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Miguel F. Aznar

Executive Director,


Governing Board


The founder of KnowledgeContext, Mr. Aznar has a rich and varied background in management consulting, technology, and education. As Executive Director of KnowledgeContext, he...
  • Developed concept, formed team, and created the 501(c)(3) educational non-profit corporation KnowledgeContext.
  • Recruited board of directors, expanded it, and handled succession of board chairs.
  • Developed and field-tested curriculum in coordination with middle school teachers in Berkeley, San Jose, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz.
  • Developed website to deliver curriculum to teachers and to provide organizational information (www.knowledgecontext.org).
  • Managed on-going assessment and refinement of curriculum product.
  • Radio interviews: KSCO Mr. Logic, KUSP Geekspeak for four 30-minute shows, and multiple visits to KUSP's Talk of the Bay
  • Raised funds from IBM, Microsoft, Williams Communication, JPMorgan, and individual donors.
  • Wrote Technology Challenged: Understanding Our Creations & Choosing Our Future, a book on understanding and evaluating nanotechnology.
  • Promoted Technology Challenged on the media and at conferences, gaining its acceptance as a textbook at multiple colleges.
  • Developed and teaches UC Santa Cruz COSMOS course on nanotechnology.
  • Instructs teachers on using the ICE-9 curriculum at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College (Los Altos Hills, California)

Mr. Aznar is the Director of Education for the Foresight Nanotech Institute and serves on the Educational/Consulting Advisory Board of the Acceleration Studies Foundation.  He is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. A synopsis of his professional experience prior to KnowledgeContext includes:

  • Analyzed business processes and developed training programs for AT&T.
  • Developed a geographic information system to track solid waste for the City of Los Angeles
  • Analyzed and merged databases for the corporate merger of Bank of America and Security Pacific Bank.
  • Managed a team to reduce setup time in the manufacturing operations of McCulloch Motors.
  • Developed a standard costing model for Sugar Foods, a condiment packager.
  • Trained McDonnell Douglas personnel in the programming of management and accounting reports.
  • Trained BW/IP project managers in use of advanced project management software.
  • Assessed capabilities of the Los Angeles Unified School Districtís manufacturing kitchen, evaluating alternatives of outsourcing, replacement, and upgrading.
  • Evaluated profitability of internal media production department in PacifiCare.
  • Developed software solutions and user manuals, and coordinated project plans for NASA, Amdahl, and Open Systems Development.

Mr. Aznar serves on the Educational/Consulting Advisory Board of the Acceleration Studies Foundation and on the Advisory Board of the Nanoethics Group.  He has also served on the Board of Directors for Acacia, a non-profit social organization, and was the chapter advisor, providing strong leadership and guidance for students at the University of California at Berkeley. Each summer, Mr. Aznar leads the Sierra to the Sea Bicycle Tour, which takes 140 cyclists from California's Gold Country through the Wine Country and to San Francisco. He is an avid road cyclist and mountain biker with an abiding love of nature, enjoys hiking, communal cooking with friends and even finds time to write poetry.


Mark Cathcart

Distinguished Engineer &
Director of Systems Engineering,


Advisory Board


Mark Cathcart has been involved with KnowledgeContext for almost 10-years, although not as much as heíd like. He was first introduced to Miguel Aznar while giving a series of keynote presentations at conferences around the world on the social/economic impact of the Internet and related technologies in 1999. Since learning about KnowledgeContext he has served as a board advisor and helped with funding to get their book published. He remains concerned about the level of technology literacy and the ongoing impact of technology, especially in the traditional economies where he feels complacency is a major problem.

He is a Distinguished Engineer and Director of Systems Engineering at Dell, responsible for the future strategy and design of server management and the Dell management framework. Previously he was a Distinguished Engineer and Member of Academy of Technology at IBM Corporation.  He has been an open source software proponent for some 25-years and has was at the forefront of the open standards strategy at IBM for 10-years from 1992, and was a technical representative for IBM during negotiations over open source adoption with the European Union.

He is an active triathlete, rapidly becoming assimilated into the triathlon scene in Texas. He leads regular ďno-dropĒ Sunday rides for Jack and Adams Bike shop. Previously he was Chairman of the UK's 5th Largest club, Tri-Force; he has represented Great Britain three times; was voted a British Triathlon Association Volunteer of the Year in 2003. Mark is also active in his Austin community, participates in the neighborhood association and writes an informal column for the Austin Metroblog.



William Gray, Jr.

