Nellie Mae Education Foundation Announces Chair and Vice Chair of Board of Directors

Nellie Mae Education Foundation Announces Chair and Vice Chair of Board of Directors

QUINCY, Mass. – January 30, 2017 – The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (Nellie Mae), the largest philanthropic organization in New England focused exclusively on education, is pleased to announce the appointments of Janet Phlegar and Karen Hammond as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively, to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Phlegar will assume leadership following David Wolk, who stepped down at the end of his term limit and will remain on the Foundation’s Board of Directors.


Janet Phlegar previously served on the Nellie Mae Board as Chair of the Board’s Organizational Measurement Committee and as a member of the Executive Finance and Grants Policy & Program committees. Her experience as a former middle and high school teacher inspired her to work toward advancing school-based action research and the multiple roles of teachers. She also worked as the Executive Director of WestEd’s Learning Innovations Program, which specializes in customized technical assistance, training, and research and evaluation services for schools, districts, state agencies, communities and higher education institutions.


Additionally, Phlegar was Deputy Director of the Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast and Islands, and a Program Director for a national experiential citizenship education program in Washington, D.C. She is a co-author of Dynamic Teachers: Leaders of Change and Planning into Practice and serves on the national Board of Directors of Engaging Schools. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Margarita Muñiz Academy, a dual language high school in Boston, and on the Leadership Board for TEDxNatick. Phlegar was a co-founder and longtime Board member of the Natick Education Foundation, and each year NEF recognizes an outstanding teacher in the Natick Public Schools with the “Jan Phlegar Inspiration in Education Award.”


“Jan’s experience both in the classroom and as a leader advancing school-based action research and Karen’s extensive financial knowledge bring unique perspectives as they guide our team to engage educators and communities with student-centered approaches to bring education into the 21st century,” said Nick Donohue, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. “We are privileged to have them serving in these new roles, and I look forward to working with them in support of our goal to prepare students across New England to graduate high school fully prepared to take on the challenges of a college education and career. We also are incredibly grateful for David’s leadership and thank him for his dedicated service over the past 11 years, along with his continued commitment to the Board.”


Karen Hammond serves as Chair of the Board’s Investment Committee and the Executive Finance and Grants Policy & Program committees. She has also served in a variety of leadership roles for the financial services industry. In 2013, Hammond retired from her position as Managing Director at Devonshire Investors, the private equity group affiliated with Fidelity Investments. Previously, she held several roles at Fidelity, including Senior Vice President of Fidelity Management & Research Company, Corporate Treasurer of FMR Corporation and Chief Operating Officer of Fidelity Investments Japan in Tokyo. Prior to joining Fidelity, Hammond worked at Boston Five Cents Savings Bank as Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, and was Trust Officer at Bank of New England.


Hammond is a Chartered Financial Analyst. She is a member of the Board of Directors of CYS Investments (NYSE:CYS). Her community affiliations include the Boards of Simmons College, The Rhode Island School of Design, RISD Museum and Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island.



About the Nellie Mae Education Foundation:

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is the largest philanthropic organization in New England that focuses exclusively on education. The Foundation supports the promotion and integration of student-centered approaches to learning at the high school level across New England—where learning is personalized; learning is competency-based; learning takes place anytime, anywhere; and students exert ownership over their own learning. To elevate student-centered approaches, the Foundation utilizes a four-part strategy that focuses on: building educator ownership, understanding and capacity; advancing quality and rigor of SCL practices; developing effective systems designs; and building public understanding and demand. Since 1998, the Foundation has distributed over $210 million in grants. For more information about the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, visit