Our Team

KIPP Foundation Operating Committee

Richard Barth, Chief Executive Officer

Richard Barth was made CEO of the KIPP Foundation in December of 2005. Over the past nine years, he has overseen the significant growth of the network from 45 to 162 schools, dramatically expanded KIPP's leadership development programs, advocated for high performing charter schools on Capitol Hill, and secured more than $260 million in new, long-term philanthropic commitments, including more than $100 million from the federal government.  

Barth came to KIPP from Edison Schools, where he served as President of District Partnerships and managed school partnerships serving more than 40,000 students. Prior to joining Edison, Richard was one of the founding staff members of Teach For America. He earned a BA in American History from Harvard University, and is an Aspen Institute-New Schools Fellow. He currently sits on the board of directors of 50CAN, The Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, General Assembly, and ROADS Network Charter Schools, and is President of the KIPP Foundation Board of Directors. Barth was named a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and Harvard University’s Chief Marshal for 2014 Commencement ceremonies.


Tarun Bhatia, Chief Financial Officer

As CFO based in the San Francisco office, Tarun leads the Finance, Facilities, and Administration teams, overseeing and directing KIPP’s financial strategy and operations as well as facilities activities. Tarun came to KIPP in April 2013 from Alliant International University in San Francisco where he served as Executive Vice President of International and Strategic Development and previously Senior Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning/CFO. Before transitioning to the education world, Tarun served in leadership roles in multi-national Fortune 500 companies in different industries which include High Technology, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Service, Health Care, Electronics, Consumer and Industrial Sectors. He also served as CFO of Solectron (Flextronics) in Asia, various financial leadership roles with United Technologies (Otis Elevator) in Connecticut, and Johnson and Johnson in New Jersey, and also worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York.

Tarun graduated with a B. Com. Degree from Sydenham College at the University of Mumbai before attending Cornell University where he received his MBA in Finance. His qualifications include a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and CMA (Certified Management Accountant). Over the course of his career, Tarun has lived in Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Nigeria, Taiwan and Turkey as well as East and West coast of the United States. 


Jack Chorowsky, Chief Operating Officer

Jack oversees the KIPP Foundation's national strategy and execution across complementary areas that drive KIPP network growth and outcomes including our Teaching and Learning Labs (responsible for equipping KIPP teachers and schools nationwide with highly effective curriculum, assessment, and professional development solutions) and the Research, Design, and Innovation (RDI) team which includes educational technology innovation; our national KIPP Through College effort (focused on ensuring that KIPP alumni nationwide successfully matriculate to, and graduate from, college); Research and Evaluation; and Knowledge Sharing (focused on disseminating best practice and catalyzing innovation across the KIPP network). He also oversees the organization's Talent, Finance and Technology functions.

Jack previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of KIPP NYC, leading the strategy and business operations of KIPP's growing network of charter schools in New York City. Before joining KIPP, Jack was a principal at Levin Capital Strategies, where he invested in media and technology equities. He developed his deep interest in education while serving in general management, product management and business development roles at Kaplan and Pearson Education. Jack started his career working in law, policy and politics in Washington, D.C. He received a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jack lives in New York City with his wife and three daughters.


Jonathan Cowan, Chief Research, Design & Innovation Officer

As the Chief Research, Design & Innovation (RDI) Officer at the KIPP Foundation, Jonathan is responsible for leading the RDI team's efforts to support the KIPP network in getting better as we get bigger. In his capacity leading RDI, Jonathan partners with and oversees: KIPP’s national Research and Evaluation team (focused on creating ongoing visibility into KIPP’s network-wide performance and school & regional health; generating actionable insights; and ensuring high quality data and research support network leaders in making data-driven decisions); the national KIPP Through College team (focused on ensuring that KIPP alumni nationwide successfully matriculate to and graduate from college); the Knowledge Sharing team (focused on catalyzing and disseminating promising ideas and practices and executing KIPP School Summit, our annual gathering of KIPP’s leaders, teachers, and staff for connecting, learning, and sharing); and the Technology team (focused on educational technology innovation, application development, and tech infrastructure). 

Prior to joining KIPP, Jonathan spent over 10 years at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he assisted senior executives of large, complex organizations in addressing strategic, operational, and organizational issues and in managing large scale change. As a principal and partner at BCG, Jonathan spent several years helping to build and lead BCG's public education practice. Jonathan has an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a BS in applied mathematics from Yale University. Jonathan lives in the greater Chicago area with his wife and three sons.


Valerie Faillace, Chief Strategy Officer

As Chief Strategy Officer, Valerie leads KIPP’s multi-year strategic planning and communications as well as special projects through which network-wide working groups pursue strategic initiatives. In addition to leading KIPP’s national Strategy Team, Valerie partners with and oversees KIPP’s Government Affairs team (focused on leading KIPP’s federal advocacy strategy and execution while advising KIPP regional teams on local advocacy strategy) and the national Marketing team. 

