Expanding Opportunities for Youth Through Education and Workforce Development

Spring Social Issue Talk Series
April 01, 2019
8:30 am - 10:00 am
Ropes & Gray
Join the Social Innovation Forum on April 1, 2019 from 8:30-10:00 am for the Social Issue Talk "Expanding Opportunities for Youth Through Education and Workforce Development." Breakfast will be provided. Space is limited so please RSVP below. 

Dr. David J. Silva, Provost and Academic Vice President at Salem State University 

Dr. David J. Silva currently serves as Provost and Academic Vice President at Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts. Prior to his appointment as provost in 2015, he was a faculty member and administrator at The University of Texas at Arlington, where he held the titles of Professor of Linguistics, Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. In 2013, he was elected as a Founding Fellow to the University Of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers.  A native of Medford, Massachusetts, Dr. Silva received his A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University. While at Cornell, Dr. Silva received a Fulbright Fellowship award for language study and field research in Seoul, Korea. His past research has focused on language variation and language change in Korean and in Portuguese, while a recent scholarship has been devoted to issues in higher education.

Rahn Dorsey, Former Chief of Education for the City of Boston 
Rahn Dorsey served as the Chief of Education for the City of Boston and a member of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s cabinet from September 2014 to November 2018. As Chief of Education, Rahn launched the city’s strategic agenda for improving instructional quality and student support across the education pipeline and better integrating school, community, and work-based learning opportunities. Rahn career builds on nearly 20 years in philanthropy and policy research. Prior to joining the Mayor’s cabinet, Rahn served as Evaluation Director and the Education Program Officer at the Barr Foundation and, before that, as a program evaluator and researcher at Abt Associates in Cambridge, MA.  As an evaluator and researcher, Rahn led and participated in projects spanning a number of public policy, community change, and public health related issues. The body of work he contributed to for state and local governments, as well as foundations, covers a number of quantitative and qualitative technical areas including outcome and impact analyses and Theory of Change-based program evaluation.
Dr. J.D. LaRock, President and CEO of the Commonwealth Corporation
Dr. J.D. LaRock is President and CEO of the Commonwealth Corporation, Massachusetts’ public-private corporation dedicated to workforce development, economic devel
opment, and youth development. Previously, J.D. was a member of Northeastern University’s senior leadership team, where he was chief of staff to the university’s president, among other executive roles. A scholar of education policy, higher education, and the future of work, J.D. is a Professor of the Practice of Law and Policy at Northeastern and a Fellow with the Aspen Institute's Economic Opportunities Program. 
Prior to his academic and university management career, J.D. was senior education advisor to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, education policy director for Governor Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts, a senior manager at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, and a television reporter in New York City. He is the co-editor of Special Education for a New Century (Harvard Education Press, 2005) and editor of the OECD publication Education at a Glance (2012).  
J.D. is a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and Chair of the Board of Trustees at North Shore Community College. He holds three degrees from Harvard, including a doctorate in education administration, policy, and social planning, and a law degree from Georgetown. 
Margarita Ruiz, Superintendent of Salem Public Schools

A Salem resident, Superintendent Ruiz is a highly reflective, bilingual, forward thinking leader with a strong record of accomplishment in accelerating student

achievement in a network of schools with a large population of English language learners and special needs students. Her approach is firmly student-centered, and she frequently refers to herself as the “president of the Salem student union.” As the first Latino school superintendent in the City's nearly 400-year history, she led a community engaged strategic planning process during the 2016-2017 school year, including facilitating the first-ever Spanish language citywide conversation in the city. Prior to her appointment in Salem, Superintendent Ruiz was an area superintendent for the Boston Public Schools. 

Superintendent Ruiz has 29 years of combined experience as a teacher, coach, principal, and network superintendent in the Boston Public Schools. In those roles, she honed her skills and developed a clear philosophy of education that begins with honoring the dignity of every person and developing solid relationships at every level of the organizations in which she worked. Superintendent Ruiz is experienced in coaching principals in creating data-driven, rigorous learning environments that are conducive to the highest levels of student and staff achievement. She is committed to providing excellent and inclusive environments for all of Salem’s students. 

2019 Social Innovator 

LEAP for Education empowers under-served and first-generation-to- college students to succeed in college, career, and life. LEAP serves over 500 students in year-round, out-of-school time programs with an innovative approach that focuses in four-areas: enhancing academic skills, developing social-emotional maturity, expanding social connections, and college and career readiness. 

Track Partner

Amelia Peabody Foundation

About the Spring Social Issue Talk Series 

The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is excited to announce the expansion of our annual March Social Issue Talk Series to all of spring. With the optimistic energy necessary to live and work in Boston, we are ushering in the start of spring early with our first event on February 21. The newly renamed Spring Social Issue Talk Series is still made up of eight free, educational events across the city but now takes place throughout the months of February to April. At each event, funders and community leaders can hear from leading experts and our 2019 Social Innovators about the latest trends, best practices, and exciting innovations across a variety of fields.

Learn about the entire series here.