National Accounts Manager,
Riverside Publishing


Governing Board

For over 25 years, Dr. Gray has worked with school administrators, psychologists, and teachers across the nation.  As the National Accounts Manager for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, he is responsible for strategic test initiatives, marketing, proposal development, implementation plans, budgeting, and professional development.  Dr. Gray has primary responsibility for sales and marketing with high-level clients and key accounts while supporting assessment evaluations, adoptions, implementations, and data teams in schools across the country.  Dr. Gray has conducted over 3000 professional development seminars on assessment techniques, score interpretation, national standards, data teams, statistical analysis, and using test results to improve instruction.

Dr. Gray earned his Ph.D. from Northcentral University, holds a masterís degree in clinical psychology from Loyola College and bachelor degrees in both biology and psychology from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Dr. Gray is an executive board member and past president of the California Educational Research Association (CERA) and is a member of the American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement Education, American Educational Research Association, and the Washington Educational Research Association.



Charles Hanes

Software Engineer


Treasurer, Advisory Board

With over twenty years experience as an engineer and manager in software and network systems product development, testing and application, Charles Hanes brings considerable strengths to KnowledgeContext. Some highlights of his successful professional career include:
  • Senior software engineer for Open Systems Development, responsible for custom contract software development.
  • Co-founder and Vice-President of Advanced Technology for LANQuest, where he developed a technical consulting and product testing business, and created application and testing software, including a major network product line.
  • Senior Project Manager for Comdisco Systems, Inc., where he co-invented the application traffic modeling technique in BONeS PlanNet, which was patented by CSI, producing a competitive advantage for the product line.
  • Product Development Manager for Software Connections and Software Development Engineer for Hewlett-Packard Co.

Mr. Hanes has a Masterís Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Summa cum Laude, from Oklahoma State University. He is a member of the Board of Directors and is the Treasurer for the Park Row Association, a non-profit corporation which is responsible for a 236-unit condominium complex, and has served as the treasurer for the Libertarian Party of Santa Clara County. He is also an avid reader and still finds time to pursue such diverse interests as astronomy and soaring.


Addie Holsing



Advisory Board

Addie Holsing was a full time, professional teacher for nearly four decades.  She serves on the Professional Resource Network, and is a presenter for CalServe, a program of the California Department of Education which coordinates service learning programs in the state. Highlights of her prestigious career include:
  • Development and copyright of a curriculum guide, ACORE, for which she conducts teacher workshops throughout the state.
  • Mentor teacher in the Berkeley Unified School District .
  • Teacher Trainer for the California Literature Project.
  • Presenter at numerous professional meetings, including the Common Destiny Alliance in Washington, D.C. and the State Demonstration School project.
  • Building Bridges, a summer institute designed and run by Ms. Holsing, whose objective is to connect students at risk of dropping out of school with adult tutors and to provide motivating summer activities. Her accomplishments with this program include a recent student publication, A Young Personís Guide to Berkeley, as well as a video by the same name.
  • Presenter of multiple staff development programs, trainings, workshop sessions, and conferences highly regarded by her professional colleagues.
  • Winner of the Mason McDuffy outstanding teacher award.

Most important and impressive of all her credentials is the continued high praise Ms. Holsing receives from current and former students, parents and educators. And, while her list of professional accomplishments would keep most people fully occupied, Ms. Holsing found time to build her own home, along with her husband and son. She loves the Theater of the Absurd, and often shares this interest with her students, broadening their cultural awareness and appreciation of the arts. Ms. Holsing also enjoys reading, especially about pedagogy, and backpacking with family and friends.


Maximilian J. B. Hopkins

Attorney at Law


Advisory Board


Maximilian J. B. Hopkins brings over ten years experience as an attorney to KnowledgeContext and currently has his own successful law practice in Northern California. His legal background includes extensive work in superior and municipal court trials, civil litigation, and jury trials.


A graduate of University of California at Berkeley and the Golden Gate University School of Law, Mr. Hopkins also has extensive experience with non-profit corporations, having generously given of his time and talent over many years. He is the general counsel to the Andrews-Reiter Research Program and is vice-president of the Western Oaks Village Homeownerís Association, for which he handles all the associationís legal work.


In addition, he has served as the president of the Acacia Chapterís House Corporation, overseeing a budget in excess of $100,000, managing the organizationís two properties and handling all associated legal needs. Mr. Hopkins is a dedicated family man and the father of four children. He enjoys travel, skiing, hiking, tennis and scuba diving.



