Our Team

Richard Tagle

President & Executive Director

Tagle joined E3 Alliance from Denver Public Schools Foundation, where he served as president and CEO and strengthened alignment between school district priorities and Foundation investments. Before this post, he served as the CEO of the Andy Roddick Foundation in Austin, Texas, for nearly a decade.

“I am honored and grateful to the board for the incredible opportunity and responsibility to lead E3 Alliance and follow in the footsteps of Susan Dawson,” said Tagle. “E3 Alliance has had tremendous impact on the education community throughout Central Texas and across the state. I am thrilled to return to Austin to lead this well-respected, successful nonprofit and collaborate with the remarkable educators, business, and community leaders that partner with E3.”  – Richard Tagle

Tagle holds a master’s degree in social policy/applied sociology and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from American University in Washington, DC. His three decades of community service work centers on student learning and advancements, serving on boards with Grantmakers in Education, College Forward, and other education, nonprofit, and health organizations.  

Mackenzie Allen

Mackenzie Allen

Executive Assistant

Mackenzie joins E3 Alliance after working with Vacasa as their Office Coordinator. She has also worked with the City of Austin, St. Edward’s University, and H&R Block in various administration roles. In her free time, Mackenzie is a part of the local Austin theatre community as an actress. Mackenzie holds a B.A in Theatre from St. Edward’s University.

Naya Brown

Collective Impact Associate

Naya holds a Master’s Degree in Global Communications from The American University of Paris and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from Sam Houston State University. With a background in Internal Communications and Social Media Management, she  brings a dynamic perspective to the E3 team, where she serves as a Collective Impact Associate supporting the Blueprint Team. Naya enjoys traveling, learning languages, trying out different cuisines, cuddling with her dog, and spending time with her family.

Jill Camba


Jill is responsible for Accounts Payable, reconciliation and budget-to-actual reporting. She has over 15 years of experience in a variety of industries including banking and nonprofit sectors. During tax season, Jill volunteers her time preparing tax returns for seniors and lower income individuals at Bell County community centers. She enjoys cooking and cheering her high school son at tennis tournaments. Jill has BS in Accounting and is completing coursework to prepare for the CPA exam.

Jennifer Cavazos Saenz

Senior Director of Communications and Policy

Prior to joining E3, Jennifer was the director of strategic partnerships and outreach for OnRamps, The University of Texas-led program established in 2011 to address the misalignment of academic expectations between high school and college. Serving tens of thousands of students, educators and school campuses across Texas, Jennifer helped grow OnRamps to be a statewide resource in the college credit-bearing space. A leading expert on postsecondary readiness, transition and persistence, Jennifer has spent the last 23 years working in both the private and public sectors in education, including Texas Education Agency. She is a graduate of Texas State University, and holds both a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in education, reading and administration.

Teri Clement

Director of School Transformation

After 10 years in the private sector as a corporate trainer, Teri returned to education, determined to make a difference in the lives of students and communities through education. Teri’s passion for educational change led her to a variety of school leadership roles during her 10-year tenure in Texas public schools, and she earned certification as a Principal before joining E3 Alliance as a Project Manager in 2016. Determined to advocate and work for the success of all students, Teri is now a Director of School Transformation at E3, supporting schools and partnering with districts throughout the Central Texas region. Teri earned a Bachelor of Arts 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 Financial Officer

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.

Karly Conroy

Graduate Research Assistant

Karly is a graduate research assistant from the University of Texas at Austin, where she is pursuing her doctorate degree in Education Policy and Planning. Her research explores appropriate placement and least restrictive environment for students who qualify for special education services. Prior to pursuing her PhD, Karly was a special education teacher in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex for 6 years. She also holds a MEd in Special Education, a graduate certification in Special Education Leadership, and a BS in Recreation Therapy. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her active toddler, enjoying live music with her husband, and watching football with her family.

Caylin Cox

Software Developer

Caylin Cox joined E3 Alliance after graduating from The University of Texas San Antonio, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a concentration in computer engineering. Her passion for front- and back-end development and education led her to this role as she helps to program and code E3’s many online platforms, including the Education Profile that provides current student trends and outcomes in Texas. Raised by a teacher, Caylin dreams of helping students who share her enthusiasm for computer science become better prepared and college ready. During her free time, Caylin enjoys taking road trips, playing soccer, and spending time with family.

