Meet the dedicated executive team behind Penn Foster. Our leaders work tirelessly to provide leading edge educational content, technology and services designed to deliver positive outcomes for our partners and our students. Penn Foster’s leadership team focuses on the technology innovation, content development, and strategic initiatives which keep our schools on pace with the needs of today’s workforce. With decades of experience across industries such as education, technology, and business, our team is uniquely poised to support our partners.
Frank is the Chief Executive Officer of Penn Foster, the leading skills development training, credentials and employment matching enterprise for frontline workers. This for-purpose organization is focused on employment outcomes through ed-tech enabled workforce solutions and today has more than 125,000 active students and 1,000 partners, including employers, youth organizations, government organizations, and academic institutions. He previously served as an Operating Partner at Bain Capital Ventures and CEO of Pri-Med – the largest medical education training company for primary care physicians. He is a recognized education authority, with media and investor community engagement such as Bloomberg TV, C-SPAN/ U.S. Congress, SXSWedu, TEDx, BMO and ASU/GSV investor conference, and was appointment by Governor Corbett of Pennsylvania on the Advisory Committee on Future of Postsecondary Education. Frank earned his B.S. from Syracuse University in marketing and operations.
As Chief Financial Officer, Tom is responsible for financial planning, business analytics, liquidity management, investor relations, pricing strategy, and other strategic initiatives at Penn Foster. Tom brings with him 10 years of progressive financial management experience in a variety of areas including education services, software, and consumer goods industries. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Tom was the Director of Finance for the corporate entity that owned the Penn Foster and The Princeton Review businesses.
Tom received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
As Chief Operating Officer, Dara and her team are responsible for advocating for the customer and ensuring that Penn Foster education solutions meet the needs of this diverse base of learners. Dara brings with her over 14 years of experience in direct response marketing, brand development, public relations, and integrated communications and business development programs. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Dara was Senior Vice President of Pri-Med, a leading medical education provider focused on bringing tier 1 education solutions to the primary care marketplace.
Dara received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in marketing and communications.
As General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Penn Foster, Heather is responsible for Penn Foster’s legal, compliance and governance matters. She has a strong record in effectively promoting strategic business goals in a variety of sectors, and in working with multidisciplinary teams across business functions. Most recently, Heather served as Vice President, Legal and Compliance of K12 Inc. where she counseled the company on a wide range of legal, compliance and business matters. Prior to K12, Heather served as Counsel for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and has also served as Special Counsel to public companies including Unilever and Hilton Worldwide. Heather earned a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and a MBA from The George Washington University. She also holds a certification from the Harvard University Program on Negotiation and CCEP and CIPP licenses in compliance and privacy, respectively.
Ranjan Bhattacharya is responsible for leading the development and delivery of all customer facing product lines at Penn Foster. Ranjan brings more than 20 years of experience in technical leadership in various Boston based large companies and startups. He has worked in various industries including financial services, mortgage services, and utilities, where he built and led product engineering teams developing SaaS based products. Ranjan has deep technical expertise in areas such as Cloud Computing, Big Data and Machine Learning.
Ranjan holds a BS in Electrical Engineering, and MS in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.
Pat is Vice President of Admissions, and joined the Penn Foster team in 2012. He brings over 20 years sales management experience to the team, including working as the Senior Director of Sales and Retention in the cable industry at RCN, and as Associate Director of Telesales for Verizon Wireless in the New York Metro area. He has a Bachelor of Science in Public Accounting from Penn State University, and has also spent 6 years in the United States Army Reserve as an infantryman. Pat’s background in sales and customer service brings strong leadership to manage and support a large team of Admissions Specialists, who work towards helping students get started on their path to success.
As Vice President of Marketing, Kate and her team lead the development and execution of integrated marketing strategies supporting brand development, student acquisition and retention, product marketing, demand generation, and client-enablement. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Kate held various marketing leadership and client-focused roles with organizations including eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions (formerly eDialog, which she helped reposition under the eBay umbrella); Thomson Learning (now Skillsoft) where she led go-to-market strategies and new product development efforts for their high growth government business segment; and J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, where she began her marketing career.
Kate holds a BA in Marketing and Public Relations from Simmons College.
As Vice President-Controller, James is responsible for all corporate accounting and tax reporting for the Penn Foster companies.
