Our Team

Meet our dedicated team members who work every day to track the latest research, develop shared knowledge, and work across the network to share best practices in developmental education reforms.

Our Funder Advisory Board supports our work in an advisory capacity.

  • Maxine Roberts Website Resized

    Maxine Roberts

    Director

  • Alina Deluna

    Alina DeLuna

    Project Manager

  • Ms Headshot 5.2

    Molly Sarubbi

    Senior Project Manager

  • Sharmila Mann

    Sharmila Mann

    Principal

  • Matt Padilla

    Matt Padilla

    Chief Financial Officer, ECS

  • Hemingway Will2

    Will Hemingway

    Accountant

Maxine Roberts Website Resized

Maxine Roberts

Director

In her role as director of Strong Start to Finish, Maxine elevates effective practices and processes for reforming developmental education in university systems. She has dedicated her career to advancing system-changing, equity-focused initiatives that promote access, persistence and completion for minoritized students in higher education. Prior to joining Education Commission of the States, Maxine directed youth-based programs in urban areas, worked with community college faculty to improve their course outcomes and conducted research on the factors that contribute to success and progress for Black and Latinx students in community college developmental math courses.

Alina Deluna

Alina DeLuna

Project Manager

As a project manager, Alina is responsible for daily operations and providing project support for the Strong Start to Finish initiative. She brings experience relating to finance, public policy and administration, as well as the implementation of Colorado law and regulation. Alina is dedicated to the mission of Strong Start to Finish and believes that through informed leadership and sustained commitment, we can better serve our communities and contribute to an educational system that provides equal opportunities for all. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, making memories with her family and spending time outdoors.

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Molly Sarubbi

Senior Project Manager

As a consulting senior project manager for the Solutions Network for Strong Start to Finish, Molly counsels the national network of partner organizations that provide technical assistance to systems and institutions. She has over 15 years of nonprofit leadership, strategy development and project management experience, and earned her doctorate in higher education from the University of Denver. Molly believes in the power of integrative education policy to positively impact equitable outcomes for students and communities at scale.

Sharmila Mann

Sharmila Mann

Principal

As principal, Sharmila provides leadership on the development and execution of Education Commission of the States’ strategic policy initiatives and fosters internal and external relationships. Sharmila brings more than 15 years of education policy experience to her role, including 10 years at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association engaging with state and federal policymakers, funders and national associations in pursuit of policy to smooth transitions between education sectors. Sharmila holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University and a master’s and doctorate in human genetics from the University of Michigan.

Matt Padilla

Matt Padilla

Chief Financial Officer, ECS

As chief financial officer, Matt leads the finance, human resources and information technology operations for Education Commission of the States. Matt has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, primarily in operations and leadership roles. When Matt is not at work, he can be found volunteering for nonprofit boards or enjoying the great Colorado mountains.

Hemingway Will2

Will Hemingway

Accountant

In his role, Will supports the Senior Financial Analyst with month-end and day-to-day tasks. Prior to joining ECS, Will graduated from Transylvania University in 2021. After graduation, he worked for a labeling company in Denver as a bookkeeper in their human resources department. Will loves supporting the Cubs, Heat and Titans. He also enjoys playing basketball, baseball and hitting the slopes