Our Composer Team

Ali Berry
CEO, Composer

Alexandra “Ali” Berry is CEO of Composer, a global ecosystem and digital platform for providing young people greater access to high-quality civics and citizenship education. Ali began her career as a teacher in Houston, Texas. She is committed to advancing educational equity, with experience across the education system including K-12 practice, higher education, education technology, philanthropy, and research. Ali has worked at innovative education initiatives KIPP, Amplify, Relay Graduate School of Education, and the XQ Institute which she helped launch and grow from 2015 to 2019. Ali graduated with honors from Harvard University and earned an M.Ed. from the University of St. Thomas in partnership with Teach For America. She is based in San Francisco, California.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I am empowered by its mission to create a more just, equitable, and inclusive world, and its approach that is grounded in learning science and student voice.

Jacqueline Ewens
Project Associate, Composer

Jacqueline is a recent graduate from University of Southern California where she received her Masters of Science in Social Entrepreneurship. She holds a BA from Chapman University in Sociology and Socially Responsive Organizations. Jacqueline is joining High Resolves as an intern and will be working on the Composer Project on the New Ventures Team. She is extremely passionate about social change, interdisciplinary approaches to impact, and the catalytic power of education to change the world. At High Resolves, she is thrilled to be a part of an innovative project and is eager to implement High Resolves’ pedagogy and approach for large-scale citizenship education.

I am passionate about High Resoles because…

I recognize the socialization aspect of education. Through citizenship education, we can socialize our youth to become genuine citizens, who will subsequently take social action. In this way, High Resolves truly contributes to creating a better world.

Alice Feng
Intern, Composer

Alice is in the middle of completing her Master in Public Policy, where she has learned the importance of citizenship education in creating a robust, participatory democracy. Previously she was a public servant for the New Zealand government, working on policies related to worker collectivisation and workforce development. While at Colgate University, Alice taught outdoor education classes and led freshman wilderness orientation trips, where she was first introduced to experiential education methods.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I believe that building a community’s democratic capacity depends on such educational experiences.

LiAnn Ishizuka
Head of Product Marketing, Composer

LiAnn serves as the Head of Product Marketing for Composer leading the work of expanding Composer’s reach to thousands of schools globally. LiAnn has worked at the intersection of technology, social impact, and marketing at organizations like Facebook, XQ Institute, Acumen and United Way. She is passionate about making a positive impact in the world and brings over 8 years’ experience in the social enterprise and non-profit sectors, working on marketing and communications. LiAnn graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BA in International Development Studies and Global Studies minor, and is a StartingBloc Fellow. 

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I believe in creating a positive dent in the world and passionate about the potential of transformative education to create real, lasting systems change.

Matthew Owens
Head of Curriculum & Content, Composer

Matt is a High Resolves curriculum developer based out of the Boston area. Matt got his start in education working as an English teacher in China before moving to Spain on a Fulbright scholarship. While there, he served as an English and Social Sciences teacher, where he worked with the regional government to organize and teach the Global Classrooms project, a global citizenship initiative designed to empower students to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. A graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a master’s in international education policy, Matt has worked on a wide variety of projects around the world with a focus on providing empowering educational experiences for all children.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
of the importance of social emotional skills and knowledge of social issues to the individual growth of every student.

Raghu Ponnapalli
Head of Product Technology, Composer

Upon graduating from Andhra University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Raghu Ponnapalli moved to the US to pursue a Master’s degree in Computer Science from UMass and an MBA in Leadership from Franklin Pierce University. Raghu held Senior-level Technical positions at Sun Microsystems and Infosys for over 10 years. His experience led him to a start-up, growing over 150 employees providing solutions to customers across the globe in 12+ years. For the past 6 years, Raghu’s interests shifted from providing IT solutions to building software products – with at least 4 products for which he was the product owner – from conception and design to managing development and delivery.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

I am fortunate to have been brought up in a family with parents who were teachers, I believe that leaders are born from having right education combined with a keen understanding of social responsibilities.

May Samali
CEO, Ventures

Based in San Francisco, May Samali is passionate about investing in people and ideas that can change the world. As CEO, Ventures at High Resolves, May is leading a new initiative to build a technology platform and ecosystem for citizenship education across the US. May has a decade of extensive experience advising technology start-ups and nonprofits across the US and Australia. She is currently a Venture Partner at NextGen Venture Partners, a network-driven venture capital firm. She was formerly an investor at the Urban Innovation Fund, a Director at Tumml, and a corporate lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills in Sydney. May holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, and Bachelors of Laws and Economic & Social Sciences with First Class Honors and the University Medal from the University of Sydney. She is a John Monash Scholar and an Australian American Young Leadership Dialogue Fellow. She was a Gleitsman Leadership Fellow and a New World Social Enterprise Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
High Resolves is a game changer. The program engages students when they are most receptive to transformation. It has the powerful potential to change hearts and minds – both individually and collectively. Responding to the complexity of today’s challenges requires fundamental interventions like High Resolves.

Contact our Composer Team

About Composer

Citizenship education for young people is more critical now than ever before but the scale of the need is such that no single organization can meet this demand on its own. The challenge demands an ecosystem-wide response. Fortunately, there are many providers in the citizenship education space with a growing appetite for collaboration, but what is missing is a powerful platform to help schools make sense of the increasingly complex landscape of curriculum.

Imagine what citizenship education could look like if we were able to bring together world-leading curriculum from around the world and provide it to schools across Australia, North America and beyond?

Over the last year, High Resolves has partnered with dozens of citizenship education providers with a shared ambitious vision of uniting a global ecosystem committed to ensuring all students have access to high quality learning experiences that will inspire the next generation of citizens. With the generous support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, we have been able to bring this ecosystem to life. We refer to it using the name of the unifying platform called the “Composer.”

Composer is an innovative digital platform that empowers schools and organizations around the world to search, create, deliver and share powerful sequences of citizenship education, informed by the latest insights from learning science.

Composer is the product of a collaborative partnership between five founding providers, recognized for their commitment to excellence in citizenship education: High Resolves, Facing History and Ourselves, iCivics, Generation Citizen, and Peace First.

These providers represent the initial core group behind a growing ecosystem including but not limited to +Acumen, Anti-Defamation League, Asia Education Foundation, Asia Society, Beloved Community, Global Education Innovation Initiative, Let it Ripple, Mikva Challenge, News Literacy Project, Peace First, Project Wayfinder, Teaching Tolerance, and World Savvy.

We have hundreds of individual learning experience elements available to schools to design sequences of learning, which we refer to as “strings”. The searchable database will contain a couple of thousand learning experiences by 2020. One of the core functions of the platform is to provide a curriculum-design interface that incorporates insights from learning science translated into practical applications. We have identified heuristic rules and features that enable evidence-based feedback and support to educators as they design learning sequences.

To learn more about the principles of learning science that underpin our platform’s approach to content, curriculum design and delivery, read our Orange Paper “Putting Learning Science at Everyone’s Fingertips” here.

We are excited to launch Composer to the public in March 2020 and guide its evolution into a free-standing, self-funding ecosystem entity, with a clean financial and governance structure and its own management team. We believe this platform will allow us to grow the citizenship education ecosystem globally and to scale quality curriculum to thousands of schools and organizations across the world.

Contact Us

If you are a school interested in signing up for early access to the Composer, you can register here.

If you are a content provider interested in joining the Composer ecosystem, please get in touch with us here.

If you are interested in learning more about Composer, you can sign up to our mailing list here.

For all other inquiries related to Composer, contact us today.