◆ I am Managing Partner and an Executive Coach at Proof Leadership Group, a boutique leadership consulting firm that specializes in leadership development to help the social sector thrive. I am also a new father, the former Executive Director of Character Lab, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Character & Leadership Development (JCLD). I am on the board of LeanLab Education and Proof Leadership Foundation and the advisory boards of Behavioral Scientist and Psychgeist Media. I also serve as an advisor to various K-12 research and development initiatives, including the Advanced Education Research and Development Fund (AERDF) and Blueprint for Inclusive Research and Development in Education (BIRD-E).
◆ In my tenure as Executive Director of Character Lab, we raised over $30M to fuel our mission. I led a phenomenal team through the pandemic, reported to an incredible board of directors, and received mentorship from some of the world’s most outstanding leaders, including co-founder Angela Duckworth (best-selling author of Grit) and board chair Luis von Ahn (CEO of Duolingo). I had the privilege of presenting to Bill Gates on how we built a fast, frictionless, and fruitful research platform that facilitated hundreds of studies, leading to dozens of publications in top-tier outlets like Nature and Science. Our research hasn’t died behind paywall journals: from TED-Ed videos, McGraw Hill Curriculum, and Kellogg’s Cornflakes boxes to partnerships with over a dozen leading organizations serving children—our research has reached millions of parents and educators worldwide.
◆ Before my time as an academic and nonprofit leader, I got my first dose of leadership experience and character development in the military. My time in the U.S. Air Force included combat deployments in Afghanistan and training special forces in Jordan and England. I had the honor and privilege of attending special military training such as airborne, air assault, and survival school as well as rappel master and fast rope master training.
◆ A Cuban American from Miami, I’m a high school dropout and juvenile detention center survivor turned first-generation college graduate. I completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology, master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology, and master’s degree in teaching—all while serving on active duty in the U.S Air Force special operations. After leaving the military, I completed my Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland).