Our Bay Area Team

Roxy Pirnia
National Program Director, USA

Roxy is extremely passionate about education reform and equity, particularly in the United States. Upon graduation from university, Roxy joined High Resolves as an intern, analyzing student work and reporting on program outcomes. After her internship, Roxy returned to the United States to continue pursuing her passion of working with youth. She worked as both a Corps Member and Team Leader with City Year in Boston, and subsequently as a Program Manager with Boston Scholar Athletes. Through her various roles, Roxy has continuously seen the importance of providing the space, resources, and skills for young people to build the social emotional capacities that are often not explicitly taught in school settings. Roxy is excited to again join the High Resolves team, and to build the bridge to the United States. She holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters’ Degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
My passion for this work stems from my own experiences in education. Prior to college, my education was mostly academic, lacking much application to life beyond the classroom. It was not until my time at the University of California, San Diego that I began to think critically about the world around me – about my own identity, about how I fit into the world, and what type of world I wanted to see. I am passionate about the work we are doing at High Resolves because it provides young people with the opportunity that I did not have, the opportunity to begin this journey earlier on and to better understand my role as a global citizen.

Joel Julien
Acting Program Director, Bay Area

Joel comes to High Resolves as an insightful and experienced manager. His extensive background over more than twenty-five years includes cultivating professional and trusting relationships with various stakeholders who are involved with schools including community activists and businesses partners. Joel has successfully implemented multiple programs and has constructed effective systems for schools throughout the S.F. Bay Area region. His goal has been to strategically target students who are traditionally underserved. His passion for ensuring all youth receive a quality education produced numerous awards and led him to develop several innovative project-based learning modules in Bay Area schools. Joel holds a BA degree from San Diego State University and a MA degree in Educational Leadership from the University of California at Berkeley.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

We provide young people and teachers with an extraordinary opportunity to maximize the teaching and learning experience through the use of game-based modules that emphasize real world scenarios and critical thinking. Additionally, our curriculum is highly engaging and has student growth as its primary goal.

Lisa Gorman
Chairwoman of U.S. Board

Lisa is the Chairwoman of High Resolves’ U.S. Board. Lisa was formerly of counsel with the Detroit-based law firm Abbott Nicholson and was a former partner at Timmis Inman. Her clients included non-profit organizations and private foundations. Lisa holds a BA from Tufts University and a J.D. from Boston College. She serves on the President’s Advisory Council of Tufts University.

Tom Gorman
Board member

Tom Gorman was formerly the CEO of Brambles Limited, an ASX-listed supply chain solutions company operating in over 60 countries. Prior to joining Brambles, Tom spent 21 years working with Ford Motor Company in a number of senior positions in the US, Europe and Australia where he was President of Ford Australia from 2004 to 2008.

Chantelle Kohn
National Program Director Canada, Head of Curriculum North America

Chantelle’s career as an educator and facilitator dedicated to unleashing humanity’s ability to create a better world has taken place in Australia, the U.K, India, Cambodia, America and Canada, where she is currently based. Chantelle has held various roles within High Resolves, beginning first as a Program Manager in Brisbane and now heading up the organization in Toronto and overseeing the curriculum for the expansion into North America. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the University of Queensland and is currently completing a Masters’ in International and Community Development from Deakin University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
It is through education that we can transform the way we see ourselves, the world and our role within it. High Resolves provides the opportunity to develop the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills we need to move towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Mehrdad Baghai
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Global CEO

As Global CEO of High Resolves, Mehrdad has focused on rapid growth of the program in Australia and expansion into the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Africa. Mehrdad is Chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of the Firm’s worldwide Growth Practice, and an Executive Director at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mehrdad has degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen and felt the impact of social division and hatred first hand. We need to think of prejudice, racism and hatred as public health issues and engage in immunization programs in order to eradicate these diseases.

Roya Baghai
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Videos for Change

Roya has a degree in architecture but has worked in many different design fields, from graphic and object design to typography. Throughout all her work, she has been passionate about creating transformative experiences through design. Her commitment to creating positive social change and empowering young people to do the same was the inspiration and driving force behind the co-creation of High Resolves in 2005 and her deep involvement since. Over the last three years, she has also been leading Videos for Change: a powerful platform that is amplifying the voice of young people who have creatively engaged with social issues and are catalyzing positive change in the world.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about contributing in some small way to the creation of a world with unity in diversity, and where justice and equality of opportunity is upheld and experienced by all. I am joyous and privileged to work towards this vision with the impressive and multi-talented team at High Resolves.

Paul Kelsey
Global Chief Operating Officer

Paul Kelsey was the inaugural CEO for High Resolves for ten years in Australia and is now the Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to High Resolves, Paul was in various senior management positions in financial services for over 20 years.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about High Resolves more than ever now because I have three teenage children, and I see first-hand how difficult it is for young teenagers to develop a genuine sense of empathy for global issues and to feel empowered to make a difference.

Contact our Bay Area team

Our history

Thanks to the generous support of Omidyar Network, High Resolves launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in January 2017.

The Bay Area is our innovation hub where we closely monitor and evaluate newly built curriculum resources and delivery models. Through our partners East Bay Innovation Academy and the Summit Public Schools network, we have reached over 260 students in the Bay Area and plan to double our reach in the next school year.

Case Study: East Bay Innovation Academy

After an extremely successful pilot with the 7th grade at East Bay Innovation Academy, High Resolves will be rolling out a year-long curriculum for grades 6 to 11 in 2018-2019. We have worked closely with the school leadership to build a curriculum that complements EBIA’s existing initiatives. We plan to run Peak Experiences for each grade level and provide a suite of curriculum resources for teachers to implement during advisory. The year will culminate in a social action project that will provide the opportunity for students to put the mindsets and skills they are learning into practice. Teachers at EBIA have expressed their excitement about continuing the High Resolves program because of the accessibility of our resources and ability to build a shared language in the school through the curriculum.


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