Ron Cowell has served as president of The Education Policy and Leadership Center since 1999. He previously served for 24 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (1975-1998) and 12 years as majority or minority chair of the House Committee on Education. During that time he also served on the boards of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and Pennsylvania's Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Programs. Ron currently serves as a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education; and a board member of the Pittsburgh-based Gateway to the Arts, and Communities in Schools - Pennsylvania.
He also is a member of advisory committees for the Office of Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh and A+ Schools in Pittsburgh. At the national level, Ron served for nine years as a member of the board of directors of the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities; several years as a member and chair of the Recognition Committee of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA); and on several K-12 and higher education advisory committees. He previously served as a member of the National Education Goals Panel, Vice-Chair of the Education Commission of the States, chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the National Association of State Boards of Education, and chair of the Education Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Ron is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Widener University Law School.
Mattie Robinson (EPFP 10-11)
Mattie Robinson is the Manager of Operations and Communications for The Education Policy and Leadership Center. She has over sixteen years of experience in public relations, particularly in the areas of event organization, media outreach, writing, graphic design, and web site development. In the two years before joining EPLC in 2005, Mattie worked for the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) as a Marketing and Communications Specialist. In that role she organized and conducted large conferences, workshops, and press conferences in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the National Weather Service, among other organizations. She also acted as SRBC spokesperson on occasion, coordinated media coverage, wrote and distributed various materials, and developed and maintained SRBC web site content for public information projects.
Prior to working at SRBC, Mattie spent four years working for Fleishman-Hillard, a large public relations firm in Washington, D.C., where she managed media relations and events for various federal agency and corporate clients. Previously, Mattie planned orientation programs and designed publications for American University, and wrote articles for various national trade magazines. She graduated from American University's School of Communication, in Washington, D.C., and from Harrisburg Area Community College.