foundations has received recognition from funders as well as public and private partners such as The Annie E. Casey Foundation which invited Rhonda to join with them to provide technical assistance and support in eight cities as part of their Making Connections initiative. This work has brought widespread attention to the goal of achieving grade level reading throughout the K-12 spectrum.

Foundations has also been a leader in the charter school movement since 1997. Providing financial and business services, governance and board training, interim leadership, staff training, and school evaluation, Foundations supports charters as they form, as they operate, and through their renewal processes.

Under Rhonda's leadership, Foundations has partnered with the United States Department of Education to convene annual conferences that attract an international audience. The most recent one in Atlanta, Georgia, brought together nearly 2000 educators to address teaching, learning and student achievement.

An engaging speaker, Rhonda is a frequent panelist and lecturer on quality education, and is a member of the Time, Learning, and Afterschool Taskforce, supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The taskforce's report, "A New Day for Learning," calls for a redesign of the nation's learning system. She has led Foundations in its work to support this initiative by creating high performance school and system models that integrate various learning approaches that address how, when, and where our young people learn.

Prior to joining Foundations, Rhonda worked in the School District of Philadelphia, one of the nation's largest, as associate superintendent, management negotiator, principal, administrator, and teacher. She also served as Superintendent of Schools in Delaware County, PA. Rhonda sits on several boards and currently co-chairs the Urban Affairs Coalition.