Mission & Data is pleased to announce that Dr. Anne-Marie Balzano will be joining our firm as Senior Governance Strategist, bringing 25+ years of experience in the field of education and leadership.
“Anne-Marie is a national thought leader in governance and educational leadership. Ari Betof and I look forward to the impact she will make on independent schools and nonprofit organizations from her new home at Mission & Data,” said Mission & Data co-founder Kelsey Vrooman. “During our time as colleagues, Anne-Marie continually impressed me with her research-based approach to driving organizational change and supporting boards of trustees in their visionary work. She fits perfectly with our firm’s commitment to mission-driven, data-informed consulting and coaching.”
Over the course of her long career in education, Anne-Marie has served as a head of school, associate professor, teacher, and most recently, Director of Leadership and Governance at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). With this breadth of experience, Anne-Marie possesses a unique and multi-leveled perspective of the educational landscape and the complex demands of leadership and governance development. As a current trustee at the Buckley School (CA), Anne-Marie is deeply committed to supporting independent school leaders and the children they serve.
In her role at NAIS, Anne-Marie was a close partner to schools across the country, facilitating board retreats and educating boards of trustees on effective governance practices, governance trends, and building a positive board culture. Anne-Marie designed and implemented learning opportunities for school administrators and trustees, served as a content expert in the areas of leadership and governance, and conducted research on key issues facing independent schools.
She hosted The Trustee Table, a NAIS podcast that provides insights and information for trustees, board chairs, and school administrators on critical governance and leadership topics. Anne-Marie was chief editor of The Board Chair Handbook and led several governance projects, including the development of board assessment tools and resources. She also helped facilitate NAIS Strategy Lab events, supporting school teams in their development of problem solving and action planning techniques. Anne-Marie regularly presented at the NAIS Annual Conference and at state and regional events on building leadership capacity across teams, managing school change, and building resilience in headship. She conducted webinars over the past year to support independent schools during the COVID-19 pandemic and was a key contributor to the NAIS Leadership Webinar Series.
Prior to joining NAIS, Anne-Marie was an associate professor in the Education Leadership program at George Mason University, where she taught courses on using research to lead school improvement, supervision and evaluation of instruction, and leading schools and communities. During her tenure at Mason, Anne-Marie also served as the academic program coordinator for several years, leading the department in the design and implementation of a fully online master’s degree program and a concentration in Independent School Leadership. She won an OLC Effective Practice award for online orientation design and was twice nominated for Mason’s Teaching Excellence award.
Anne-Marie began her education career as a public middle school English and reading teacher. After earning a doctorate in education leadership from Mills College (CA), she moved into secondary administration; first as a middle school assistant principal and then a high school assistant principal and guidance director. She then served as the head of the Campus School at Carlow University (PA), as well as an assistant professor in Carlow’s School of Education.
Anne-Marie will be instrumental in the expansion of Mission & Data’s coaching and consulting services to independent schools. She will be offering a range of governance support services such as board retreats, board meeting facilitation, bylaw review, succession planning, and process development for cultivating diverse and high performing boards.
Anne-Marie is currently enrolling participants in a year-long program for new board chairs during the 2021–2022 school year that provides flexible one-on-one governance support and ensures a thriving partnership between the head of school and new chair.
If your school is interested in governance facilitation, consulting, or offering this program to your newly appointed board chair, please contact Anne-Marie Balzano at email@example.com.
Mission & Data is a firm dedicated to the effectiveness, health, and vitality of educational institutions and other organizations that make the world a better place. We are committed to enhancing mission-driven, data-informed leadership and governance by:
- Consulting to improve organizational effectiveness and facilitate organizational transformation.
- Developing custom data products, visualizations, and dashboards to highlight progress, identify trends, and leverage actionable insights.
- Auditing current practice and analyzing organizational data to recommend process efficiencies and strategic improvements.
- Coaching leaders and boards of trustees to enact institutional vision and build a culture of inquiry-based decision making practices.