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For Immediate Release: September 17, 2012

Media Contact:

Stephanie Bell
Junior Achievement USA ®
(719) 540-6171


Colorado Springs, CO - Junior Achievement USA ®(JA) announced Lisa Gillis will join the organization as its first-ever Chief Academic Officer, effective Sept.19. Gillis was selected after a 10-month search and will lead the organization's redevelopment of its proven entrepreneurship, financial literacy and work-readiness programs to include 21st-century learning techniques and technologies.

"Beyond her impressive resume, Lisa brings proven leadership as an innovative solution provider, " said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of Junior Achievement USA. "She shares our passion for providing learning experiences that will prepare young people to succeed in the rapidly changing and expanding global environment. As a leader of several non-profit organizations in the education arena, she understands the challenges of raising funds; working with educational leaders, classroom teachers and volunteer boards; and, most importantly, the critical need for delivering compelling and relevant programs and learning experiences."

Gillis is the co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Integrated Educational Strategies, Inc., a recognized national leader in policy, advocacy and instructional redesign for digital learning and parent advocacy/support. She began her career as a Chamber of Commerce executive and transitioned into the field of education as a classroom teacher, quickly moving into school development and administration. She has held key leadership and management positions in a Northern California public school district; K12, Inc.; and Insight Schools (a subsidiary of the Apollo Group). Her responsibilities included the design, development and management of innovative programs for students in more than 11 states, including award-nominated blended programs in traditional and alternative school settings.

Gillis held a key leadership role in establishing the Insight Schools of California - Los Angeles and North Bay. Her work with the charter schools included staffing, funding and managing the organizations. Her expertise and ability to address the issues facing the education community led to her directing the Government Affairs division for Insight Schools in which she managed board and government relations across 20 states. Gillis also led the design of programs and establishment of new schools, and represented the organization with regulators and policymakers. She served as the Director for the Digital Learning Council co-chaired by Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Wise with more than 100 national leaders culminating in the publishing of the Digital Learning NOW! report.

She co-authored Virtual Schooling: a Guide to Optimizing Your Child's Education, has written numerous articles and frequently speaks at national events on the future of education.

Gillis holds a Master of Arts in Education from Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif., and a Bachelor of Science in Institution Management from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

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