Lawrence E. Liden

Coordinator - Technology in Education
University of California Extension,
Santa Cruz


Advisory Board


Lawrence E. Liden coordinates technology in education for the University of California Extension, Santa Cruz.  In this capacity, he develops course offerings, schedules classes, identifies sites, selects and evaluates teachers, advises students, and teaches classes.  At the request of the UC office of the President, he conducted a two-year study to determine the availability, access and use of technology in selected K-12 schools, the technology skills expected of students by the faculty of the University; and the use of technology by typical University professors.


Lawrence was superintendent of the Institute of Computer Technology, a unique model school system formed as a partnership between three school districts, the State of California and many computer industries to provide technological education to kindergarten thru adult students; to develop curriculum about technology for use throughout the state; to test and develop innovative instructional practices; and to foster a partnership between education and industry.


Lawrence's interest in education has carried him from classroom science teacher to a rich sequence of administrative positions supervising, coordinate, and promoting both science and technology education.



Suresh K. Lodha

Professor of Computer Science
University of California
Santa Cruz


Advisory Board

Suresh K. Lodha is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His current research interests include
geospatial and data visualization, imaging and lidar sensors, and sensor vision. He received an M. S. degree in Engineering-integrated
Mathematics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India, and an M. A. degree in Mathematics from the University of California,
Berkeley. He obtained the Ph. D. degree in Computer Science from Rice University, Houston, Texas. in 1992.

Suresh Lodha is a member of ACM and IEEE. He has contributed more than 80 research articles in journal papers and conferences. He won a Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of California, Berkeley and an Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of California, Santa Cruz.



Diane Means

Consultant, Education Assessment


Governing Board, Chair

Diane Means is an experienced education administrator specializing in the development and implementation of school and district systems to support standards, assessment, and accountability.  She is adept at translating student achievement data into easy-to-understand, useful information, and committed to utilizing a variety of data to inform instructional decision-making.  Diane has a proven ability to initiate and direct innovative and proactive accountability measures; develop strategic plans for schools and districts, build and manage relationships with key constituents; and produce reader-friendly documents.

Previously, Diane was Director of Assessment, Santa Clara Unified School District, where she managed the district assessment/accountability system, including state and local assessments.  She successfully developed a districtwide system of data collection and reporting.  Diane pioneered use of web-based data reporting and school planning tools, and participated in various school reform efforts, including Bay Area School Reform Collaborative (BASRC), Noyce Foundationís Every Child a Reader and Writer (ECRW), and Noyce Foundationís Math Assessment Collaborative (MAC).  She supervised an assessment team of two staff members, plus a variety of support networks directly related to efficient and effective assessment.   She worked closely with school administrators and school/district leadership teams to review data, develop district and schoolwide plans (LEAP, SPSAs), monitor program impact, and adjust instruction to meet specific student needs.  Diane was a member of Superintendentís Cabinet.


Trevor Oelschig

Vice President,
Bessemer Venture Partners


Secretary, Governing Board


  Trevor Oelschig is a Vice President at Bessemer Venture Partners and focuses on investing in consumer technologies, software and media. Trevor works with Knewton, Smilebox and Zopa and worked with Pure Networks (acquired by Cisco).

Prior to BVP, Trevor was with JPMorgan Partners and was closely involved with Tidal Software (acquired by Cisco), Sierra Logic (acquired by Emulex), Aristos Logic (acquired by Adaptec), Zilliant, and leading the seed investment in Vyatta. He has also worked with Comcast Interactive Capital and in the Asia Corporate Finance and Strategy practice of McKinsey & Company. Trevor started his career in the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices of Andersen Consulting incubating and advising early-stage consumer Internet and enterprise software companies.

Trevor holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University, and a BS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from University of California at Berkeley.

Mike O'Sullivan

Independent Marketing Writer


Advisory Board


Mike OíSullivan is an independent marketing writer who has helped a variety of clients connect with their target audiences, including organizations in the technology, publishing, and nonprofit arenas.

One marketing campaign he worked on was so successful that ClickZ, a popular publication for Internet marketing professionals, featured it as a case study. Heís also been published in WordBiz Report, an award-winning newsletter that covers best practices in copywriting.

Mike has a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and lives in San Francisco. When not crafting hard-hitting communications, you can probably catch him jogging in his backyard: Golden Gate Park.



Karl Pister

Chancellor Emeritus,
University of California
at Santa Cruz


Advisory Board

Karl S. Pister is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of California (UC) at Santa Cruz and former Vice President of Educational Outreach for the University of California.  He was Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley from 1980 to 1990 and Chancellor at UC Santa Cruz from 1991 to 1996.

