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Board Members

Peter J. Farrell, partner and co-founder of CityInterests LLC and PADC Realty Investors LLC
Peter J. Farrell is a partner and co-founder of CityInterests, LLC and PADC Realty Investors LLC, both of which are downtown Washington, DC, real estate development and investment companies. PADC, which began operations in 2004, has invested in over 2.1 million square feet of office and residential development. Founded in 2005, CityInterests is a fully-integrated real estate development firm focused on the mixed-use urban revitalization of underserved areas in the Washington, DC, region as well as boutique residential real estate projects in emerging markets such as LeDroit Park, Shaw, Mt. Vernon and Trinidad. In addition, CityInterests is developing a large hotel, residential and retail mixed-use development on the Potomac River waterfront in Old Town Alexandria Virginia. Farrell serves on boards of various educational institutions and philanthropic endeavors, including the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative.

Jerry L. Johnson, managing director, RLJ Equity Partners
Jerry L. Johnson is a founding member and managing director of the private equity firm RLJ Equity Partners. Established as a joint venture by Robert L. Johnson and the Carlyle Group, RLJ acquires controlling positions in crucial economic sectors ranging from education and government services to transportation and the media. Johnson has successfully led RLJ's investments in several key firms, including Envirovac, Naylor, Media Source, Tok & Stok, and CVC International. Johnson's early career includes experience advising Fortune 500 companies as an investment banker with Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette and as a consultant with McKinsey & Company.

John Oberdorfer, board chair, United Planning Organization
John Oberdorfer is a partner at Patton Boggs Law Firm, and served on the UPO board for four and a half years before transitioning from vice chair to chairman of the board. Oberdorfer also leads UPO's development committee and has been instrumental in guiding the agency's public visibility efforts and expansion of the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Breakfast.

Daniel Pedersen, senior advisor
Daniel Pedersen is senior adviser to national philanthropies focused on the early childhood field, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. From 2000 to 2011, he served as founding president of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund. Pedersen serves as chairman emeritus of the board of the Alliance for Early Success, which is backed by at least six philanthropies that share a common theory of change and support a common "integrated strategy" for national reform by pooling their dollars. Before entering philanthropy, Pedersen worked for 25 years as a journalist—including 18 years as a Newsweek bureau chief at home and abroad, primarily in London. Born in Omaha, Pedersen holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Boston College.

Jessie Rasmussen, president, Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Jessie Rasmussen joined the Buffett Early Childhood Fund in 2007, and her entire professional career has focused on improving outcomes for children and families. For more than 20 years, Rasmussen was an early childhood education teacher and administrator, then spent the next 20 years in state government, first as a Nebraska state senator and then as the state human services director in both Nebraska and Iowa. She served as the early childhood policy director for the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, and played an instrumental role in the development and successful passage of early childhood legislation in 2006 that established a $60 million early childhood endowment, funded through a public and private partnership.

Diana Mendley Rauner, president, Ounce of Prevention Fund
Diana Mendley Rauner is president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a public-private partnership serving at-risk children and their families from before birth to age five. Rauner oversees the overall strategic direction of the Ounce, defining and leading the work in four key areas: programs and training, policy and advocacy, research, and communications. Rauner conceives strategies and drives new initiatives to raise national awareness of the importance of early childhood education. She holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Chicago, an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. from Yale University.

Jeff Schoenberg, advisor, Pritzker Children's Initiative
Jeff Schoenberg is an advisor to the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, a private family foundation deeply committed to the pursuit of social justice and to shaping innovative and effective strategies for solving society's most challenging problems. Schoenberg previously spent 22 years as one of the leading children's advocates and reform voices in the Illinois legislature. Until January 2013, Schoenberg served as an assistant majority leader in the Illinois State Senate, representing communities in Chicago's north suburban Ninth District. He started his accomplished career in state politics when he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1990. Schoenberg principally advises members of the Pritzker family on grant making for the Pritzker Children's Initiative, which seeks to enhance the early learning capabilities of infants and toddlers, with a special focus on at-risk children and their families.

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