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Education Policy Experts Join Leadership Team at Foundation for Excellence in Education

The Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) is pleased to announce two new members of its leadership team.

Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds became Vice President of Policy on September 1. Lizzette brings to ExcelinEd almost three decades of policy and legislative experience at both the state and federal level. In her home state of Texas, she served as deputy legislative director for then-Gov. George W. Bush and most recently as Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Education Agency. Lizzette also served as the U.S. Department of Education’s regional representative in Texas for secretaries Rod Paige and Margaret Spellings.

Her career reflects deep experience in education policy development and implementation as well as the “how-to” of legislative work needed to advance education reforms. Among her numerous appointments, Lizzette currently sits on the board of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation and chairs Texas’ Expanded Learning Opportunities Council. She lives in Austin with her husband, David, and their three school-age children.

Janice Gilley joins ExcelinEd on September 6 as National Director of Policy. Janice has more than 27 years of governmental, organizational and higher education experience. She served most recently as the Assistant Vice President for Governmental and Community Relations at the University of West Florida. Among her responsibilities, she handled all aspects of public policy, including policy development, budgeting, and advocacy at the federal, state and local levels.

In previous roles, Janice served in both the executive and legislative branches of Florida government. She was Policy Director under former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Deputy Chief for Policy in the Office of the Speaker and Staff Director for the House Majority Office. At the local level, Janice was a member of the Escambia County School Board and the Escambia County Commission. Community service is a big part of her life, and more than 30 organizations have been touched by her leadership, fundraising and volunteer efforts.

“Over the past eight years, ExcelinEd has become a leading partner and voice in advocating for student-centered education reforms,’’ said ExcelinEd CEO Patricia Levesque. “Lizzette and Janice will make our voice that much more effective. Their experience is deep, their passion for education reform well demonstrated and their ability to get things done proven. Our whole team looks forward to working with them to ensure all children, regardless of where they live or what obstacles they confront, get a good education and the chance to succeed in life.’’