Board Members

Citizens of the World Los Angeles is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors who are deeply engaged in the strategic governance and management of our schools. Our Board meets once a month, and meeting locations rotate among the three schools.

Board Members

Josh McLaughlin, Board Chair and Parent Representative

Josh McLaughlin serves as both Citizens of the World Los Angeles Chair and parent representative to our Board of Directors. Josh, along with his wife Stacey, initially became involved with CWCH in 09-10 as Founding Parents prior to CWCH opening its doors. In his time away from CWCH, Josh is the Executive Vice President of Peter Chernin Entertainment. McLaughlin was formerly co-head of the motion picture division of The Mark Gordon Company where he produced the critically acclaimed film Talk To Me starring Don Cheadle and written/directed by Kasi Lemmons. Mr. McLaughlin began his career as an assistant at The Gersh Agency and later worked as a Creative Executive at The Mutual Film Company. In his role as a film executive, Josh is constantly working towards bridging both the creative and business sides of the industry in order to execute large-scale projects. In much the same way, Josh has been excited to lend that same expertise and skill-set to Citizens of the World Los Angeles, where there is ongoing and important work to make the inspiring philosophy and creative vision of our school sustainable for years to come.

Stacey Rossley Staples, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, Parent Representative

Stacey Staples is committed to improving education access and equity, with a focus on helping organizations secure the resources they need to fulfill their missions. Prior to joining the Board of Directors of Citizens of the World Charter Schools, Los Angeles, Stacey served as Development Director for KIPP LA Schools. She has worked for several other education and nonprofit organizations, including the Joseph Drown Foundation and College Match. Stacy holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College.

Rick Esquivel, Member

Rick Esquivel serves as Principal of eCALS High School a school in Partnerships to Uplift Communities (PUC) network. Originally from the Central Valley, Rick attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Upon graduating from UCSB, Rick joined Teach For America – a national teaching corps that recruits undergraduates to commit two years to help close the educational gap in our nation’s most underserved schools. After realizing a strong need for passionate and empathetic educators, Rick decided to continue providing students with meaningful learning experiences as a middle school science teacher, instructional coach and assistant principal in South Los Angeles. Most recently, Rick served as the Founding Principal for Larchmont Charter Middle and High School – an academically high performing K-12 charter school whose mission is to serve a racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse group of students. Rick holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from California State University, Northridge. Rick will also be pursing a doctorate degree from USC starting this fall. He attributes his aspirations to the students he meets everyday and considers himself fortunate to be working towards securing their promising futures. For fun, Rick enjoys hiking and cycling around LA.

James Rosenblatt, Member & Parent Representative

James Rosenblatt has spent over 15 years in the entertainment industry working as an award winning actor, writer and producer. He received his BA from Duke University and his Masters from the prestigious American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. He is a Founding Parent for Citizens of the World Silver Lake/Echo Park and has been involved in numerous non-profits. He is a co-founder of the Los Angeles based charity Support the Cure, spent four years as a board member of the Silver Lake Independent Jewish Community Center, and currently serves as Treasurer for the Alumni Board of the American Conservatory Theater. He spent the first year of Citizens of the World Los Angeles ‘s existence co-creating and co-chairing the Parent Action Committee that allowed the parents and administration to work together more effectively. He is also the co-owner and founder of H2R Productions here in Los Angeles.

Ina Barish, Member & Parent Representative

Ina Barish is a corporate attorney licensed to practice law in California and New York. Ina’s career includes experience as in-house counsel in New York and California and as an associate at major law firms in New York. While in New York, Ina served as in-house counsel to Carl C. Icahn and provided legal support in the founding and operation of the first Icahn Charter School in the Bronx. Since its founding, the organization has expanded to seven schools located in New York City. Ina was born and raised in the Bronx and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University.

Carl Christopher, Member

Carl is a Senior Consultant at  Education First. His work supports education leaders in developing systems that promote capacity building, sustainability, quality school options and effective school governance. He also helps foundations and philanthropists design and execute effective grant-making strategies. Carl’s commitment to education comes from the fact that he is more than an optimist, he is a believer. A believer in what is possible for kids, adults, organizations and communities when we provide equitable access to high-quality public education. Before joining Education First, Carl was a Program Officer at the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. Previously, Carl served as Senior Director of Operations and Impact at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. Carl holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from UC San Diego. He also is an alumnus of the Broad Residency in Urban Education. Carl enjoys running, fitness and golf in his spare time, and loves spending time cheering for the Denver Broncos with his wife and two kids.

Mikelle Willis, Member

In her current role as Chief People Officer Mikelle is responsible for driving the organization’s vision and strategy for the talent function as Leading Educations (LE) grows to a thriving organization of over fifty staff members. Specifically, Mikelle designs and executes LE’s talent acquisition strategy to ensure strong and diverse candidate pools, builds the capacity of leaders across the organization and contributes to a staff culture rooted in equity and inclusion by providing opportunities for personal and professional development.

Most recently, Mikelle served as Chief Strategy and Operating Officer at the Partnership for LA Schools. Previously, she spent over ten years leading with KIPP in several capacities including, middle school principal, Director of New Site Expansion and Senior Director of Principal Development. She started her career in education as a Teach for America corps member in the Los Angeles region. Mikelle earned her BS in Business Administration from California State University, Long Beach; her MA in Education from National Louis University; and her MBA from Pepperdine University.

Saman Bravo-Karimi, Member

Saman Bravo-Karimi currently serves as the Chief Business Officer for Bright Star Schools. Saman began his career in education in 2011 as a Broad Resident at the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). In his nearly six years at LAUSD, Saman supported district and school site budgeting, debt management, and fiscal sustainability projects. Prior to LAUSD, Saman served as a Strategy Consultant for Wells Fargo, providing financial analytics and strategic guidance to the bank. Saman holds BAs in Economics and History from UCLA and an MBA from UCLA.

Adam Fletcher, Member

Adam is the General Counsel and Sr. Director of Operations for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a non-profit which independently manages 18 LAUSD schools serving several of the city’s highest-need communities.

In this dual role, Adam is responsible for leading the team which supports school leaders to effectively operate their schools, including in the areas of budgets, facilities, compliance, and classified staffing,and is responsible for leading the Partnership’s public advocacy and legal risk mitigation work streams. Previously at the Partnership Adam led the Partnership’s performance management, strategic planning, and data and impact work.

Before joining the Partnership, Adam was an attorney with Irell and Manella, LLP, working primarily on high stakes commercial litigation and securities and white collar defense. Adam earned his BA and MA in economics from UC Santa Barbara and his JD from Harvard Law School. He also is an alumnus of the Broad Residency in Urban Education. Adam is the product of the San Bernardino Unified School system and is devoted to improving the public school system in California. Adam is the proud father of two girls and is expecting his third child in the spring.

And a special thanks to our former board members.

Brian C. Johnson

Jessica Castillo

Derrick Chau

Yvette King-Berg

Samantha Johnston

Craig Tessler

Gene Straub

Heather McManus