Our Team

CIVITAS LEARNING LEADERSHIP

Chris Hester

Chief Executive Officer

Chris brings more than twenty years of experience leading companies that create social impact through the application of improved workflow technology and robust analytics.

Dr. Mark Milliron

Co-Founder & Chief Learning Officer

An award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant, Dr. Milliron has worked with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, foundations, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world.

Eric Grunden

Chief Customer Officer

Eric brings more than two decades of experience in delivery and support of integrated technologies and advanced analytics across complex systems.

Celeste Lay

Vice President of Customer Experience

Celeste brings to Civitas a 20-year history of success exceeding customer expectations.  She leads our Data Support, Project Management, Training & Enablement, Data Engineering and Customer Success teams.

Dave Kil

Chief Data Scientist

Dave is the Chief Data Scientist at Civitas Learning overseeing the development of insight and action analytics, leveraging salient concepts from multiple disciplines.

Mara Richard

Mara Richard

VP, International

Mara’s work leading our international team centers around connecting institutional goals and strategies to predictive analytics and data resources and building structures within institutions to support data-informed decision making.

Shawn Gaide

General Manager, College Scheduler

Shawn leads the development and execution of our College Scheduler team to reach more students and help improve their outcomes.

Charles Thornburgh

Founder & Vice-Chairman

Charles fell in love with education while attending Stanford University and considered becoming a teacher. However, he also truly enjoyed technology and business, so decided to explore new ways of affecting education in a more scalable way.

NATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD

Davis Jenkins

Davis Jenkins

NAB Member

Dr. Davis Jenkins is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. He works with colleges and states to find ways to improve educational and employment outcomes for students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds of credentials, and to prepare students to succeed in further education and careers.

Linda Baer

Linda Baer

NAB Member

Dr. Linda Baer has served over thirty years in numerous executive level positions in higher education including Senior Fellow with Civitas Learning, Senior Program Officer in Postsecondary Success for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs in the Minnesota State College and University System.

Dragan Gasevic

Dragan Gasevic

NAB Member

Dr. Dragan Gasevic is a Professor and Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics in the Moray House School of Education and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He is the current president and a co-founder of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and holds several honorary adjunct appointments in Australia, Canada, and USA.

Lev Gonick

Lev Gonick

Lev Gonick is an educator, technologists, and smart city architect. Gonick is co-founder and CEO of OneCommunity, the award-winning non-profit organization enabling and celebrating innovation, collaboration, and productivity through next generation broadband networks, big open data solutions, and IoT for public benefit.

George Siemens

George Siemens

NAB Member

Dr. George Siemens has played a vital leadership and innovator role in higher education for more than 20 years. He is currently the executive director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research Lab (LINK) at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Lisa Petrides

Lisa Petrides

NAB Member

Dr. Lisa Petrides brings over 20 years of K-12 and higher education experience to the table. She is currently the CEO and founder of ISKME (Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education), a global leader in research and practice around open access tools in the education sector.

Vincent Tinto

Vincent Tinto

NAB Member

Dr. Vincent Tinto is a Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Syracuse University and the former Chair of the Higher Education Program. His book, Leaving College, published by the University of Chicago Press, lays out a theory and policy perspective on student success that is considered the benchmark by which work on these issues are judged.

Sally Johnstone

Sally Johnstone

NAB Member

Before joining NCHEMS as its President, Dr. Sally M. Johnstone was vice president at Western Governors University and the founding director of WCET at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Today she also serves as the executive director of the Foundation for Student Success and as a commissioner on the U.S. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Commission.

William M. “Bill” Holda

William M. “Bill” Holda

NAB Member

Dr. Bill Holda served as the eighth president of Kilgore College from 1996 until his retirement in 2016. Prior to that he served Kilgore College as the Dean of Admissions and Registrar for six years. He served ten years on the Executive Committee of the Texas Association of Community Colleges and was Chairman of that association from 2011-2013.