Valerie came to KIPP from McKinsey & Company where she led teams to develop strategies for leading institutions in the financial, technology and education sectors and helped launch McKinsey's Financial Inclusion Practice. Prior to McKinsey, Valerie worked as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley in the Latin America and Real Estate groups and also served as weekly tutor at a local public school. Valerie holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an BA in Economics from Princeton University.   


Freddy Gonzalez, Chief Learning Officer

As Chief Learning Officer, Freddy Gonzalez works alongside the KIPP network’s aspiring leaders, facilitating opportunities for their professional growth, reflection, and development.

Prior to joining KIPP, he worked as the lead college counselor for the Settlement College Reading Program in New York City. He began working at KIPP Austin College Prep (KACP) in 2005, teaching eighth grade language arts and social studies. He also taught fifth and seventh grade writing and served as the eighth grade level chair. During the summer of 2007, he participated in the KIPP School Leadership Program and transitioned to the role of assistant principal for a semester before becoming principal at KACP. During his seven years as principal, KACP earned Recognized or Exemplary ratings every year and earned distinctions in all possible categories such as achievement in reading/ELA, achievement in math, and top 25% student progress. Freddy grew up in a small town in south Texas, earned a B.A. from Brown University and a M.Ed. from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.


Valerie Hamilton, Chief People Officer

Valerie joins KIPP with a wealth of experience in Human Resources. Most recently, she was the Chief HR Officer for Ipsos, a global market research firm and prior to that served for six years as Vice President, Human Resources for Global Technology and Operations at MetLife. Valerie also worked for nine years at Time Inc., where she held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in the people-development area. Her earlier experiences include several years at The New York Times, Sterling Drug, and Salomon Brothers, in Human Resources planning, program development and training roles.

Valerie holds a Bachelors degree from Oberlin College and a Masters degree from New York University. She is married and has a son and a daughter. In her spare time, she likes to read and travel. A few items on her "bucket list" are going on a safari, being an NBA referee for a day, and purchasing Adirondack chairs for two.


Nolan Highbaugh, General Counsel

As General Counsel, Nolan provides legal counsel to the KIPP Foundation as well as KIPP schools and regional operations throughout the country. Prior to joining KIPP, Nolan worked as an Associate in the Public Finance Department of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP. Before entering law school, Nolan was a Budget and Policy Analyst for both the Chief Administrative Office of Los Angeles County and the Office of Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. in the City and County of San Francisco.

Nolan attended U.C. Berkeley where he earned a Bachelor's degree in International Political Economy and a Master's in Public Policy. He earned his JD from Stanford Law School and is a member of the California State Bar Association. His all-time favorite movie is The Godfather Part II.


David Wick, Chief External Impact Officer

As Chief External Impact Officer at the KIPP Foundation, David is responsible for helping extend KIPP’s impact beyond the walls of KIPP schools. This includes facilitating the sharing of strategies and lessons learned beyond the KIPP network, as well as the creation of partnerships that help expand the reach of KIPP’s influence and knowledge. As part of this role, David oversees the Foundation’s external engagement and development efforts. Under his leadership over the past seven years, the Foundation has raised over $250 million, fueling the growth of the KIPP network from 57 to 162 schools nationally. He has served as a member of KIPP’s leadership team since 2007.

Prior to joining KIPP, David served as Managing Director for Capital Giving at Harvard University and prior to that he started his career in philanthropy at the University of Chicago. David received his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and holds an EdM from Harvard University in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy. He is a fellow of the Aspen Pahara Education Fellowship’s eighth class. A native of Sheboygan, WI, David and his wife Mieka make their home in Washington, DC with their daughter Annabelle and son Sam.


Kelly Wright, Chief Program Officer

As Chief Program Officer, Kelly guides the KIPP Foundation’s programming strategy. She works closely with Network Services and the KIPP School Leadership Programs to ensure our schools and regions have the support they need to accomplish their critical work of serving our students. 

Prior to joining the KIPP Foundation, Kelly founded KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy in San Diego and was its principal for four years. Under her leadership, KIPP Adelante was named a California Distinguished School in 2006 and received the 2007 National Title I Distinguished School Award in California for most narrowing the achievement gap that year. Kelly has experience teaching in bilingual classrooms from third to eighth grades, and was the Director of Bilingual Programs at a charter school in Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated with a BA from Carleton College in Latin American Studies and holds an EdM from Harvard University in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy.  

KIPP is committed to equal treatment for all individuals. KIPP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.
© 2015 KIPP Foundation. All rights reserved.

MAC 01/27/15