After Hours Podcast

A608 After hours podcast aims to bring voices from the field into the classroom to inspire, inform and ignite leadership dedicated to wrestling with today's stacked challenges.  Each week we interview a guest that is doing this most important work in the field and discuss how course concepts surfaced in our A608 Leadership Entrepreneurship and Learning Course come to life in the field. Our guests span multiple roles across different sectors and institutions, and come from varied backgrounds. They, like us, are ready to listen, learn and engage in thoughtful dialog on leadership, entrepreneurship and learning.

Podcast Episodes 

Dropped Weekly on Friday Afternoons. Most recent episodes at the top | Click on guest's name to listen to episode


(0) After Hours Intro


(4-30-21) In this episode Monica, Uche and the course Teaching Fellows: Jared, April, Zach, Elena, Danny, Chino, Carmen and Jessica, reflect on their learnings from A608 and provide sage guidance to students.  There's a lot of laughter and a lot of love.


(4-23-21) Nieves Segovia is the president of SEK Education Group which encompasses University Camilo José Cela and SEK International Schools which serve over 15000 students throughout Europe and Qatar. She is also the Vice-Chair of the steering committee of the Talloires network of engaged universities.

We spoke with Nieves about her work over the years with SEK education group, how her identity and background impacted her work, and how the pandemic experience has impacted her leadership. 


(4-16-21) Lissa Young is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership at the US Military Academy at West Point where she teaches in the Leadership and Management program. Lissa received her EdD from HGSE where she also served as a teaching fellow for A608 (and Uche’s TF!)

We spoke with Lissa about her work at West Point teaching cadets about leadership and teams, how her identity informs her teaching, and how she thinks out leadership and entrepreneurship within the millitary. 


(4-9-21) Marius Mohler is a consultant and facilitator at LEAD Mindsets & Capabilities where he supports individuals, groups and organizations to develop and grow - often in the context of large-scale transformations. Marius loves spending his time on projects where he can create meaningful and deep connections that span the client's organization holistically – collaborating closely from top leadership to individual contributors.

We spoke with Marius about his trajectory from McKinsey to Harvard to his current leadership facilitation work. We also chatted about how he helps the organizations create cultures of psychological safety. 


(4-2-21) Rashmi Singh is an instructional designer, educator, and a certified transformational coach, facilitator, and leader.  Rashmi is also an award-winning singer, actor, and writer and works in New York in TV, film, and theatre. She was recently selected for the Writer-in-Performance Residency for the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. You can connect with her at

We spoke with about how she's navigated her career in a climate of stacked crises (she graduate from HGSE as the pandemic was starting) and how she's helped others think about their leadership.


(3-25-21) Pete Fishman is the Vice President of Strategy at Deans for Impact, a national non-profit organization working to ensure that every child is taught by a well-prepared teacher.

We spoke with Pete how Deans for Impact started and scaled, and how Pete thinks about balancing strategy and capacity in his work. 


(3-12-21) Kyris Ang is the vice principal of a school in Singapore. 

We spoke with Kyris about being an entreprneurial school leader during the Pandemic and how he leveraged his relationships and networks to support his work.


(3-5-21) Zakiya Thomas is the director of the Houston branch of Posse, an organization that works to: expand and diversify the pool of students from which top institutions of higher learning can recruit, build more welcoming campus environments, and support Posse scholars in persisting through their academic studies.

We spoke to Zakiya about her career arc, what brought her to Posse and how her identity informed her choices and work. We also discussed how she managed competing and/or differing interests among different stakeholders crucial to her organization's success.


(2-26-21) Samantha Pratt Asante is the founder of CEO of KlickEngage, an organization that aims to help all students feel psychologically safe and supported in every environment. KlickEngage achieves this mission by amplifying youth voice, promoting social emotional well-being, and increasing the effectiveness of existing interventions through tech.

We spoke with Samantha about the tripwires of she encountered as an educational entrepreneur, how her identity factored into her work, and how she used hypothesis testing and developing a Minimum Viable Product in her process. 


