Speaker Bios

Kerri L. Briggs, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education

Kerri L. Briggs has been nominated as the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education within the U.S. Department of Education. Briggs plays a pivotal role in the department's policy and management issues affecting elementary and secondary education. She directs, coordinates and recommends policy for programs designed to assist state and local education agencies with improving the achievement of elementary and secondary school students; helping ensure equal access to services leading to such improvement for all children, particularly children who are economically disadvantaged; fostering educational improvement at the state and local levels; and providing financial assistance to local education agencies whose local revenues are affected by federal activities.

Prior to this role, Briggs served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development since September 1, 2006. Before that, Briggs had served for one year as Senior Policy Adviser in the Office of the Deputy Secretary, where she worked on K–12 policy and regulations pertaining to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In 2001, she joined the Department as a senior policy adviser in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, working for four years on the review and approval of state accountability plans for NCLB. She also helped write the original regulations and non-regulatory guidance for implementation of the law's accountability, assessment, flexibility and teacher quality provisions.

A native of Midland, Texas, Briggs moved as a young girl with her family to Houston, where she attended public schools. She earned her bachelor's degree in political science from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1989, and she did her postgraduate work at the University of Southern California, where she earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in education policy and organizational studies. Briggs came to the Department after working for two years at the University of Texas Center for Reading and Language Arts in Austin, where she served as a research associate and as the Director of Evaluation.

The author of many articles on reading, charter schools and school-based management, Briggs was the co-editor of the 2003 book Reading in the Classroom: Systems for Observation of Teaching and Learning, published by the P.H. Brookes Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md.

Briggs was most recently the Chairman of the Junior League of Washington: Literacy Partnerships Committee, of which she also served as Vice Chairman from June 2005 through July 2006. She is also a board member for the Aged Women's Home of Georgetown.

Peter D. Hart, Chairman, Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc.

For more than 35 years, Peter D. Hart has been one of the leading analysts of public opinion in the United States. Since 1971, he has directed Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., which has conducted more than 6,000 public opinion surveys that have included interviews among more than five million individuals. Hart Research also has undertaken more than 5,000 focus group sessions. Hart currently serves as Chairman of Hart Research and Senior Counselor to the McGinn Group.

Hart built his reputation on his successful work in politics, but in 1986, he turned over most of this work to others in the firm in order to focus on public policy, cultural and social issues as well as strategic consulting work for corporations. Corporate clients have included IBM®, Time Warner®, American Airlines®, Coca-Cola®, Microsoft®, AT&T, and Tiffany and Co.® His work in the nonprofit field includes research for Habitat for Humanity®, the ACLU, The Smithsonian Institution and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Internationally, Hart has conducted studies in South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Over the past decade, Hart has taught courses in public policy at Duke University's Sanford Institute of Public Policy, the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, and UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy.

Hart appears frequently on major television programs that discuss public policy issues, including Meet the Press, The Today Show and The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. In 1989, along with Robert Teeter, Hart was selected by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal to conduct their public opinion polling. 2006 marked the 17th year of this relationship.

Allan Rivlin, Senior Vice President, Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc.

Allan Rivlin is a senior vice president with Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., in Washington, D.C. In more than a dozen years of conducting research on consumer, voter and elite public opinion, Rivlin has moderated hundreds of focus group sessions and conducted surveys on a wide range of social, political and commercial topics.

Rivlin has served as a consultant to the campaigns of several United States senators and congressional leaders. He has also worked with IBM, American Airlines, DaimlerChrysler and other leading corporations. His clients have included the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and other public-interest organizations. He has worked on the surveys Hart Research conducts regularly for NBC News, The Wall Street Journal and other media clients.

Rivlin joined Hart Research in early 1997 after leaving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he was a senior advisor to Secretary Donna E. Shalala. He currently teaches a class in marketing research at Georgetown University. For five years, he wrote the monthly "Poll Position" column for NationalJournal.com. Rivlin is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a master's degree in management from Yale University.

David H. Winston, President and Founder of The Winston Group

David H. Winston is president and founder of The Winston Group, a strategic market and communications research firm. Before establishing the firm, Winston worked extensively with political campaigns, worked as a member of senior leadership staff in Congress, and served as a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a prominent Washington, D.C., think tank.

Winston worked for four years with former House Republican Conference Chair J.C. Watts. Preceding that, he was Director of Planning for the Speaker of the House and a commissioner of the federal Web-Based Education Commission.

Additionally, Winston worked for the European Ideas Network, a public policy think tank that deals with politicians and strategists from the center-right parties of the European Parliament; was an adjunct professor at Communications College at American University, in Washington, D.C.; served as Polling Editor for PollTrack of PoliticsNow, the political website for ABC News, The Washington Post and National Journal; and worked as chief information officer for the Republican National Committee.

He currently teaches campaign strategy at the Campaign Management Institute at American University, is a newspaper columnist for Roll Call, and works as an election analyst for CBS News. Winston has also recently contributed to two books: Democracy and the New Media and United We Serve: National Service and the Future of Citizenship.

Scott Nelson, Vice President, Marketing & Public Affairs, ETS

Scott Nelson assumed the role of Vice President of Marketing & Public Affairs (M&PA) at ETS on February 1, 2007. His responsibilities include overseeing ETS's efforts to expand the corporate brand, drive business opportunities, and establish the company's positions on education policy through communications, advocacy and outreach.

The M&PA division encompasses internal and external relations, including media relations; graphic and website design; multimedia and event-planning services; editorial services; and government relations and public affairs, which operate from ETS's Washington, D.C., office and interact with federal, state and international entities.

Nelson joined the M&PA division in 2006 as Associate Vice President. Prior to coming to ETS, he held a wide variety of positions in communications, public affairs and marketing for DuPont.

At various times while at DuPont, Nelson served as Global Marketing Services Leader, Global Brand and Marketing-Communications Leader and Public Affairs Director for the Asia region. He also served as Vice President of Public Affairs for the DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company. In addition, he had corporate responsibility for the company's public policy effort to support standards-based education reform.

Nelson is a board member of several nonprofit organizations, such as Delaware CarePlan, the Homes for Life Foundation and Special Olympics Delaware. He has earned a Six Sigma Green Belt and holds a bachelor's degree in psychology.

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