Our LA & Orange County 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.

Chantelle Kohn
Director, Curriculum & Impact North America

Chantelle’s passion is helping others become critically aware of how our world currently functions and the role they can play in transforming it to create inclusive and equitable communities. She has a decade of extensive experience in the education field and has facilitated multiple countries. Chantelle has held various roles at High Resolves, starting as a Program Manager in Brisbane, Australia and now leads the Toronto hub while also overseeing the curriculum development and training for the North America team. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the University of Queensland and a Masters of 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 important opportunities for people to better understand the oppressive structures of society and how they have contributed to both past and present inequities and harmful divisions. Most importantly, it focuses on helping participants develop the attitudes, values and skills needed to take action and create inclusive communities, locally and globally. I am passionate about High Resolves because it is helping people create much-needed change.

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 & Chief Creative Officer

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 the Executive Director of Videos for Change: a powerful platform that is amplifying the voice of young people who have creatively engaged with social issues and are catalysing 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 COO

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.

Danitra Wansley
Program Director, New Orleans

As a Black woman from rural Georgia in the United States and a first-generation university student, Danitra was driven to use her strengths to serve the communities that needed her most. After directing a non-profit academic summer camp in Boston, Danitra joined Teach for America in greater New Orleans. She taught 7th grade English Language Arts at KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School for the Creative Arts while serving as a part of Teach for America’s cohort for culturally responsive pedagogy, Teach4Liberation. As an Impact Manager with City Year New Orleans, she managed and coached three teams of school-based AmeriCorps members on leadership development and K-12 instruction. Danitra earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in History and Literature from Harvard University. She is also a recipient of Harvard College’s Jonathan M. Levin Prize for Teaching and Social Justice, awarded annually to the most promising undergraduate who intends to become a public school teacher.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
of the way that High Resolves responds to the needs of schools and organizations in the development of our youth’s social skills. In New Orleans, there is a tremendous opportunity to innovate and leverage our community’s resources, and my role allows me to do that and empower youth to do the same.

Josh Densen
CEO, North America

Josh Densen is the CEO for High Resolves North America. Josh began his career as a Teach for America Corps Member in Oakland, California in 2000. He relocated to New Orleans to open and lead the local office of The Achievement Network in 2009, a position he held for two years before starting to work on Bricolage, which opened in 2013. Bricolage Academy is a New Orleans charter school with the mission of advancing educational equity and creating innovators who change the world. Josh received his BA from Washington University in St. Louis and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Anna Halat
Curriculum and Content Associate, Composer

Anna has been an educator for over tens years and has worked at a variety of schools with a range of demographics. She was first introduced to High Resolves when she used the curriculum as a teacher at EBIA in Oakland, CA. The work and collaboration with the High Resolves team aligned with her desire to empower teachers, students and the community in creating an inclusive, and continuous dialogue around privilege, equity and social action. Anna is always excited to learn and grow as a person and professional.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

The curriculum provides a platform in schools to have much needed conversations around global citizenship. This curriculum is the resource and structure to begin and continue disseminating information that is not readily available in daily academic curriculum. The buzz that is High Resolves is hard not to hear and that is important because change is made when more people hear the message and feel knowledgable in the content that helps focus social action. Not only am I passionate about the curriculum, but also the staff at High Resolves is a group of individuals wanting to create a more just and equitable society. It is an honor to collaborate and work with such impressive staff.

Contact our LA & Orange County 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 Head-Royce School, we have reached over 600 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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