(2-19-21) Meghan Lockwood serves as Special Advisor to the Harvard College Dean's Office for all things COVID-related. She is also interim resident dean in Cabot House, one of the upperclassman houses for Harvard College students. Meg is a former middle school teacher and alum of the HGSE doctoral program in education policy, leadership, and instructional practice.

We spoke to Meghan about leading in a time of crisis in a large institution when difficult decisions must be made. We also discussed how to bring about the conditions that promote collaborative problem-solving in such a context.  


(2-12-21) Ventura Rodriguez is the Senior Associate Commissioner for Strategic Iniatives at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Dr. Rodriguez is also the board chair for Lawrence Alliance for Education, a state appointed receivership board for Lawrence Public Schools. He also serves as the board chair for the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System. 

We spoke with Ventura about leading in a time of crisis, how identity figures into this type of leadership and engaging diverse stakeholders in the process. You can hear more about Ventura's story with his talk at HGSE.


(2-5-21) Claudia Espinosa is the founder of Latinas On the Verge of Excellence (L.O.V.E.), a mentoring program focused on supporting young women to be successful in life and their careers.

We spoke with Claudia about architecting organizational culture and how ethics plays into decision-making.


(1-27-21) Joiselle Cunningham Smith is the founder and CEO of Pathways to Creative Industries, an organization that creates solutions to build better systems to support youth entering their careers. Joiselle is also a senior advisor for CareerWise New York and a professor at NYU school of professional studiies.

We spoke with Joiselle about improving work opportunities for diverse communities and the challenges of adapting ones own leadership approach to fit the task and context.


(12-4-20) Bruce Rich was senior partner in the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he headed the firm’s intellectual property and media litigation practice for more than 30 years through 2019. Most recently, Bruce serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of EL Education, Inc., a not-for-profit educational reform organization.  (Bonus Track on Importance of Serendipity)

We spoke with Bruce about his work with EL Education, how he got into the work, and how his identity impacts his experience. We also discussed how EL is responding to the current context of stacked crises.


(11-20-20) Elif Ucan Founder and CEO of Spoke Context. Spoke is a nonprofit social enterprise that brings compelling public art projects to young learners across the globe. Spoke Context's mission is to leverage the advocacy power of public art to foster cultural integration, equity, civic engagement and education through art in communities around the world. Spoke’s projects provide participants a platform to exercise critical life skills, tangibly engage with their communities and contribute to the visual landscape in a creative and impactful way. 

In this podcast we talk with Elif about her work with community-based cross-cultural teaming and experience making the case for using art to bring communities together. 


(11-13-20) David Rease Director of Equity and Excellence in Prince George's County Public Schools. David leads the equity-focused strategic planning process for the 135,000-student district. His team is also responsible for engaging the system's 20K employees in learning about issues of equity.

In this podcast we talk with David about the challenges of leading change as an insider or outsider. We also discuss the challenges of leading change during times of significant change. 


(11-6-20) Toni Morgan Entrepreneur and Public Interest Technologist. Toni is the managing director at the Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity at Northeastern School of Law and an MBA candidate at the Sloan School of Management at MIT.  Since 2018, Toni has worked with legal scholars, industry leaders and activists to address important tech justice issues, from facial recognition technology, to labor rights in the digital economy, to free speech on social media platforms.

In this podcast we talk with Toni about attempting to bridge intractable divides through her work, and delve into the details and significance of tech justice.


(10-29-20) Geoff Marietta  Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg KY, founder of Invest 606, and founder of Mountain Tech Media. Previous roles include Executive Director of Pine Mountain Settlement school in Harlan County Kentucky and CEO and cofounder of Giant Otter Technologies, a company focused on leveraging artificial intelligence to improve our lives.  Geoff is also the author of Rural Education in Americaa book that explores the "often neglected slice of America that needs to be part of the narrative".

In this podcast we discuss Geoff's work at the Pine Mountain Settlement School and the benefits and challenges of trying to transform education from the inside and outside.


(10-22-20) Mariel Novas Assistant Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Massachusetts at Education Trust. Previous roles include Rappaport Public Policy Fellow at Boston Mayor's office for Immigrant Advancement, Director for District and School Partnerships at Teach for America, ESL Math teacher in Dorchester, Mass, and cofounder of Boston Education Action Network. 

