Mr. James King III, M.Ed., President
Accounts General Manager, National Geographic LearningMr. King has a range of experiences in education from teaching to athletics to business development. As a college athlete, he played basketball for Ventura Community College and UC Riverside. James earned his BA in Sociology from UCR and Master’s in Special Education from Azusa Pacific University. He has contributed to grass roots organizations such as 100 Black Men Organization, United Economic Development Group, and Urban League.
Mr. Bob Harris, Director
California Regional Director, Scholastic Corporation
Mr. Harris has broad experiences ranging from classroom teaching to educational entrepreneurship to forging strategic partnerships at the highest levels. He earned his BA in Political Science and did his post-graduate work in Educational Administration at CSULB. Bob is an active member in many community organizations such as California Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (CALSA), and California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators (CAAASA). His passion for improving the lives of students is the motivation for his long standing efforts in education.
Mr. Cyrus Hekmat, Esq., Director
Founder and CEO, Exam Performance
Mr. Hekmat earned his Bachelors Degree in Business Economics from UCLA, his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law, and his MBA and Master of Real Estate Development as a joint degree from USC. His professional work outside of academia includes several years as a real estate transactional attorney at the Los Angeles office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker.
After completing the MRED/MBA program at USC, Cyrus became General Counsel for a boutique real estate development, investment and management firm in Westwood Village whose projects include commercial office properties and hotel development projects. His professional work has taken a recent turn when he became an eLearning entrepreneur as the founder and CEO of Exam Performance Publishing.
Dr. Terri Iler, Director
Program Coordinator of Student Activities, UC Irvine
Dr. Terri Iler has had the joy of working with students from diverse backgrounds in promoting their academic retention and success; major and career exploration; and educational decision-making. In January 2009, Dr. Iler joined the Destination Graduation Project at CSU Long Beach and transitioned to the Assistant Director of CSULB’s University Honors Program. Following her tenure at CSULB, Dr. Iler worked as a Regional Coordinator of the California College Guidance Initiative. She now serves as the Program Coordinator of Student Activities in the School of Social Sciences at UC Irvine.
Dr. Iler received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in English Education and Italian Studies from CSULB in May 2008. She recently completed her Doctorate of Education through UCLA’s Educational Leadership Program. For her dissertation, Dr. Iler researched the factors that comprise students’ readiness to enter and succeed in college, unpacking the “college readiness” phenomenon by sex/gender, race/ethnicity, and field of study through structural equation modeling.
Dr. Karyn Koven, Director
Founder/CEO of LanguageBird; Co-Founder HighTech Los Angeles
Dr. Koven has nearly two decades of experience teaching, college counseling and working as an administrator in high school settings. As a co-founder of HighTech LA, she focused on curriculum building, best practices in college counseling, teaching and articulation with universities across the world. She has visited over 100 colleges domestically and internationally and has helped thousands of students form diverse backgrounds get admitted and gain financial aid to top universities.
She is the founder of LanguageBird®, live, online, one-to-one high school foreign language courses.
Dr. Koven earned her undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UCLA.
Ms. Jami Morse Heidegger, DirectorJami Morse Heidegger maintains a full personal and professional life that is best defined by the word “equilibrium.” Her greatest joy is found while focusing on her family life and savoring as many moments as she can before they have families of their own. Mrs. Heidegger’s tripod of influences are art, science, and beauty which have deeply influenced the course of her personal and professional life. She is an entrepreneur and philanthropist with a fervent desire to improve the lives of children in underserved communities of Los Angeles. Jami is a graduate of Harvard College.
Mr. Gary Starr, Director
Corporate Finance and Operations Consultant
Mr. Starr brings over twenty-five years of corporate finance experience in a variety of industries including education, publishing, entertainment, tech startup and non-profit. His experience with non-profits was as business manager for LessonLab Research Institute (part of Pearson Education) and as finance director for LA Theatre Works. Gary is strongly committed to helping organizations achieve their goals efficiently and with a long term view.
Mr. Pete Van Hamersveld, Director
Mr. Petrus (Pete) Van Hamersveld has over three decades of experience as an institutional research professional at California State University, Dominguez Hills, a campus known for its diversity and commitment to providing educational access and support to underrepresented students. His work supports high level decision making towards the goal of increasing student success. He is known for his ability to think originally and empirically, while working collaboratively with others.
Pete immigrated from Holland as a child and still speaks Dutch. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from CSU, Fullerton in 1985 as a first-generation college graduate. After beginning his career as an institutional researcher in 1986, he continued his studies in Sociology at CSU, Dominguez Hills in which he earned a Master’s degree in 1992.