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Board of Directors

Our leadership team comprises a unique group of exceptional educators, education professionals, thought leaders and highly experienced business professionals – all of whom are unified with a strong passion for education and commitment to providing discerning education programmes across the globe that change lives for the better.

Mike Milken 
Chairman
Knowledge Universe

Knowledge Universe Chairman Michael Milken is widely known for innovations that helped create millions of jobs in the more than 3,200 companies he has financed since 1969. Milken is often said to have revolutionised modern capital markets, making them more dynamic and democratic by expanding access to capital for growing companies. The Washington Post said he "helped create the conditions for America's explosion of wealth and creativity," a process that BusinessWeek said "shook America's defeatist Establishment out of its gloom." Today, he is an investor in several companies dedicated to enhancing learning opportunities for people of all ages.

In 1982, Mike co-founded the Milken Family Foundation, which supports a broad range of education, public health and medical research programmes. He was called "The Man Who Changed Medicine" by Fortune magazine for his four decades of accelerating progress against all life-threatening diseases. Mike founded FasterCures to remove barriers to progress against all life-threatening diseases; he joined with leading physicians in launching the Melanoma Research Alliance. He chairs the Milken Institute, whose annual Global Conference brings 3,500 leaders from 50 nations to Los Angeles. The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. is named in recognition of a gift from the Institute. Mike graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with highest distinction, and earned his MBA from the Wharton School. He and his wife Lori have been married since 1968 and have three children and eight grandchildren. More information is at www.mikemilken.com

Steven Green
Vice Chairman
Knowledge Universe

Steven is currently Chairman and CEO of Greenstreet Partners, a private merchant bank, served as the 12th United States Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore from 1997 to 2001. Ambassador Green previously served as Chairman and CEO of Samsonite Corporation, which was the major operating subsidiary of Astrum International Corporation. As Chairman of Astrum, Ambassador Green spearheaded the company's expansion into emerging markets in Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet bloc countries), Asia and the Middle East. 

In 1992, Green opened the first American retailing centre on Red Square in Moscow. In 1995, President Clinton appointed him to the President's Export Council, where he served on the Executive Committee and chaired the Strategic Communications Committee. Ambassador Green is also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of K1 Ventures Limited, a publicly traded investment company in Singapore, in addition to a board member of Greenstreet Realty, a company that manages a large portfolio of education-related real estate. 

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Green has been active in United States civic affairs, serving as Honorary Consul General of Singapore in Miami, Florida as well as a contributing trustee and director for a number of community and national organisations, including the University of Miami and the United States Chamber of Commerce. The Green Family Foundation endows special projects in community and national service.

Lowell Milken 
Co-Founder
Knowledge Universe

Lowell Milken has worked for three decades to ensure that students everywhere have better access to effective educators, greater means to improve their communities and stronger opportunities to reach their full potential. As co-founder of Knowledge Universe, Lowell Milken's commitment to enhanced education policies and practices and innovative learning environments has extended across the globe.

Lowell Milken is presently the chairman of the board of directors of Knowledge Universe Education Holdings, Inc., which overseas all of the diverse U.S. operations of Knowledge Universe. Among his many contributions to the business of Knowledge Universe, he was responsible for Knowledge Universe's entry into the early childhood education business as well as Knowledge Universe's founding investment in K-12 Inc.

Also serving as chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation since its creation in 1982,Lowell Milken has pioneered influential education initiatives in the nonprofit sector. The Milken Educator Awards, which Lowell conceived in 1985, is now the United States' preeminent teacher-recognition program and referred to as the "Oscars of teaching." Annually the awards are now presented to over fifty outstanding teachers, principals and education specialists in elementary and secondary schools to publicly celebrate their contributions to the teaching profession and recognize their potential to achieve even greater success in the future. The Milken Educator Awards carry a substantial unrestricted financial prize and the recipients participate in a powerful national network committed to systemic education reform.