In this podcast we dicuss building efective community relationships to drive change and how one's own identity impacts the work. We also discuss common mistakes individuals and organizations make when thinking about scaling for impact. 


(10-15-20) Annie Knickman Plancher Vice President of Staff and Strategy at Social Finance. Prior to Social Finance, Annie was a management consultant at McKinsey and Co. and launched an independent nonprofit within the firm called, McKinsey’s Social Initiative.

In this podcast we discuss leveraging strategic thinking to help secure necessary resources to support new ideas and scale existing ideas. We also talk about how some of the strategies and learnings Annie has used in her work might apply to those working in education and the public sector more broadly. 


(10-8-20) Angela Jackson Partner at Newprofit. Previous roles include Retail Marketing and Development at Nickelodeon and MTV, New Channels Marketing at Nokia, and founder of Global Language Project. 

During this podcast we discuss with Angela her work in bringing diverse stakeholders into the entrpreneurial process and how focusing on equity in the process impacts outcomes. We also discuss her focus on leveraging technology in public-private partnerships.


(10-1-20) Mark Hecker Founder and executive director at Reach Incorporated. Previous roles include teacher and social worker at the National Center for Children and Families. 

During this podcast, we discuss with Mark about his unique inside-out approach to public-sector innovation with Reach Incorporated that engages teens in the change process. We also discuss how his identity factors into his relationship with the communities that he serves the challenge of leadership in a time of stacked crises.


(9-24-20) Michele Brooks Principal Consultant, Transformative Solutions. Previous roles include, Executive Director of the Boston Parent Organizing Network, an organization focused on organizing parents to support improving outcomes for marginalized youth, member of the Boston School Committee and Assistant Superintendent for Family and Student Engagement of Boston Public Schools. Her work centers on supporting the development, implementation and evaluation of family and community engagement initiatives. 

During this podcast, we discuss with Michele the power of shaping team culture so that multiple and diverse voices are not only heard but valued. Given Michele’s background in community engagement, we discuss as well the key role that communities play in improving education systems and what she has learned about actively involving families and communities in the work.


(9-17-20) Stefan Lallinger Fellow and Director of the Bridges Collaborative at the Century Foundation an independent progressive think tank focused on economic, racial and gender equity across sectors. Stefan focuses on issues of racial and socioeconomic integration, equity, governance and district-charter relationships. You can find out more about the Century foundation at

During this podcast, we explore both the opportunities and challenges associated with efforts to create racially integrated schools in the United States. We discuss how critical it is for leaders to act as architects in actively shaping the environment in which difficult conversations take place so that change can happen.


(9-10-20) Marina Lee Executive Director, Envoys, which creates education programs that challenge and inspire students to become better world citizens. Previous roles include Founder and Executive Director of Cogita whose goal is to create changemakers through civic awareness and leadership. Her companies have a global presence in Korea, Colombia, China, U.S. You can find out more about Envoys at 

During this podcast, we explore with Marina the role that ethics has played in launching and scaling her global entrepreneurial ventures. We also talk with Marina about how her identity and upbringing have shaped her values and leadership in an international education context.


(8-4-20) Steve Chambers Education Leadership Doctoral Degree candidate, previous roles include: President of Nuance Communications (Forbearer of Siri and Google Assistant), CEO of Jibo (personal robotics), and most recently, board member at Callminer and Chief Marketing Officer and Sense.

During this podcast, we talk with Steve about entrepreneurial leadership and how multiple mentoring relationships have shaped his entrepreneurial career in technology. Relatedly, we discuss the value of taking on different perspectives to lead for change and remaining truly open to learning throughout one’s career.  



(Bonus Episode) Emily (Buxton) McCann CEO of Citizen Schools. In this episode Ms. McCann responds to A608 students' discussion of the Citizen Schools case and discusses leadership and strategy in a time of crisis. 

(Bonus Episode) Joe Davis Superintendent of Schools at Ferguson Florissant School District. In this episode Dr. Davis responds to A608 students' discussion of the Lessons from Ferguson case; shares some of his experience with matters of race, leadership, and systems in Ferguson; and responds to students' questions.