Staff Detail

Celine Coggins
Executive Director

Celine has been an educator for more than two decades, with a track record as an innovator, leader and connector.  Celine began her career as a middle school teacher in Worcester, MA and went on to serve in a number of education policy leadership roles, including assistant to the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education. 

Celine’s work has always been deeply connected to teachers and disadvantaged schools. In 2007, she founded Teach Plus, a nationwide network of top-performing teachers, where she spent the next decade as CEO. Under Celine’s leadership, Teach Plus grew to over 30,000 participating teachers and offered groundbreaking programs in leadership development and advocacy. Celine was recognized by President Obama at the White House for her organization’s impact on public education.

A nationally-recognized expert on teacher leadership, education policy standards and accountability, and union politics, Celine has addressed audiences at the Philanthropy Roundtable, the Askwith Forum at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and on NBC’s Education Nation. She appears regularly in the media and has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Atlantic, among many others. She is the author of three books, including her most recent, How to Be Heard: Ten Lessons Teachers Need to Advocate for Their Students and Profession.

Celine earned her Ph.D. in education policy analysis at Stanford University and holds an appointment as a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

As a young person, Celine’s life and educational trajectory were profoundly altered by an anonymous donor. That experience made fighting for quality educational opportunities for disadvantaged students her life’s work. It also taught her the power of philanthropy, which started her on the journey to this role.

Jessie Lea
Systems & Data Administrator

Jessie’s background includes more than eight years’ experience in data management and systems administration. As systems and data administrator, he ensures our IT systems serve us to the best capacity and makes sure we have quality data at our fingertips to support programs and decision-making within Grantmakers for Education. Jessie’s commitment to technology makes him a driver of innovation and efficiency.

Kyle Malone
Senior Manager of Partnerships

With more than 30 years of experience in program management, youth development, higher education and philanthropy, Kyle has proudly made a career in education focused on student advocacy and college attainment. As Grantmakers for Education’s senior manager of partnerships, Kyle is expanding and deepening the organization’s partnerships to generate resources, create programs and establish connections that align with the current and future needs of our members. Kyle is dedicated to ensuring that all learners, his own children included, are supported and prepared for higher education and life.

Paul Moon
Senior Program Manager

Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, Paul comes to Grantmakers for Education with experience in program management and administration in nonprofits and all levels of government. He is responsible for the successful development and administration of Grantmakers for Education’s programs, and also serves as a liaison between the organization and its members. Paul brings with him a passion for serving marginalized and disenfranchised youth through education and the arts. He graduated with his Master of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2017, and enjoys breakdancing and beatboxing in his free time.

Alessandra Piani
Membership Associate

Alessandra believes that education is a basic human right which should be promoted by challenging inequality. In her role as membership associate, she builds relationships with current and prospective Grantmakers for Education members. Before moving to New York to earn a certificate in business management, she put her master's in foreign languages to use at the United Nations in Italy where she gained much insight in the promotion of education in developing countries. This experience contributed to her passion for the philanthropic sector.

Beverly Ross Denny
Managing Director

With professional experience in both the private and public sectors, Beverly is a seasoned operations executive working for over 15 years leading teams, managing change, and engaging in systems improvement to enhance overall organizational performance while maintaining day-to-day management responsibilities.

She began her career in management consulting with Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group and marketing with Microsoft before transitioning into K-12 education. She entered public education through the Broad Residency in Urban Education. In over a decade, she has worked with the Boston Public Schools where she was the deputy of human resources, as well as Research for Better Teaching as the chief operating officer, serving clients such as the Singapore Ministry of Education, Boston Public Schools, Newton Public Schools and Montgomery County Public Schools.

Beverly has a bachelor's degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

Angela Taylor
Accounting and Operations Associate

Angela Taylor is no stranger to accounting, having spent over 10 years as a bookkeeper and accounting assistant.  With a passion for nonprofits, Angela understands how important it is to be on top of your financial footing. She assists Grantmakers for Education's controller by creating  and maintaining high-quality financial records and efficient operational  organization. Angela's strong belief in the power of change and the importance of transparency aligns with one of Grantmakers for Education’s operating principles: We embrace a culture of change and innovation.

Rebecca Smith
Senior Communications Manager

Rebecca brings more than 20 years of nonprofit administration and communication experience as well as a M.S. in communication to her position. As senior communications manager, she assures that the value of Grantmakers for Education’s programs and benefits are effectively conveyed to philanthropies that serve the education community. Her passion for increasing individual empowerment and opportunities for learners of all ages fuels her dedication to Grantmakers for Education’s mission.

Hannah Wang
Program Assistant

As program assistant, Hannah supports the development of Grantmakers for Education's programs, including our annual conference. In her role, she assists with the planning, communication and implementation involved in Grantmakers for Education programs. Coming from a journalism background, Hannah believes deeply in the importance of accessible information and is committed to the future of education. She is currently based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.