Learning First Alliance

Strengthening public schools for every child

Learning First Alliance Staff

Cheryl Scott Williams, Executive Director


Cheryl Scott Williams is a nationally recognized leader in education reform and improvement with extensive experience leading nonprofit boards and building successful board/staff relationships.

Prior to coming to the Learning First Alliance, she served as a senior consultant at APQC. She was previously Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Teachscape, a San Francisco based company that designs and delivers online, job-embedded professional development for teachers and principals. In addition, she has served as Vice President, Education at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and she spent 14 years directing the Education Technology Program at the National School Boards Association (NSBA) before joining CPB.

Williams is a past president of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), past board chair of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), and current board member of the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training (NCTET). She began her career in education as an English Language Arts teacher in Montgomery County, MD, and Fairfax County, VA. She holds a BA and MA in English and Secondary Education from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Anne O'Brien, Deputy Director


Anne O’Brien joined the Learning First Alliance in September 2007.  Prior to joining the Alliance, she worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana, helping rebuild the agency after Hurricane Katrina. There she managed first the school-based mentoring program and then enrollment and matching for the agency. She has also consulted on the development of school-run mentoring programs. 

O'Brien brings a practitioner's lens to her work, having taught high school biology, physical science, and remedial math at East St. John High School in Reserve, LA, and serving as a Teach For America corps member in the Greater New Orleans region. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Grinnell College and a Master's degree from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and she is an alumna of the Education Policy Fellowship Program at the Institute for Educational Leadership. She currently serves as an appointed (by the Arlington (VA) County Board) member of the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families. She also blogs on education issues on behalf of LFA for Edutopia.


Joetta Sack-Min, Communications Consultant


Joetta Sack-Min has spent more than 20 years working in K-12 education policy and communications, and she has seen the formation of policy up close as well as its impact on local schools. Most recently, she spent nearly eight years producing publications for school boards and guiding internal and external communications at the National School Boards Association. Prior to that, she was an award-winning journalist at Education Week, the nation’s K-12 newspaper of record, for nine years.

A graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism, Sack-Min began her career as a White House news aide for the Associated Press, and she also has worked with several other news services and associations. As a reporter, she has interviewed presidents, cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, and high-ranking Washington insiders. But her favorite experiences were visiting schools and meeting with teachers and school officials across the country. Outside of work, she can usually be found volunteering at her children’s schools in Arlington and Falls Church, VA.