Without our dedicated board members, Community Educational Research Group wouldn’t be possible. Our board members are dedicated to improving not only our school sites and programs but to help those who are less fortunate and underserved to acquire a quality education as well. Get to know more about our team.
Asha Willis, MD, MPH
Dr. Willis is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist with an extensive interest in public health and patient advocacy. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and received her medical degree from New York Medical College. She completed her Pediatric residency and Pediatric Gastroenterology/Academic General Pediatrics fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Dr. Willis collaborated with the New York City Department of Health and mental Hygiene on the Obesity in Children campaign and has previously worked as a consultant for the non-profit organization Harlem Children’s Zone, assisting with program design and implementation of the Healthy Harlem Medical Monitoring program. She has also received grant funding for projects focusing on childhood obesity prevention and community based participatory research. Dr. Willis is currently employed at Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill Medical Center, where she has worked since 2014.
William Sherman is the Chairman of the CERG Board of Directors. Mr. Sherman is the managing partner of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP’s Washington, D.C. office. Dinsmore is a full-service law firm with more than 25 offices across the country.
Mr. Sherman has represented Early Child Learning Centers and helps them navigate the regulatory framework to ensure compliance. He also serves on the DC Early Learning Collaborative board of directors as its vice chair.
Mr. Sherman’s law practice involves the defense of mass tort class action suits with an emphasis on product liability defense. William is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), which is an association of the foremost product liability defense counsel in the United States and abroad. Described as a “trial lawyer,” the firm utilizes his vast trial experience in a variety of cases where trial seems likely. As such, he has successfully litigated cases in areas of patent infringement, product liability, the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), securities, federal administrative proceedings, construction, automobile warranty, employment discrimination, and a variety of complex commercial litigation matters.
Dennis de Tray
After graduating from the University of Chicago with a Ph.D. in economics in 1971 and following a 12-year stint at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California, Dr. de Tray joined the World Bank’s Research Department in 1983. He was appointed the Bank’s Research Administrator in 1987 and moved to the Bank’s Latin American operations complex in 1992. His last assignments at the Bank were as Country Director for Indonesia, 1994-1999, and then Central Asia, 2001-2006.
He is now a founding father of and Adviser to the President, and member of the Board of Trustees of Nazarbayev University, a new English language university in Astana, Kazakhstan. He is also a principal with the Results for Development Institute in Washington, D.C., and is the founder and proprietor of de Tray Consulting.
Since leaving the World Bank, his consulting work has included advising: the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, the governments of Kazakhstan and East Timor, and the Aga Khan Development Network. Dr. de Tray, and his wife Mary, have lived in many parts of Asia: Pakistan (1977-1979), Indonesia (1994-1999), Vietnam (1990-2001), and Kazakhstan (2002-2017). He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of two Washington-based youth-oriented NGOs: the D.C. Youth Orchestra Program; and of the Community Education Research Group. Dr. de Tray grew up in Kenya, East Africa, from 1954 to1961.
Lauren Ziegler works at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution where she advances research and policy guidance on education innovations. As a former Broad Resident in Urban Education, she led strategic initiatives for a network of public charter schools in Philadelphia and Camden. She began her career as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. government, where she worked to advance foreign assistance programs in over 20 countries. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.
Aki Nemoto is a fiscal administrator of the Urban Search and Rescue Team, Fairfax County Government, serving in the field of her passion of humanitarian assistance.
Aki is a finance professional with over a decade of experience in budgeting, financial management, contract/grant administration, internal control and compliance. She worked tirelessly to expand her experience and financial acumen, which would guide her down the path into higher levels of responsibility. The organizations she served include Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Brookings Institution. She holds her CPA license in Virginia. She also holds CTP, FPAC and CPCC.