Karl is Chair of the governing board of the California Council on Sciences and Technology, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  He is an Honorary Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.  Karl serves on the governing boards of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Reasearch Institute as well as the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.  He is the founding chairman of the Board on Engineering Education of the National Research Council.

Karl has been recognized with the Wason Medal for Research from the American Concrete Institute, and the Vincent Bendix Award for Minorities in Education and the Lamme Medal, both from the American Society for Engineering Education.  He has also been recognized with the Berkeley Medal from UC Berkeley, the Presidential Medal from UC, and the Year 2000 Presidential Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Karl received his B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Robert Shemwell

Director of Educational Technology,
Santa Clara County
Office of Education


Advisory Board

Robert Shemwell is the Director for Educational Technology at the Santa Clara County Office of Education and Region 5 California Technology Assistance Project (CTAP).  He has over 16 years of experience with instructional technology, curriculum development, training and grant support in K12 education.  Robert has been a middle and high school teacher in Los Angeles County, a staff development coordinator with San Francisco U.S.D and a District Technology Director in Salinas.

Robert has a masterís degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  As a director with SCCOE's Educational Services, he supports districts in state and federal funding, develops curriculum and trains educators in effective technology integration strategies.


John Smart

Acceleration Studies Foundation


Advisory Board

John Smart is a developmental systems theorist who studies science and technological culture with an emphasis on accelerating change, computational autonomy and a topic known in futurist circles as the technological singularity. He is president of the Acceleration Studies Foundation (ASF) a nonprofit community that seeks to help individuals better understand and manage continuous accelerating change.

John has a B.S. from UC Berkeley, has done graduate work in human physiology and medicine at U.C. San Diego, and coursework in biological, cognitive, computer and physical sciences at UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UCSD. He is presently completing an M.S. in Future Studies at the University of Houston, and writing his second book, Destiny of Species, on the topic of accelerating change.

John is director of ASF's annual conference, Accelerating Change, where 350 science, technology, business and humanist speakers and attendees debate and explicate the topic of accelerating change, from both universal and local perspectives. John has run three businesses, his last for nine years as CEO of Hyperlearning, a 50-employee educational services company, sold to The Princeton Review in 1996.


Linda Ullah

Teacher in Residence,
Krause Center for Innovation
Foothill College
Los Altos Hills, California


Advisory Board



Linda Ullah, M.A., M. Ed. is Teacher in Residence at Foothill College's Krause Center for Innovation where she writes curriculum for face to face and online courses, teaches, and helps coordinate the Learning in New Media Classrooms) program. She also the director of the Center's Earn While You Learn Technology/Project Based Learning Institute for teachers. She has co-authored the curriculum for the Institute and has authored several online courses including a Global Project-based Learning online course. This course was her Instructional Technology Masters Degree Project. Additionally, Linda writes evaluation reports and grants to support the Center's programs as well . She is in the process of becoming a Project-based Learning Curriculum Coach and Trainer for the New Tech High Schools in North Carolina.

Linda has a M.Ed in Special Education from the University of Cincinnati, a M. A. in Instructional Technology from San Jose State University. She is the recipient of the Harold H. Hailer Award in Instructional Technology and the SJSU Gold Award for the College of Education. She received a BA in Social Studies with a minor in English from Marietta College. She also studied art history in Bergamo, Italy through Ohio University's University Abroad program.

Linda has served on several educational boards. She is the former president of the Morgan Hill Unified School District's Board of Trustees. She has served Teachers International Exchange Board, and the IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education Educational Committee. She is currently serving the Charter School of Morgan Hill Board. This is a project-based learning charter school.


Patrick Williams

Engineering Manager


Governing Board

Patrick Williams is an engineering manager at Google, where he is responsible for various software initiatives delivering needed services to small businesses and consumers. This includes all aspects of software development - concept to deployment. In addition to the technical side of Google, he is also a member of the Google Grants team, assisting in recruiting goals and participating in mentoring programs.

Patrick previously was CEO of Nimbus Design, where he was responsible for the operational aspect of creating web solutions and defining new business directions.  He established business relationships and partnerships that aligned with the design and technology focus of the company.  Patrick was also President/Co-founder of Proteus Development, Vice President of Engineering at Tanjian Technologies, and Director of Advanced Product Development at ScanSoft Inc. (formerly Caere Corporation).

Patrick has a B.S. with honors in Computer Engineering from the University of California at Santa Cruz, with additional coursework in electrical engineering, mathematics, and computer science from University of Leeds in England.