Leadership

Sara Martinez Tucker

Sara Martinez Tucker

Chief Executive Officer

Sara Martinez Tucker is CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative. She leads and oversees the organization’s efforts to transform schools into centers of college readiness, produce and retain content-rich STEM teachers, and engage students to develop strong interests in STEM fields. Read

In addition to her role as CEO, Tucker serves on the Board of Directors of American Electric Power, Sprint, and Xerox. She also serves on the University of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees and Teach for America’s Board of Directors.

She most recently served as the under secretary at the U.S. Department of Education.  She was nominated to that post, the nation's top higher education official, by President George W. Bush on September 5, 2006, and confirmed by the Senate on December 9, 2006. As under secretary, she oversaw all policies, programs and activities related to postsecondary education, vocational and adult education, and federal student aid. 

Tucker’s personal accomplishments included the development and implementation of two signature programs to increase access to college:  a joint initiative with the U.S. Treasury Department to make nearly $70 billion in 2008-09 federal student loans available during the nation’s financial crisis, an effort described by the Wall Street Journal as “one bright spot in a season of crises and bailouts,” and an innovative new website, college.gov, which helps students and families prepare for college.  College.gov received Computerworld’s Laureate Medal for exceptional use of technology to better society.

In addition to the successful oversight of over $32 billion in disbursed appropriations and almost 5,600 discretionary awards, Tucker provided expert testimony before Congressional committees and special hearings, led policy discussions within the Administration and with trade associations, and led or represented the United States in international delegations.

Prior to joining the Department, Tucker worked for nine years as the CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), where she pursued an aggressive goal to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees. In her time at the helm of HSF, Tucker raised $280 million for scholarships, growing annual scholarships from $3 million to over $25 million, and to launch community outreach programs to raise college expectations in Latino families and communities.

Prior to joining HSF in 1997, Tucker spent 16 years at AT&T, becoming the first Latina to reach the company's executive level. In her last assignment at the company, she served as a regional vice president for AT&T's Global Business Communications Systems, where she led a $400 million division to its highest profit levels. She also served as vice president for Consumer Operations, a $370 million operation with 6,500 employees serving AT&T's 80 million consumers. Under her leadership, this group contributed to the division's receipt of the Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award.

Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, she earned her bachelor's degree with honors in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked for two years as a reporter for the San Antonio Express before returning to the University of Texas to earn her master's in business administration with high honors.

Among her many awards and honors, in 2005, Time magazine named her one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in the United States.  Tucker has been named an Outstanding Young Texas Ex and a Distinguished Alumna at The University of Texas at Austin and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Notre Dame, Boston College and the University of Maryland University College.

She and her husband, Greg, a management consultant, live in Dallas.


RICHARD S. BROWN

Richard S. Brown

Chief Research Officer

As Chief Research Officer, Rich is responsible for a program of research, systems, and measures to evaluate the effectiveness of NMSI’s core programs in improving teacher performance and student achievement.Read

Rich joined NMSI in September 2014. He previously served as an associate research professor at University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education and as assistant professor of education and director of the Center for Research in Educational Assessment and Measurement at University of California, Irvine. At both USC and UCI, he taught courses in educational measurement, advanced statistics and research methodology. Prior to his professorships, Rich worked as a senior researcher at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing at UCLA, where he provided technical expertise on test development, measurement, and performance standard setting in two large-scale public school assessment initiatives.

Rich has also conducted research on developing an indicator system for California public schools and exploring graphical representations of data to evaluate school performance. His recent work includes developing online adaptive assessments in mathematics, reading, and English language fluency; alignment of testing systems between secondary and post-secondary educational systems; and measuring college readiness using cognitive diagnostic models.

Rich holds an MBA from UCI and a PhD in advanced quantitative methods from UCLA.


Rick Doucette

Rick Doucette

Chief Information Officer

As Chief Information Officer, Rick is responsible for setting NMSI’s strategic technology vision, building and managing its information technology infrastructure, and expanding its online educator learning platforms and programs.Read

Rick joined NMSI in September 2014 and has a breadth of experience identifying and delivering timely business solutions to gain critical market share in early stage organizations. He has specialized in the mid-market CIO role at organizations such as NBS, MetroPCS, UICI, and AdvancePCS, where he created strategic technology blueprints to successfully integrate key business acquisitions and deploy new products that increased revenue, and implemented customer relationship management systems and new enterprise applications.

