Welcome to the GFE Board

Grantmakers for Education welcomes John Fitzpatrick and Charmaine Mercer to the board of directors.

John Fitzpatrick

John Fitzpatrick
Executive Director
Educate Texas

John is the executive director of Educate Texas, CFT's statewide education initiative. His role spans five areas: strategy, fundraising, advocacy, culture/talent and what he calls Team CFT. From 1997-2004, John had a dual role as the executive director of Skillpoint Alliance, a central Texas nonprofit, and vice president for education and workforce development at the Austin Chamber of Commerce. John moved to Texas in 1994 to attend grad school at the LBJ School at UT Austin, where he met his wife, Kristen Vassallo. Before that, he worked on Capitol Hill for Republicans and Democrats on education, workforce development, trade and other issues. John taught eighth-grade English and U.S. history for a year in Long Island, New York. He holds a bachelor’s in sociology from Wesleyan University, where he also played soccer.

 

Charmaine Mercer

Charmaine Mercer
Program Officer, Education
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Charmaine is a program officer in Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Her portfolio focuses on education policy, practices, and tools that advance deeper learning experiences and outcomes, especially for those furthest from opportunity.

Prior to joining the foundation, Charmaine was a director and senior researcher for the Learning Policy Institute, where she led a small team of dedicated researchers, policy advocates, and communication specialists. In a previous role, she served as the vice president for standards, assessment, and deeper learning at the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national policy and advocacy organization that focuses on secondary schools. Charmaine has also held various positions on Capitol Hill, including as a senior staffer for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, a senior staffer for the Education and Labor Committee, and a researcher for the Congressional Research Service.

Charmaine received her Ph.D. in politics and education policy from Claremont Graduate University, as well as her master’s degree in political science. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University. Charmaine is a native Californian, finally returning home after being on the East coast since 2002, and the shamelessly proud mom of adorable twin boys. She also enjoys running.