Sharing Bellwether team news

Today, Bellwether is excited to announce three new senior leaders are joining our team and to share information about new opportunities for two of our longtime senior leaders. 

  • Akisha Osei Sarfo, Ph.D., recently joined Bellwether as Senior Associate Partner on the Policy and Evaluation team. Sarfo’s work focuses on program evaluation, experimental and quasi-experimental research design, urban education, race and equity in education, education policy, teacher quality, and school accountability. Prior to joining Bellwether, Sarfo served as Chief Performance Officer at Guilford County Schools in North Carolina, the 47th largest school district in the country.

  • Thomas Gold recently joined Bellwether as Senior Associate Partner on the Policy and Evaluation team. For the past two decades, Gold’s work has been driven by the urgency to utilize research and evidence to advance social change and greater equity in education. In recent years, he has focused on advancing global innovation and entrepreneurship in education through programs and research. Previously, as the Vice President for Research at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), Gold helped to lead the organization to support college and career readiness in under-resourced communities across the U.S.

  • Anson Jackson will join Bellwether in May as Senior Adviser, Academic & Program Strategy on the Strategic Advising team. A long-time educator and instructional leader, Jackson will join our team having previously served as the Deputy Chief of Schools for Uplift Education, and as the Superintendent for Summit Public Schools in the Bay Area. 

We’re excited for Sarfo, Gold and Jackson to grow Bellwether’s impact with their passion and expertise, and to help lead us toward our mission of dramatically changing education and life outcomes for underserved children. 

We also have bittersweet news about two longtime team members. 

After four years with Bellwether, Tresha Ward will leave her role as Partner overseeing our Academic and Program Strategy team later this spring and join Brooklyn Prospect Charter Schools as Chief Executive Officer. In addition, after more than eight years helping to lead Bellwether’s strategic advising work, Jeff Schulz will transition from his role as Partner this fall to pursue opportunities as an operator.  

These are great and impactful professional opportunities for both Ward and Schulz, but we’re sad to see them go given their contributions to Bellwether and its clients. Ward has grown Bellwether’s academic advising practice area, and served as an important leader in Bellwether’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work. During his time at Bellwether, Schulz has built our work in both early childhood education and post-secondary, and strengthened our business development practices.

“I’m excited and honored to take on the role of CEO at Brooklyn Prospect Schools. It’s an opportunity to join an incredible school community that aligns with my personal mission of delivering outstanding outcomes for all kids and doing that work with a strong equity focus,” says Ward. “I’m looking forward to taking the experiences and learnings from my nearly four years at Bellwether to provide direct support to kids and families in my neighborhood. I’m grateful for the time I’ve spent here, supporting and learning alongside diverse leaders across the country through our Academic Program Strategy work, and I’m especially proud of Bellwether’s efforts to support leaders from the start of the pandemic in getting strategic and targeted about academic response and recovery.” 

“At Bellwether, I’ve had the privilege of working with more than 50 diverse education organizations to tackle a wide range of strategic issues, many of them related to growth,” says Schulz. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the leaders and teams I’ve supported, and I have a ton of respect for those teams that wake up every day focused on building and scaling solutions through a particular product, service, or approach. I’m energized thinking about a role with a mission-driven team where I can dig deep to tackle a specific education challenge in a scalable and high impact way, and that’s what I’ll be spending the next several months identifying.”

Bellwether’s team of partners and senior leaders will take over both Schulz and Ward’s workstreams to ensure a seamless transition, and Bellwether will announce additional senior hires later this year. 

“We’ll miss Jeff and Tresha greatly, and all that they’ve added to our work and culture. But we’re also excited for them to begin these new chapters,” says Bellwether Managing Partner Mary Wells. “We are proud to have built an organization where people can learn and pursue their interests while furthering our mission, and then also pursue those interests in other roles. As Bellwether continues to grow, we’re heartened that Jeff and Tresha will continue being partners in our work from afar, and that we’re all working toward a common goal to transform education for underserved kids and communities.”