James joined Penn Foster in 2015 and brings over 20 years of accounting and financial experience at the management level in both public accounting and private industry. Before Penn Foster, James worked in logistics, manufacturing, mining and automotive industries in several different states. He is a licensed CPA, holds a CGMA designation and received his B.S. degree from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
As a seasoned sales and business development executive, Steve Nolan brings to Penn Foster a wealth of experience in the workforce solutions markets as our Vice President of Sales. With a focus on expanding and opening B2B markets by building trust and innovatively illustrating the value of his products, Steve has an established track record in the Fortune 1000, government and non-profit markets. Steve comes to Penn Foster from Study Group where he managed the global sales portfolio for North America. Previously, he worked as Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development at LearningExpress. Steve earned his BA in Economics from Syracuse University.
As Vice President of Education and Academic Dean, Lisa is responsible for advancing Penn Foster's educational mission by providing strategic academic leadership and leading day-to-day efforts related to successfully implementing all Penn Foster courses. Lisa brings over 15 years of experience in online secondary and higher education programs to the team, as well as a passion for education that aligns with Penn Foster’s mission: to enhance the lives of our students and clients through the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and credentials. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Lisa served as Vice President of Education at Ashworth College and Principal of James Madison High School.
Lisa holds a BS in Psychology and M.Ed. in School Psychology, both from Georgia State University.
Paula is the Vice President of Engineering, overseeing all aspects of application and systems development at Penn Foster. Paula brings 17 years of experience in technical program management, business process improvement, and end-to-end solution management across verticals including Tech, Retail, CPG, Financial Services, Telecom, and Pharma. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Paula was Senior Director of Customer Experience and Product Management at eBay Enterprise Marketing Solutions focused on next generation platform product strategy, planning, and execution.
Paula holds a B.S. in Marketing and Operations Management from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business.
Mark is Vice President of Digital Learning Products at Penn Foster. He previously served as Vice President, Employer Product for MyEdu (acquired by Blackboard), where he spearheaded the launch of a business enabling employers to find and hire college graduates. Prior to joining MyEdu, Mark had 15 years of leadership experience in digital product and content strategy for companies in the e-learning and career management industries, including Monster Worldwide and IBM. Mark also helped to create Edutopia, an online community for educators and policymakers, as director of digital content for The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Mark holds a Masters in Educational Technology from Harvard University and an MBA from Babson College.
As Senior Vice President, Student Success, Mark has over 25 years experience in Direct Response Marketing and Customer Relationship Management. In his prior roles, Mark was responsible for the development and execution of contact management strategies in the U.S. and abroad. He reengineered the Enrollment Management function in the U.S. and at International sites in Scotland and Australia. He also led the development of B2B and B2C special services to third-party clients, including contact management solutions, inbound/outbound telemarketing, and customer care.
In his current role, Mark is responsible for CRM/Contact Center Operations, strategically blending telephonic/web communication channels to positively influence customer behaviors, including enrollment generation, student services, and retention.
Rachel is the Vice President of Product Management and Content at Penn Foster. In this role, she is responsible for the creation and instructional design of the programs, as well as the product strategy that ensures alignment among Penn Foster’s offerings and students’ and employers’ needs. With more than 15 years of experience consulting to and managing educational product teams, Rachel has held leadership roles at Pearson, The Princeton Review, Pri-Med, and a number of education startups.
Rachel is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
As Director of National Employer Partnerships, Marie is committed to cultivating and enhancing Penn Foster’s National Employer Network through strategic partnerships utilizing the vast suite of services offered by Penn Foster to our employer partners to impact recruitment, retention, and upskilling results in the workplace. Prior to joining the Penn Foster team, Marie was the Executive Director for the 100K Opportunities Initiative, which is the largest national employer-led coalition driving change and removing barriers in the hiring and advancing of youth nationwide.
Marie earned her B.A. from the University of Rhode Island in Communications and Journalism.
As Senior Vice President of People, Josh leads all Human Resources activities at Penn Foster, including talent acquisition, learning and development, and talent management. He brings over 10 years of experience leading organizations through change and building people capabilities at scale. Josh was previously a VP of People and Culture at Medallia, a leader in customer experience management software, and an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company.
He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Music from Boston University.
As Vice President, Alex leads Penn Foster’s Client Success team, working closely with our partners developing strategies to retain and upskill employees while maximizing returns on their investment in training. Prior to joining Penn Foster, Alex held various leadership roles in business and education from building a customer success team for an Ed Tech startup, leading student reengagement in NYC, and strengthening university admissions.
Alex holds a BA from Santa Clara University and a Masters of International Affairs with a concentration in Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis from Columbia University.