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CER Welcomes New President & COO

Press Release from the Center for Education Reform:

Lesley Albanese joins nation’s leader in fight for innovation and opportunity
New Board member also announced 

(Washington DC) – The Center for Education Reform (CER) announced today that Lesley Albanese, a nationally recognized leader and development professional has been appointed president and COO, taking on a new and critical role in the organization’s mission to advance education opportunity and innovation in America’s schools.

“I am beyond thrilled that Lesley has joined us,” said Founder & CEO Jeanne Allen.  Her passion and commitment to opportunity and freedom, along with her keen knowledge and record of success are already making a huge impact just 3 months into her tenure here.”

Lesley Albanese courtesy Philadelphia Business Journal

Albanese served most recently as vice president at the National Constitution Center (NCC) in Philadelphia. There she oversaw all the fundraising, including ongoing capital and endowment projects, and the NCC’s annual Liberty Medal Ceremony and Gala.

Prior to joining NCC, Albanese worked at the Cato Institute where her 17-year career culminated in service as Vice President of Development.

Albanese received a Bachelor of Arts in business and political science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University.

In addition to this key hire, CER announced that Richard Harmon, managing director BB&T Capital Markets will join CER’s board of directors. Board Chair Jon Hage noted, “Richard Harmon is a nationally recognized leader who brings wide ranging experience at the intersection of finance and education. His leadership and 32 years of experience will contribute greatly to bold work CER performs every day.”

“I am honored and excited to join CER in their effort to expand education opportunity,” said Harmon. “This is an organization dedicated to pushing boundaries, expanding choices and putting the needs of parents and students first.”

Currently based in Columbus, Ohio, Harmon manages BB&T’s nationally recognized education finance team. He has more than 34 years of dedicated experience working with nonprofit charter and private schools, higher education, senior living and hospital organizations. Before joining BB&T Capital Markets, Mr. Harmon spent 10 years at Ziegler spearheading its charter school initiative.

Mr. Harmon is a frequent speaker and panelist at various national and state charter school conferences, the National Association of Bond Lawyers and currently serves as treasurer for a charter school on Chicago’s south side.

A graduate of Denison University, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences and a minor in economics, Harmon received his juris doctor at Capital University Law School and was admitted to the Ohio bar.

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