Kathleen Leos

President/CEO

Kathleen Leos is the Co-Founder of The Education Neuroscience Foundation Inc.

Prior to establishing this new endeavor, Ms. Leos served a six year (2002-2007) presidential appointment as the Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director to the US Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) established by Congress in the 2002 No Child Left Behind-Title III legislation.

In that position, Ms. Leos served as principal advisor to the U.S. Secretaries of Education, Dr. Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings, on all matters related to EL students, developing regulations, policies and procedures to create a national education and accountability infrastructure in 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico for the 5.5 million Limited English Proficient students who grace America’s classrooms K-12. 

Under her authority, States developed new research-based language standards and implemented aligned systems of Standards, Assessments, Data and Accountability that included English and Dual Language Learner’ academic achievement for the first time in the history of public education in the United States. 

She also authored the Congressional Biennial Reports to Congress on the 2002-2008 academic progress of Els.

Ms. Leos is the CEO of The Global Institute LLC (GILD).  The company is a highly specialized professional consultant services organization that facilitates transforming education systems based on current scientific research, education neuroscience, and federal and state legal requirements. The goal is to increase the academic and linguistic success of English and Dual Language Learners enrolled in Head Start, Early Childhood, K-12, and Postsecondary Education and the Workforce.  See website www.gilld.com

Prior to her service in Washington, D.C. Ms. Leos served 7 years (1995-2002) as a School Board trustee for the Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas. During her tenure, she held multiple positions as Board President, Vice-President, and Chair of the Business, Personnel, and Education Committees. Ms. Leos held the position as DISD’s State Legislative Education Liaison (1996-2002) and co-authored the state’s HB 103 or the EL “No Exemption” Bill which required Texas State Education Agency to include ELs in the State Accountability System for the first time in the in the history of Texas public education.

In addition, beginning in 1991, Ms. Leos established and operated Basic English Inc., a non-profit company in the inner city of Dallas, Texas. The goal was to teach adults from other countries, English and Academic content (similar to what their children were learning in the local public schools) using scientific research techniques and strategies they developed based on information from the then ‘reading research’ for English speakers and readers.

Lisa C. Saavedra 

Co-Founder

Prior to establishing ENF, Ms. Saavedra was the Bureau Chief for the Bureau of Academic Achievement through Language Acquisition for the Florida Department of Education. Ms. Saavedra has dedicated her professional career to the field of education: ensuring the language and literacy development and high academic achievement of English/Dual Multiple language learners and ALL students for more than 25 years.

In her position as Bureau Chief, Ms. Saavedra served as educational expert to the Florida Department of Education on all matters related to education of Els and all underserved students. Her responsibilities included development of legislation and rules for the state governance and the legislative process.

Ms. Saavedra provided leadership to all 74 Florida school districts in the development of comprehensive plans for instructional services to the 300,000 English Language Learners (ELL's) in the state. She wrote technical assistance papers used by Florida education experts to interpret rules and regulations, and implement educational policy. She delivered more than a thousand workshops, training sessions and presentations to district and school l personnel on the development and implementation of a uniform statewide system for identification and assessment of ELs; developed data collection and reporting procedures; provision of equal access to students; and initiated effective implementation of research-based instructional models and content-based instructional strategies for teachers.

Ms. Saavedra has also presented at numerous national conferences on topics such as designing data collection and analysis systems; assessment of English learners; accommodations for English learners on content assessment; effective implementation of research based instructional models; alignment of language proficiency standards and content standards; and systems reform efforts based on data-driven decision-making and achievement gap analysis. She also served as an active member on the NAEP assessment Task Force committee to ensure equal access for Els on all NAEP assessments.

Ms. Saavedra’s unwavering commitment to ensuring equal access and academic achievement for ELs is founded on her belief in the three A’s of education: accountability: Academic Achievement for All. As Co-Founder of ENF, Ms. Saavedra continues this mission and commitment by sharing her expertise and promoting the transformation of education systems through education neuroscience and evidence-based research targeting access to achievement for ALL Learners, from early childhood to post-secondary education in states, districts, schools and communities across the nation.

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