Cara Lesser

Cara has 20 years experience in the public sector, with a focus on health policy and health reform. She has held number of leadership positions in nonprofits and the federal government, working most recently at the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

At the end of 2011, Cara shifted gears professionally to pursue a longstanding dream to establish a local children’s museum.  Her passion for this project stems in part from living in rural Haiti as a young child and experiencing first-hand the power of learning about different parts of the world. As a parent of two elementary school-aged girls, Cara believes strongly in the need to cultivate children’s creativity, curiosity and compassion – both to give our children well-rounded experiences in their formative years and to nourish the next generation of leaders.  Cara graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College, Columbia University and earned a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Jill Chessen

Jill has two decades of legal expertise in the field of affordable housing and community development.  Jill has focused primarily on developing apartment buildings for low-income families and redeveloping housing on military bases throughout the United States.  In the process, she has acquired expertise on many Federal programs and on the internal workings of the Federal government.

Jill has also been committed to philanthropic endeavors throughout her career. She serves on the Executive Board of Sinai House, a non-profit organization that provides housing for formally homeless families, and volunteers extensively on political campaigns, for her children’s schools and for Northwestern University.  While Jill continues to practice law, she aspires to focus more on world issues and specifically to do more to inspire children to focus on the less fortunate and to learn about the world they are inheriting. Jill earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University in Communications Studies.

David Goldberg

David’s work has been dedicated to start-up businesses and working for large, public companies virtually all in the area of ecommerce, digital marketing, and new media, with a heavy emphasis on live events and entertainment. In addition, David has consulted for and is currently advising venture backed startup businesses and large conglomerates in these same areas, including Scorebig.com and Songkick.com.  David was recently the CEO of Youbet.com (NASDAQ: UBET) and led its turnaround and sale to Churchill Downs (NASDAQ: CHDN). Prior to that David was one of a handful of executives running Ticketmaster through the Office of the CEO where he oversaw global sales and marketing, mergers and acquisitions, strategy and business development.

David has also started up businesses in the areas of digital music, interactive sports, original television production, and social gaming, including Federated Sports + Gaming (CEO) and Sportvision/Ignite Sports (Executive Vice President)David has previously served on boards of the Music and Entertainment Industry Chapter of the City of Hope, BrightTag and of alternative energy developer Pacific Edison.  David received his BA from Northwestern University and a MBA from the University of Chicago.

David Goldstein

David’s career has focused on education, with experience as a teacher and policy expert.  He has worked at national, state and local levels in education policy, research, and evaluation, including consulting to the Council of Chief State Schools Officers (CCSSO) on adoption and early state implementation of the Common Core State Standards and at the University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science leading program evaluation and development of hands-on, inquiry-based materials/professional development for K-12 STEM instruction for both in-school and after school use.

David most recently led efforts at the Washington DC non-profit Data Quality Campaign to promote the availability and use of high quality education data to improve student achievement.  Working with stakeholders, he identified best practices and described exemplary implementation regarding the states’ and districts’ efforts to leverage the use of longitudinal data systems for continuous improvement.  He holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and served as a Spanish bilingual elementary school teacher and specialist in cross-cultural instruction.

Michael Smith-Welch

Michael is an artist and educator who focuses on learning environments that support creative thinking, invention and iteractive design. He collaborates with people around the globe – particularly young people – and helps them build expressive devices that amplify their perceptions of the world.  He is most interested in materials that inspire playful experimentation.

Michael received a Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and worked in New York City schools for several years. This work lead to a graduate research position at the MIT MEDIA LAB.  At MIT he helped develop new learning technologies and unique learning environments for people of all ages. In 2011 he was an educator-in-residence at the EXPLORATORIUM in San Francisco.  There he helped the TINKERING STUDIO develop a celebration of materiality.