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Leadership Team

Lynn M. Gangone

President and Chief Executive Officer
Phone: 202-478-4505 (executive assistant)

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Dr. Lynn M. Gangone is a seasoned education leader with association, agency, and campus-based leadership experience. As a faculty member, campus senior administrator, association executive, and lobbyist and policy analyst, Gangone brings a unique perspective to her work. She began her career in education working on Carl Perkins Vocational Equity grants, working through the New York State Education Department, and later, New Jersey, developing and delivering PK-12 professional development to teachers and guidance counselors. Later, as vice president of the Maryland Independent College and University Association, she led the association’s academic policy and related lobbying work, with specific oversight of teacher education and education accreditation. She has held faculty appointments at two colleges of education, the George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development (DC) as a visiting professor, and a full professor (clinical)at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education.

Prior to her appointment as president and CEO of AACTE, she served as vice president at the American Council on Education (ACE), where she and her team guided ACE’s suite of programs, products, and services for current and future leaders. She served as dean of Colorado Women’s College, University of Denver, one of 12 deans and 7 vice chancellors within a private doctoral/research university dedicated to the public good. She has also served as executive director of the National Association for Women in Education, and as vice president of development, as well as vice president/dean of students, at Centenary University (NJ). She consults, writes, and speaks on education leadership, advancement of underrepresented men and women, strategic planning, and change management.

Gangone received an Ed.D. and M.Ed., with a concentration in organizations and leadership, from Teachers College, Columbia University (NY); an M.S. and C.A.S. in counseling psychology from the University at Albany, State University of New York; and a B.A. in political science from the College of New Rochelle. She was a member of the class of 2010 Harvard Institute for Educational Management (IEM) and is certified through Trustee Leadership Development. She is also a member of the Colorado and Washington, DC, chapters of the International Women’s Forum (IWF) and served as Colorado’s 2013 president; she has served the IWF Leadership Foundation as a fellows mentor. Some of the many honors she has received include Twenty-Five Most Powerful Women in Colorado, Women of Distinction—Girl Scouts of Colorado, Women Making History—Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Diamond Honoree—American College Personnel Association, and the Ursula Laurus Alumnae Award from the College of New Rochelle.

Rowena Williams

Vice President of Finance and Administration
Phone: 202-478-4570

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Rowena Williams has a 20-plus year career directing financial operations, strategic planning, program and system analysis and implementation, government and foundation grants management, master planning and human resource administration.

Active in the health science field for many years, Williams served as senior finance and administrative officer for PATH’s Malaria Vaccine Initiative where she managed the more than $250 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for the international health initiative. In addition, she served as the finance and administrative vice president for the nation’s leading oral healthcare and education association, and managed the financial operations of one of the country’s largest nurses associations, incorporates three separate companies.

Prior to moving into the health sciences industry, Williams worked for more than a decade in education administration at two of the highest, nationally recognized educational institutions. She served as director of finance and operations at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC and The Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. She oversaw multi-million dollar budgets, managed financial operations, endowments and administrative functions at both institutions.

Williams has a bachelor’s of science in finance from Ithaca College and a master’s in business leadership from Georgetown University.

Matthew Wales

Vice President, Member Services & Events
Phone: 202-478-4597

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Matthew Wales began his professional career as a high school teacher in his home town of Wilkinson, Indiana in August 2002. Upon moving to Washington, D.C. in May 2003, he began working as an information and marketing specialist for the Educational Research Service (ERS). His skills were used to assist in researching current education issues, while also providing guidance on the organization’s membership and marketing efforts.

In July 2006, Wales joined the staff of AACTE as the coordinator for state relations, overseeing AACTE’s state chapter management. In October 2007, he transitioned internally to the associations’ Meetings and Events team, where among his many responsibilities were site selection and contracting, management of volunteer programming, content development, governance support, and the implementation of AACTE Annual Meetings (11 and counting!). In his current position, he provides program management, business development, constituent services and event coordination and implementation expertise to the association’s Membership and Events team.

Wales is a graduate of Wabash College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and German, with an area of concentration in secondary education. He also earned his Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation from the Events Industry Council in 2010. Wales is an active member of Meeting Professionals International (MPI), and has served both as the president of the Potomac Chapter of MPI and on several global committees. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, and currently serves on several advisory councils designed to enhance and improve the events industry.

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Jacqueline Rodriguez

Vice President, Research, Policy, & Advocacy
Phone: 202-478-4501

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Dr. Jacqueline Rodriguez is the Vice President for Research, Policy, & Advocacy at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) where she leads the strategy and content devlopment for the association’s research, policy, and advocacy. Jackie is an experienced teacher, teacher leader, and professor. Prior to her appointment with AACTE, Jackie served William & Mary as a special education faculty member in the School of Education. She continues to mentor graduate students and serve on dissertation committees. Jackie is a Holmes Scholars alumna, co-establishing the W&M Holmes Scholars Program and coordinating the program through her tenure at the University. Jackie also co-directed the W&M Social Justice Graduate Research Fellowship supporting graduate students in their pursuit to study social justice on campus and throughout the community.

Jackie’s research focuses on providing all students equity and access to high-quality education and educators. Her book, Special Education Law and Policy: From Foundation to Application, focuses ensuring educators and advocates are prepared to support students with disabilities in our nation’s schools. She’s written and presented on topics including culturally responsive teaching practices, simulation to support teacher preparation, STEM education for diverse exceptional learners, and bridging education policy to practice. Jackie served on the High Leverage Practices Writing team supported by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and the CEEDAR Center. Jackie’s research in the area of education in emergencies and conflict is focused on displaced/refugee students with disabilities.

Jackie is active in state, national, and international professional organizations where she supports increased access for students with exceptionalities and student veterans to institutes of higher education, high-quality teacher preparation, and meaningful policies to support diverse and exceptional learners. Rodriguez has served on the Boards of the Teacher Education Division of CEC, the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education, the State of Virginia’s Advisory Committee for Disability Access to Higher Education, and the Division for International Special Needs Education and Services. She continues to serve on several editorial boards.

Jackie has a Ph.D. in education with a focus on exceptional education from the University of Central Florida where she was a McKnight Doctoral Fellow and an Order of Pegasus Awardee. Jackie earned a M.A. in special education with a learning disabilities specialization from American University and her B.A. in international affairs and Latin American studies with a concentration in culture and society from The George Washington University