Opening Speakers

Jillian Balow

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Virginia Department of Education

Jillian Balow was appointed as Virginia’s 26th superintendent of public instruction by Governor Glenn Youngkin, effective January 15, 2022. As state superintendent, Balow serves as the executive officer of the Virginia Department of Education, which is the administrative agency for the Commonwealth’s public schools. Balow leads the external functions of the agency and also manages the internal operations. She also serves as secretary of the state Board of Education. Balow was a classroom teacher for 10 years. She served in the Wyoming Department of Family Services, and as a policy advisor to Wyoming Governor Matt Mead before being elected as Wyoming’s state superintendent in 2014. Since becoming Virginia’s state superintendent, Balow has advocated for the Virginia Literacy Act and provided Governor Youngkin with a report on policy steps necessary to restore high expectations and excellence as objectives for all of the Commonwealth’s students.


Dr. Patricia Popp

Clinical Associate Professor, Virginia EHCY State Coordinator

Patricia A. Popp, Ph.D. is the state coordinator for the education of homeless children and youth in Virginia and a clinical associate professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Area at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She also serves as the liaison for the Virginia Department of Education to the Virginia Department of Social Services for implementation of the educational stability requirements in the Fostering Connections Act. Prior to joining The College in 1995, Pat was a teacher in Hanover and Henrico Public Schools. Her research interests include children and youth experiencing homelessness and other forms of mobility, students with disabilities, and teacher quality. She has worked with school districts and states and has presented at international, national, and state level conferences in the areas of highly mobile and homeless students, classroom management, and teacher effectiveness. Pat is a past president of the Virginia Council for Learning Disabilities, past president of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY), and past LeTendre chair and member of the committee for the NAEHCY Education Fund.

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Aimee Guidera

Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia

Aimee Rogstad Guidera was named Secretary of Education by Governor Glenn Youngkin in December 2021. In this Cabinet position, she oversees education from Pre-K through Postsecondary in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Before joining the Youngkin administration, Aimee was a strategic consultant helping states, foundations, companies and non-profit organizations strengthen their efforts to improve student learning and outcomes. Prior to launching her consultancy, Aimee was Founder, President and CEO of the Data Quality Campaign, a national, non-profit advocacy organization leading the effort to ensure that students, parents, educators, and policymakers have the right information to guide their actions so that every student can excel.


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Ron Parrish

Senior Data Analyst, Virginia Department of Education

Ron has over 30 years of experience in the IT industry in a wide variety of roles including over 10 years in software project management. He has worked on projects ranging from NASA space flight software to enterprise-level IT security systems. He currently provides support to researchers using the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS). Mr. Parrish was part of the original team that developed and tested VLDS and has been involved with the system since 2011.

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Will Goldschmidt

MS, PMP, Managing Partner, DB Driven

Will Goldschmidt is a partner and the Chief Operating Officer for DBDriven.Net. Having served in this capacity since 2016, Will provides operational management and strategic consulting services to more than a dozen clients, including the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Nevada, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Will has extensive experience working directly with senior executives and elected officials in the identification, design, development, and implementation of technology solutions.

Previously Will served the Commonwealth as the Senior Director at the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT), overseeing operations and maintenance of VLDS, as well as the implementation of the Nevada P20 to Workforce Research (NPWR) data system.  Mr. Goldschmidt served as an active duty Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, retiring in June 2007.

Mr. Goldschmidt graduated from Kent State University and received his Master of Science degree in Information Technology Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

Mattie Mackenzie-Liu

Dr. Mattie Mackenzie-Liu

Research Associate, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute

Mattie Mackenzie-Liu is a research associate in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute. Her research examines how the administration and financing of social welfare programs impacts the well-being of children and their families. Her work has been published in The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Population Research and Policy Review, Social Science Quarterly, and Social Service Review. She received her MPA from Indiana University and holds a PhD in public administration from Syracuse University.

PJ Maddox

Dr. PJ Maddox

EdD, MSN, RN, Professor & Chair of the Department of Health Administration at George Mason University

Dr. Maddox is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Administration and Policy and co-director of the Center for Health Workforce at George Mason University. She is a nurse with a distinguished career in health services administration, health policy analysis, and health services research. She holds a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her academic and research interests range from health reform to understanding the impact of financing arrangement and delivery systems on healthcare quality and access, to health workforce planning. She is a recognized expert in health systems management, health reform policy, and health services research.

Tammie Jones

Dr. Tammie Jones

PhD, MHA, FACHE, CMPE, Research Manager at George Mason University

Tammie is a health services researcher in the Center for Health Workforce at George Mason University and assistant professor in the Department of Health Administration and Policy. She is a former healthcare administrator and executive with over 20 years of progressive leadership experience in primary, specialty and tertiary care settings, and at regional and health systems level. Her work in healthcare delivery culminated as a chief operating officer for a multi-state multi-specialty ambulatory health system and senior health policy advisor to the Army Surgeon General. Her academic and research interests include health workforce, access to care, rural health, payment and care delivery reform, social determinants of health, and veterans and military health.