Lori Davis

Lori Davis

Chief Transformation Officer

Lori Davis has served the Central Texas region as a professional educator for more than 20 years in the roles of Classroom Teacher, Special Education Teacher, District Behavior Specialist, Assistant Principal and Principal. Her relentless dedication to doing the right things for students resulted in a career of achievements, such as District Teacher of the Year, Special Educator of the Year and participation in the Raise Your Hand Texas Harvard Leadership Program. Lori now supports students in districts throughout the region and beyond as the Chief Transformation Officer for E3 Alliance. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from the University of Texas-San Antonio and a Master of Arts in Special Education at Texas State University.

Susan Dawson

President Emeritus

Susan Dawson is a Texas entrepreneur, business, and civic leader. As a successful business entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur, Dawson has led multiple technology firms. She founded and leads E3 Alliance, which has been recognized across the country for its groundbreaking work in systemic change for education.

Dawson has served the community as Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce as well as board chair/executive member of AARO, Leadership Austin, Children’s Optimal Health, Workforce Solutions, American Youthworks, and Austin Partners in Education, among many other community groups.

Her many awards include the Leadership Austin 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”, Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”, Dell Medical School Health Hero, UT McCombs School “Trailblazer Award” for the distinguished woman alumni trailblazer in business and community, and a CEO of the Year by the Austin Chamber. In 2011 the Austin Business Journal named Dawson one of “Austin’s 30 Most Influential” leaders who have shaped Austin’s economy and culture in the last 30 years; in 2019 she was named the national Cradle to Career Champion by StriveTogether; and she was chosen as the 2020 Austinite of the Year by the Austin Chamber.

Dawson has a BS Cum Laude from Princeton University and an MBA with Highest Honors from UT Austin McCombs School of Business. She is mother of two public school graduates: one in dental school and one at Purdue University. She is surviving Stage 4 breast cancer first diagnosed in 2016, and has spent significant time over the last few years understanding and working to improve the cancer research, prevention, and clinical care infrastructure in our region and our state, particularly for those who are most underserved.

Alison Duran

Director of School Transformation

As a Director of School Transformation, Alison works in partnership with leaders at the district, school, and classroom levels to support the implementation of systems to improve outcomes for all students. She has over 13 years of experience in Central Texas as a classroom teacher, teacher leader, SIM (Strategic Instructional Model) instructional coach, and district instructional coach. Alison has been recognized as both Teacher of the Year and Secondary District Teacher of the Year. She has seen firsthand the positive impact school systems have on improving student’s chances of postsecondary success. Alison holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies and Mathematics from Texas State University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Priscilla Flores

Policy Analyst

Priscilla has provided leadership and assistance across Texas to improve educator quality for almost 25 years. Her experience stems from being a classroom teacher, campus administrator, and Gear Up state director, to serving as a senior policy advisor at the Texas Education Agency. Prior to joining E3, she supported the Texas Center for Educator Excellence (TxCEE) in equipping educators to improve student achievement by aligning district resources and increasing educator effectiveness through leadership training, coaching, and instructional support. Priscilla’s background includes the development of education policy in the areas of educator recruitment, preparation, professional development, and educator evaluation. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in educational administration.

Valerie Flores

Valerie Flores

Development Associate

Valerie’s diverse professional background is centered around her passion for advocacy and empowering communities. Valerie holds a BS in Communication and Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the University of Texas Permian Basin. Valerie enjoys outdoor activities, reading, and spending time with her family and dog, Hako.

Amy Havard

Director of School Transformation

As a Director of School Transformation, Amy provides guidance and support to campuses as they build systems to improve outcomes for all students. Amy has over 15 years of experience in education and is currently serving as a certified professional developer in the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM). 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

Operations Processes & Systems Manager

Christie got a call from Susan Dawson in 2008 asking if she would support upcoming Deliberative Dialogue work. She’s been connected to E3 ever since. With roles spanning from collective impact and transformation services, to communications and operations, Christie brings her passion for education and learning, her dedication to human connection, and her penchant for organization to every role. Prior to joining E3, Christie worked in public schools for 15 years after receiving her master’s degree in Bilingual Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin. In her earlier days, Christie was a Peace Corps volunteer in Micronesia.

Harrison Hopp

Harrison Hopp

Research Analyst​

As Research Analyst, Harrison analyzes educational data to illuminate disparities in student outcomes and inform decision-making so that all students reach their full potential. Harrison began his career as a high school math teacher in Dallas. Having witnessed the transformational role education plays in students’ lives, he is passionate about confronting educational inequities and expanding opportunities for students. Prior to joining E3 Alliance, Harrison served as Senior Data Analyst for the Office of Student Enrollment at the New York City Department of Education, facilitating and researching the district’s high school admissions process. He also worked as Program Associate for the DC Public Education Fund, where he managed philanthropic investments in DC Public Schools’ strategic priorities. Harrison is a Teach For America alum and holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UC Berkeley.

