Our Team

Susan Dawson
President and Executive Director


Susan Dawson is a Texas entrepreneur, business and civic leader.  She founded and leads the E3 Alliance (for Education Equals Economics), a regional collaborative to increase economic outcomes by aligning our education systems to fulfill the potential of every student. E3 Alliance has been recognized across the country for its ground-breaking work in systemic change for education. Susan has led multiple technology firms and served as Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Her many awards include the Leadership Austin Polly Scallorn Award for Lifetime Achievement in Community Trusteeship, Austin Under 40 “Austinite of the Year”, Hero for Children by the State Board of Education, Austin Profiles in Power “Profile Leader”, and the UT McCombs School “Trailblazer Award” for the distinguished woman alumni trailblazer in business and community. In 2011 the Austin Business Journal named Susan one of “Austin’s 30 Most Influential” leaders who have shaped Austin’s economy and culture in the last 30 years.  Susan has a BS Cum Laude from Princeton University and an MBA with Highest Honors from UT Austin McCombs School of Business.


Christine Bailie
Director of High School, College & Career Success


Christine Bailie has worked in the field of education for 20 years. She has taught at the high school level in the Leander and Cypress-Fairbanks school districts. She received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Texas A&M and holds a Master’s of Public Affairs degree with a specialization in Social and Economic Policy from the University of Texas. Christine’s research projects at the Charles A. Dana Center and the Ray Marshall Center for Human Resources along with her policy work at Leander ISD and the Office of Tom Craddick provide a broad range of experiences in the field of education. She is active in the Leander community where she is a founding board member of the Hill Country Education Foundation supporting its endeavors by serving as the Grant Committee Chair. She initiated the Vandegrift PTA Ladder, initiated and continues to coordinate the PTA Ladders’ annual School Board Candidate Forum, and has served on the Site-Based Committee at Four Points Middle School for the last three years.


Teri Clement
Project Manager of RAISEup Texas

After 10 years in the private sector as a corporate trainer, Teri returned to the public school classroom, determined to make a difference in the lives of students and communities through education. Teri’s passion for educational change led her to a school leadership role at Simon Middle School at Hays CISD, just as they were beginning to implement the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) through the RAISEup Texas project. During the past five years of instructional leadership at Simon, she has earned certification both as a Principal and Content Enhancement Professional Developer from University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Teri joined RAISEup Texas as a Project Manager in 2016 determined to advocate and work for school transformation. Teri earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts from the University of Houston-Victoria focused on History and Administrative Education.  


Cara Clifford
Chief Operations Officer &  Systems Manager

Cara is responsible for all financial information and office systems and processes and for coordinating project management systems and processes across all initiatives at E3 Alliance.  Cara has over 25 years of experience in finance, information technology and management consulting.   Prior to joining E3, Cara was employed by Whole Foods, Dell Computers, Price Waterhouse in senior management roles and leading teams in developing business systems and processes.  Cara earned an MBA with a concentration in Information Systems from the University of Maryland Robert H Smith School of Business and a B.A. in Business Administration and Accounting from Gettysburg College.  She is also a licensed CPA.


Sonia Dominguez
Director of Student Success

Sonia Dominguez has worked in public education for the last 15 years. She is a former middle school mathematics teacher, instructional coach, district administrator, and adjunct faculty. Before joining E3, she was Administrative Supervisor for the Chief Office of Teaching and Learning in the Austin Independent School District where she served as the district captain for the My Brother’s Keeper Success Mentors Initiative and supported district leadership with strategic planning and alignment of educational programs. Prior to her role in Austin ISD, she served as the Director of Secondary Education in Seguin ISD, where she led the designation process for an Early College High School and supported campus administrators, teachers, and staff with implementation of secondary instructional programs. Sonia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at El Paso.


Emma Garrett
Senior Administrative Assistant

Emma Garrett serves as the Executive Assistant to E3 Alliance. Prior to coming to E3 Alliance, Emma practiced law in Central Texas, representing abused and neglected children.  Emma’s passion for improving education outcomes for all students led to Emma’s new career at E3 Alliance.  Emma received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from Texas Tech Law School.  In her spare time she enjoys cheering for her kids at their soccer games, reading, jogging with friends, and hosting well-attended parties.


Caitlin Hamrock, PhD
Senior Research Associate

Caitlin Hamrock joined E3 after completing her PhD in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin.  Caitlin’s previous research focused on post-secondary education and the transition to the labor market, as well as STEM education, dual credit course completion, teacher preparation programs, and socio-demographic inequality in education.  Caitlin specializes in regression based modeling, non-experimental causal research, and large scale administrative data analysis.  At E3 Alliance, Caitlin leads the research for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the Central Texas Education Profile. Caitlin received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with distinction from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.


Amy Havard
Project Manager of RAISEup Texas

Amy Havard is the Project Manager of RAISEup Texas, responsible for ensuring project fidelity across multiple schools and supporting campuses participating in the project.  Amy has over 15 years of experience in education and is currently serving as is a certified professional developer in the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) and has conducted multiple training sessions in both Learning Strategies (LS) and Content Enhancement Routines (CER).  In 2010 Amy became a Nationally Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) in Early Adolescent Mathematics from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).  Previously, Amy worked as a SIM Instructional Coach, Mathematics teacher, and Interventionist within the Austin and Round Rock school districts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Teaching degree from City University of Seattle.