Most recently, Rick leveraged his deep IT background and best-practices knowledge to successfully launch a professional IT consulting firm. The organization was hand-selected by Cisco as a technology partner in deploying world-class logical and physical IT security solutions.

Rick was an all-academic athlete and earned his BS in computer science and BS in statistics from the University of New Brunswick in eastern Canada.


Gregg Fleischer

Gregg Fleisher

Chief Academic Officer

As Chief Academic Officer, Gregg provides strategic direction and oversight of NMSI’s core programs and liaises with school administrators, legislators and public and private funders to ensure program fidelity and sustainability.Read

Gregg started his career as an auditor and actuary, but found his true passion as a math teacher. In 1995, while continuing to teach AP Calculus, Gregg started the AP Incentive Program (now known as NMSI’s College Readiness Program) in Dallas ISD. During his five years with the program, as much as 3.3 percent of the country’s minorities who earned qualifying scores on AP math exams were from Gregg’s ten Dallas ISD schools.

In 2000, Gregg was asked by Dallas philanthropist Peter O’Donnell to lead the nonprofit Advanced Placement Strategies (APS), which managed the College Readiness Program for districts in the state of Texas. In seven years, the fledgling company grew from four to 60 employees, had an annual budget of $15M raised from private and public funds, and had programs in hundreds of schools in the state. The average program saw qualifying scores in math, science, and English triple within five years. The success of APS gave ExxonMobil cause, in part, to commit to NMSI their largest grant ever to replicate the program in other states.

In 2007, Gregg joined NMSI to oversee the $79M in grants given to nonprofits in six states that were initially slated to replicate the College Readiness Program. The program has since been implemented in more than 620 schools across 25 states. Today, Gregg continues to oversee the College Readiness Program as well as NMSI’s Laying the Foundation Teacher Training Program for grades 3-12 and the UTeach Expansion Program, which is helping to prepare the next generation of math and science teachers.


Tammy Knapp

Tammy Knapp

Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer, Tammy is responsible for all financial matters related to NMSI operations including budget development and oversight, as well as financial reporting and compliance related to numerous public and private grants.Read

Tammy joined the staff of NMSI in the fall of 2013, but has provided accounting, compliance and financial reporting assistance to NMSI since 2007. Her work for NMSI has allowed her to visit all of NMSI's College Readiness Program partner states as well as most of the NMSI-funded UTeach universities.

After graduating from Texas Tech University with a BBA in Finance, Tammy began her career as an internal auditor with First International Bancshares in Dallas, Texas, which later became Bank of America. During her 18-year tenure with Bank of America, Tammy held a variety of positions including Chief Financial Officer of a subsidiary bank, Vice President and Trust Officer, and Vice President and Private Bank Relationship Manager. 

Tammy left banking in 2000 to join Knapp and Company, PC, a public accounting firm founded by her husband, Rick. Tammy was an audit partner for 13 years, providing audit and consulting services for nonprofit and governmental entities.


Matthew Randazzo

Matthew Randazzo

Chief Growth & Strategy Officer

As Chief Growth & Strategy Officer, Matthew is responsible for planning and implementing NMSI’s external engagement strategies, including cultivation of public and private partnerships to grow NMSI’s footprint while deepening its impact in target communities across the country.Read

Prior to joining NMSI in September 2014, Matthew served as founding president and CEO of Choose to Succeed, where he mobilized $45 million in local, state and national pledges to support exceptional, tuition-free public education options for families in San Antonio, TX. Previously, he served as chief growth officer for IDEA Public Schools, where he oversaw the inception and execution of aggressive growth plans for a network of tuition-free K-12 public charter schools serving more than 20,000 students in 36 schools throughout Texas.

Matthew earned his BA in political science and Latin American studies from Albion College in Michigan and his Master of Public Affairs degree from The University of Texas at Austin.