Tanja Horan

Leadership Austin Fellow

A Leadership Austin Fellow at E3 Alliance, Tanja Horan is engaged as the Director of Transformation Strategy focused on coaching, capacity building, and scale of the E3 Solutions. As Principal at Tacosa 360 Consulting, Tanja works with organizations to connect their strategy to execution, positioning both the products and organization to drive growth and scale. Having worked with organizations ranging from startups to multinationals, Tanja has delivered products and strategic projects across AI & machine learning, Fintech, CPG, government entities, manufacturing, and health & wellness industries. She has led the product management at multiple SaaS companies as well as built and managed product management and international teams. Additionally, Tanja has coached startups on their pitches, messaging, and product management. She has also consulted with universities developing their entrepreneur incubator and entrepreneur education program. She holds a BA in Economics and English from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. One of Tanja’s personal passions is promoting and expanding STEM education.

Michelle Huff Beck

Communications Coordinator

Michelle brings more than 25 years to the E3 communications team, supporting education for the last nine years in non-profit fundraising and as a PTA legislative volunteer. Her background involves launching a foundation, serving as executive director, co-owning a marketing and communications firm, and working as director of corporate communications for five independent specialty corporations. Michelle’s experience has spanned a wide range of industries, including corporate aviation, security, chemical, food service, oil and gas and legal seminar services. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University.

Kaci Kai

Kaci Kai

Visual Communications Coordinator

Kaci is a designer, writer, and creator for the E3 Alliance Communications team. Before joining E3 Alliance, Kaci worked with clients such as Whole Foods Market and the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

Gregory Killebrew

Communications and Research Associate

Gregory Killebrew joins E3 Alliance after three years of working at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Pharmacy as an Academic Program Coordinator, where he managed the exam management system called ExamSoft. He brings strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to this inaugural position at E3. Greg holds a BA in Anthropology from CUNY John Jay College.

Laura Koenig

Senior Director of Community Solutions

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.

Rodrigo Lopez

Senior Data Analyst

Rodrigo Lopez joined E3 after completing his undergraduate education at The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics with honors and Astronomy with honors. As a first-generation college graduate, he knows firsthand the educational struggles many students face throughout their educational careers. Working under the Director of Research, Rodrigo is helping to effect positive change in the education of students through the analysis of educational data.

Leticia Maynard

Director of School Transformation

Lety serves as the services coordination lead and supports campuses in the transformation project. After earning her undergraduate degree, Lety worked in nonprofit organizations for six years, running programs for youth placed by Children’s Courts, family, school, and communities before returning to education. She has over 15 years of experience in education and during that time received Teacher of the Year and Secondary District Teacher of the Year Awards. Lety has worked as a SIM (Strategic Instruction Model) instructional coach and English as a Second Language and Dual Language District instructional coach. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Education in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Katy Merriweather

Dr. Katy Merriweather

Research Analyst

Katy’s (she/her) professional background combines leadership and methodological expertise to realize education as powerful, transformative, and necessary. Her research centers on educational outcomes and equity including alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities, the academic opportunity gap, women’s careers in educational administration, and teacher career persistence. Prior to joining E3 Alliance, she led and coordinated evaluation teams for portfolios of grants related to early childhood systems building and maternal and child health. In her role at E3 Alliance, Katy conducts statistical analyses of large-scale education datasets to drive action and address disparities. Katy holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Kansas and both an MA in Educational Psychology: Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences and a BA in History (UTeach-Liberal Arts: Social Studies 8-12) from the University of Texas at Austin. When she isn’t analyzing data on Texas education systems, Katy loves spending time with her family, getting lost in books, and exploring hiking trails.

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.

Janelle Persall

Transformation Consultant

Janelle engages stakeholders in the development of systems focusing on the improvement of Tier 1 and EL instruction, positive school culture, and effective utilization of student growth data. She is a former director of intervention, assistant principal, instructional coach, and teacher. As the director of intervention, Janelle led the creation of a districtwide process for providing interventions to meet the needs of students. Her 30 years of experience in public education reflect a passion for learning exhibited through her leadership in the classroom and beyond. Janelle earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from West Texas State University and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University.