Christie Hepburn
Event Coordinator & Web Content Manager

Christie Hepburn has more than fifteen years of experience as an educator with a focus on reading, English language arts and special education. She joined E3 Alliance in 2008 to help coordinate Central Texas Deliberative Dialogues and has continued to provide support on a variety of projects. Christie earned a BS in Great Book Studies from St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire and a Master’s in Bilingual Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities and English as a Second Language from the University of Texas at Austin.


Laura Koenig
Director of School Readiness


For over 20 years, Laura Koenig has been working with families through direct child care, parent education, provider education, public policy and advocacy in Central Texas. In her early career, Laura worked in child care as an infant teacher. This work with children and families inspired her to pursue a systems change approach in early care and education through public policy. Most recently before joining the staff of E3 Alliance, Laura coordinated the Parents of Newborns project at FamilyConnections, providing education and outreach to over 7,800 new families annually. Prior to that, Laura was part of a community-wide initiative to improve access to quality, affordable child care, the Institute for Child Care Excellence, where she served as the policy and education specialist. Laura earned a BA, Plan II, Cum Laude, from The University of Texas of Austin with a concentration in Psychology. She also holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School at The University of Texas, where she focused on child and family policy.


Karl Nichols
Vice President of Investor Development

Karl Nichols has over 20 years of experience as a management professional with a proven record of leadership in the non-profit sector in the areas of educational and healthcare program management, administrative leadership, organizational partnerships, fund development, and civic engagement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and now Austin, Texas. In Austin, Karl has worked in senior leadership roles with organizations such as:  OneStar Foundation, Skillpoint Alliance, SafePlace, and more recently, the African American Youth Harvest Foundation.  In his previous work, Karl was responsible for leading the strategic fundraising efforts of a local nonprofit and helped grow the operating budget by 54 percent in one year through the expansion of governmental contracts, increases in corporate and philanthropic giving, and launching annual giving and individual/major donor campaigns. Karl holds both a BA and MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  Karl is happily married to Linda Nichols and resides in Austin, Texas with their three sons who all graduated from Round Rock Independent School District high schools and currently matriculate at Texas universities.


Matt Pope
Senior Program Director of RAISEup Texas

Matt Pope is the former Principal of the award-winning Simon Middle School in Hays County.  Under his leadership, Simon MS achieved recognition as a “2014 National School to Watch” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, and was chosen as a “SIM Impact School Award” winner by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.  In 2015 Simon MS was recognized as the State of Texas “School of Character” by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association.  Matt was honored as a Salud Hero from Salud America! for his work with increasing the health and wellness of Hispanic Students, and highlighted by the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk as a top secondary leader for implementing Response to Intervention.  Matt has been featured in the Tribune Magazine and the Association of Middle Level Educators national publications.  At E3 Alliance, Matt oversees the management and growth of RAISEup Texas, a whole-school model transforming middle school teaching and learning with the potential to impact tens of thousands of middle school students in Central Texas. He also volunteers as the Regional Director of Raise Your Hand Texas, organizing school leaders from all over the Austin Metropolitan region. Matt holds Bachelors of Public Administration from Texas State University and a Masters of Educational Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria.


Joshua Scott
Data Systems & Reports Coordinator


Joshua Scott came to the E3 Alliance after being involved in the Austin Community College District’s Student Success Initiative as President of the college’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. His professional experiences range from developing software for legislative analysis to developing ice cream flavors at Amy’s Ice Creams.


Khotan Shahbazi-Harmon
Director of Communications & Community Accountability


Khotan Shahbazi-Harmon is a multiple award-winning journalist, community development specialist, and entrepreneurship accelerator.   Khotan managed various education programs at Georgetown University; started an education incubator in Prague, Czech Republic; and served as an external evaluator for the Texas Education Agency evaluating special programs on science and math, and language and arts in Texas.   Khotan managed a community MBA program in East Austin that helped very low-income clients gain self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship; and served on the high-tech start-up team that developed a venture that went viral within the first few months of creation.  She has served as a convener and facilitator of community conversations around complex and challenging issues on race, education and social innovation.  Khotan earned a B.S. in International Studies from American University in Washington, D.C. with a focus on economic development.


Simon Tidd, PhD
Director of Research and Analytic Systems Development


Simon Tidd is a social science researcher with broad experience evaluating educational, criminal justice, and child public welfare programs. In his role at E3 Alliance, Simon has oversight of internal and external research projects and research staff, as well as ongoing data collection, analysis, presentation, and dissemination of information related to student educational outcomes to influence stakeholder decision making and policy. Prior to joining E3 Austin, Simon was the Program Evaluation Manager at the University of Texas at Austin’s Charles A. Dana Center where he led a team evaluating programs related to the development of mathematical and non-cognitive skills among secondary school and community college students. Simon received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with distinction from Cornell University as well as a Master’s Degree in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Management (organizational studies) from Vanderbilt University.


Amy Wiseman, PhD
Director of Research Studies


Dr. Amy Wiseman brings nearly 20 years of experience with research and data analysis to E3 Alliance where she engages in education research studies and program evaluations addressing the state of education in Central Texas. Before joining the Alliance, Amy was Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience for five years at Allegheny College in Western Pennsylvania, where she taught advanced statistics and conducted research on learning and memory.  The daughter of two elementary educators, Amy earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Cognitive Neuroscience from Harvard University, and earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio.