We’re Growing! New Faces and Roles at BES

The summer is off to an exciting start at BES! We’ve officially launched our 2021-22 leadership development programs, supporting more than 100 leaders in schools across the US. 

To ensure that our training and coaching is high-quality, sustainable, and led by coaches with a diversity of perspectives and experience, we’ve made some changes to our program leadership.


On July 15, Gina Musumeci joined BES as our chief program officer. In this role, she oversees the senior leadership of all BES programs dedicated to supporting existing school leaders and educators interested in founding public schools. 

Gina most recently served as a consultant leading professional development for school and district leaders in the US and UK, coaching operations leaders at Achievement First (AF) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and running a national Hybrid Learning Community of Practice for leaders innovating in post-COVID school re-opening, through AF Accelerate. Prior to this, she served as a regional superintendent of schools with AF, managing elementary schools in NYC, before starting and growing the Achievement First Rhode Island region from charter application to a multi-school cluster, with some of the strongest results in Providence. Read more about Gina here.

Beginning August 23, Sundiata Salaam will join BES as a senior director of leadership development, coaching BES leaders in their planning years and first two years of operation as part of our Follow On Support team. 

Sundiata is a people-centered educator with over a decade of experience who is dedicated to nurturing lifelong leaders who seek to transform the classroom and the world. Sundiata began his career teaching eighth-grade English in Capitol Heights, MD. His interest in building supportive and holistic learning communities led him to Memphis, TN, serving as Freedom Prep’s founding dean of students in 2009. With an understanding that the curriculum is the entire environment of learning — from the teachers’ attitudes to the school’s values to the socio-emotional supports — Sundiata was a dean focused on high expectations for the entire school community. In 2014, he was promoted to chief schools officer, and then moved into a chief people officer role two years later. Read more about Sundiata here.

Finally, on August 30, Dawn Griffin will join our team as a senior co-director of the BES Fellowship, providing coaching and training to BES Fellows during their training year. 

With over 15 years of leadership experience in the education and nonprofit sectors, Dawn has coached and grown professionals, led strategy, and improved organizational culture. Prior to founding her own coaching firm, she was a school leadership coach for UChicago Impact, where she partnered with school and district leaders to drive culture and climate initiatives for students and staff. Dawn has held a diverse range of leadership roles throughout her career including chief program officer at Umoja Student Development Corporation and assistant director of the University of Chicago Charter School’s North Kenwood Oakland campus. Read more about Dawn on our website.

We’re also proud to announce the following changes to the BES programs team, allowing us to support even more leaders in new ways.

Erin Walsh-Hagan will be stepping up as a senior co-director of the Fellowship – leading alongside Dawn Griffin – going into the coming year. Erin has been a part of the BES Fellowship team for several years, most recently serving as the Fellowship’s assistant director. Prior to joining BES, Erin managed school principals for the UP Education Network.

As of early July, BES coaches Aidin Carey and Jabari Peddie are serving as senior co-directors of LENS. In this role, the two will design programming, lead training, and coach leaders to take on heightened leadership roles in their schools. 

Over the past several years, Aidin has provided high-impact, mission-driven Follow On Support to BES leaders and BES schools both in their planning year and after they open. She’s also led our public and private Leadership Intensives, training leaders on adult management, change management, and operations leadership. Prior to joining BES, Aidin served as an instructional and operations leader at public charter schools in New York City.

Jabari joined the team in 2020, and hit the ground running, supporting our 2020 Fellows to design and found schools across the US. He brings to the team a strong understanding of organizational strategy, school culture and design, and instructional and operational leadership, and he previously served as a school administrator and founding principal of one of the largest turnaround initiatives in Boston, MA.

“The BES team believes deeply in the power of strong school and system leaders to create, evolve and nurture excellent schools for all kids,” said BES CEO Aasimah Navlakhi. “Each of these leaders has a track record of centering equity in their work, building systems and processes that prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion, which is the north star of BES’ new strategic direction and heart of our organizational mission since 2019. We could not be more excited for the months and years ahead.”

Please join us in welcoming Dawn, Gina, and Sundiata to the BES team and congratulating our team members who are stepping into new roles. We look forward to seeing how they continue to impact leaders and schools across the country.

BES is currently hiring for several open roles on our programs, operations, development, and recruitment teams. Click here for details.