Tim Persall

Transformation Consultant

Tim engages stakeholders in the development of systems focusing on the improvement of Tier 1 and EL instruction, positive school culture, and effective utilization of student growth data. He is a former assistant superintendent, executive director, principal, and teacher. While principal, Tim’s school achieved exemplary ratings from TEA for 10 consecutive years. His 32 years in public education were dedicated to the success of students, teachers, and communities. Today he leads professional learning experiences throughout Texas for school districts and regional service centers. Tim is a past president and board member of Learning Forward Texas and has co-authored the T-TESS Flipchart for Mentoring Minds. He is committed to leading adults in engaging learning experiences so they may change the lives of the students they serve.

Marco Pizana

School Partnerships Specialist

Marco supports E3’s work with school districts across Texas to implement solutions for effective instruction, school culture, leadership, and special populations. He began his career in criminal justice, spending more than a decade with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. A desire to teach pulled Marco to public-school education. He’s instructed criminal justice coursework, served as President of the Texas Public Service Teacher Association, coordinated Career and Technical Education, and most recently worked as Assistant Principal in Hays CISD. Marco holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from Concordia University Texas. With a passion for collaboration and teamwork, he looks forward to helping transform education systems so all students succeed.

Dr. Annelies Rhodes

Research Analyst

Annelies recently acquired her PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Her research explored teacher quality and educator pathways, especially in STEM subject areas. Prior to pursuing her PhD and joining E3, Dr. Rhodes was a middle school science teacher for 13 years in Connecticut. She also holds an MS in Educational Leadership and a BS in Biology.

Cynthia Rodriguez

Student and Family Engagement Specialist

Cynthia has worked in the non-profit sector in Austin for over a decade. She has worked with the community in various capacities through her roles with Make-A-Wish Central and South Texas, Austin Parks Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. Cynthia holds a BA in Journalism and a BS in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a MA in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University. She joined E3 in 2023 as the Student and Family Engagement Specialist and looks forward to improving student outcomes by working closely with students, families and the community.

Heather Salaz

Director of Strong Foundations

Heather brings more than 20 years of experience to the E3 team as an effective instructional leader in managing teams, programming, professional development, and training, as well as mentoring, coaching, and teaching. Her seasoned career in public education spans from Central Texas school districts to regional- and state-level administration where she served at the Texas Education Agency and Education Service Center Region 13 in various statewide initiatives focused on transforming systems s to ensure equity and excellence for all students. Heather leads our Pathways of Promise initiative focused on equitable math pathways for students aligned with their college and career aspirations, Attendance Matters ACE Task Force, and English Learners Collaborative. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education with a focus on second language acquisition from Texas State University and a Principal Certificate from Region 13.

Joshua Scott

Senior Manager of Data Systems

Joshua 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.

Kyle Seipp

Kyle Seipp

Director of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

Kyle began his career as a high school mathematics teacher in Northwest ISD outside of Fort Worth. That experience prepared him to begin serving school districts all across Texas as he joined the Institute for Public School Initiatives in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin to be an executive master teacher, focusing on scaling algebra readiness through middle schools while also aiding school districts in establishing Early College High School Partnerships to serve traditionally underrepresented students in gaining college access. In continuing to seek the opportunity to expand access in pathways to college and beyond, Kyle returned to serve the students and families of the Northwest ISD as the Director of College and Career Readiness for a period of time and more recently has been leading the partnership development for OnRamps at the University of Texas at Austin. Kyle has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Texas State University in San Marcos and master’s degree from Lamar University.

Lauren Thomas

Director of Collaborative Action

Lauren assists the regional collective impact cradle-to-career efforts by providing project coordination and grant management to E3 Alliance’s Learning Networks which work to build capacity around continuous improvement methodologies with local partners. Lauren started working within education by supporting efforts to increase the local workforce as part of a nationwide initiative funded by the Department of Labor. A requirement of that initiative was the expansion of the efforts into local area high schools to train students in Information Technology, Health Sciences, and Building Trades where Lauren worked for Austin Community College as a High School Programs Coordinator. Previously, she served three years as the Director of Business Development for a small business after earning a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Cam Trahan

Communications Coordinator

Cam joins E3 Alliance with experience in media relations, marketing, and social media. The award-winning journalist began her professional television career, which evolved to working in college athletics, professional sports, and higher education. She’s a California transplant who is an active member of several professional organizations and is a three-time college graduate. In her spare time, she can be found on the tennis court or at the bark park.