Board of Directors

Marlene Canter

Marlene Canter - National Board Chair

Former LAUSD Board President

Marlene Canter has spent the majority of her career in education: first as a special education  teacher, then co-founding and helping to run a teacher training company (Canter and Associates, now Laureate Education, Inc.) for 25 years, and, finally, serving eight years on the LAUSD School Board as a policy maker.  She retired in 2009. She is currently the Board Chair for Green Dot Public Schools National and serves on the Board at City Year Los Angeles.  Marlene divides her time between her chaplaincy studies, her leadership roles in education reform, and being with family and friends. Ms. Canter is now in school at the Academy for Jewish Religion where she is pursuing an MA in Jewish Studies and a Chaplaincy degree. She was motivated to take this path as a result of watching the challenges that people faced in their day to day life and was interested in becoming more skillful at helping people to find meaning in their lives. Ms. Canter has two married children and two beautiful granddaughters.  She resides in Los Angeles.


Kevin Reed - California Board Chair

Vice President and General Counsel, University of Oregon

Kevin Reed is the Vice President and General Counsel for the University of Oregon, and was formerly the Vice Chancellor of Legal Affairs at UCLA. A civil rights lawyer by training, prior to UCLA he served as general counsel of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation's second largest school district. Prior to joining LAUSD, Reed spent nearly eight years in a boutique litigation firm, which followed six years as the managing attorney for the western regional office of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., in Los Angeles. Reed received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his B.A. with distinction, from the University of Virginia. He is a member of the California, New York and Massachusetts state bars.


Larry Neal - Tennessee Board Chair

Commercial Lender,  Simmons Bank 

Larry Neal has a passion for creating opportunity for students. He currently is a Commercial Lender at Simmons Bank. He started his career as a Teach for America corps member, teaching high school math in Lake Village, Arkansas after graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in finance. Larry has served as board chair for an independent charter school in Atlanta, and he was also a New Memphis Institute Fellows Program graduate. In addition, he founded Memphians for Educational Equity after connecting with some kindred spirits upon moving to Memphis.

He and his wife Whitney, who was in the same TFA placement school in Lake Village and is a Memphis native, have two small children, are members of Christ United Methodist Church, and love Memphis. Whitney's mother is also a graduate of Hillcrest High School.