Find out more about Lowell Milken »

 

Les Biller

Les has more than 30 years' experience in the banking industry, with senior leadership positions with some of the world's leading banks.

He is currently CEO of Greendale Capital, a private investment company which he founded after retiring in 2002 as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Wells Fargo & Company. He joined Wells Fargo in 1998 after its merger with Norwest Corporation. 

Les joined Norwest in 1987 as Executive Vice President and Head of Strategic Planning and Acquisitions. In 1990, he became Head of South Central Community Banking, before being named President and Chief Operating Officer of Norwest. He was earlier with Bank of America as its Senior Vice-President. 

Before Norwest and Bank of America, Les also enjoyed an illustrious career with Citicorp where he served for 12 years as Regional Business Manager of the UK region and Vice President and Business Manager in Italy. 

He serves on the boards of Ecolab, Inc., Knowledge School, LLC, and Knowledge Universe Education LLP. Les is also a Director of the Autry National Centre.

He has a Bachelor's in Chemical Engineering from City College of New York, and a Master's in Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Les lives in Los Angeles with Sheri, his wife of 40 years.

 

Jeffrey Safchik

As a result of his diversified financial background, Jeffrey has more than 25 years of experience involving acquisitions and strategic planning in various industries, including real estate, as well as asset management and deal structuring. 

Jeffrey is the Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Greenstreet Partners.  He is also a founder of Greenstreet Real Estate Partners, a company engaged in the business of real estate investment, and is the Chairman of their Investment and Advisory Committees. He is also the Chief Financial Officer for K1 Ventures, Ltd, a publicly listed investment company traded on the Singapore Stock Exchange. He also serves as a director of Knowledge Universe Education LLP, Cardean Learning Group, Long Haul Holding Corp and a director and member of the Knowledge Schools, LLC. and KUE Management, Inc. audit committee and Knowledge Schools, Inc. Executive Committee. He is an active member of a number of civic and charitable institutions in Miami, Florida, and is the Chairman of the University of Miami, Department of Pediatrics Children’s Council, as well as a trustee of the Green Family Foundation.  

Jeffrey graduated with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration (majoring in Accountancy) from Pace University, New York, and obtained a Masters degree in Taxation from St. John’s University, New York. Prior to entering the private sector, Jeffrey was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the States of New York and Florida.  During the course of his career, he attended advanced finance and real estate courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University.

 

Richard Sandler

Richard has been an investor for 25 years, and has acted as Managing Partner for several partnerships which have investments in securities, business transactions and commercial and industrial real estate projects. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Maron & Sandler, which specialises in business restructurings and acquisitions, securities transactions and real estate. He is also on the Board of Directors of Heron International, a worldwide leader in property development.

In the non-profit sector, Richard serves as Executive Vice-President and Trustee of the Milken Family Foundation, and is the incoming Chair of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles. He also serves as a member of other non-profit boards such as the American Jewish University, the Milken Community High School, the University of California, Berkeley Foundation, the Prostrate Cancer Foundation, and the Milken Institute. He is a member of the State Bar of California.

Richard graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, and received his law degree from UCLA Law School.

Jonathan Stearns

Jonathan has more than 20 years of experience in private capital investing across various industries, capital structures and development stages of companies in the United States, Asia and Western Europe. As the Managing Director of Vantage Capital LLC based in New York, Jonathan is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, executing and managing direct private equity and mezzanine investments.

Before his appointment at Vantage, Jonathan was the founder of Associated Partners, a private investment firm. He served as Director of Abbot Capital from 2001 to 2006, and actively invested and managed its private equity co-investment programme. Earlier, he was Managing Director of Equinox Investment Partners, a private capital investment company with over $300 million under management. He was previously also a Director of various subsidiaries of Kleinwort Benson, where he was actively involved in managing private capital investments in the US and Western Europe. 

Jonathan has served on several Board of Directors for both privately and public owned companies, and is currently, also a Board Member of Falcon Farms, Personal Communications Devices LLC and Global Scholar LLC. 

He earned his B.A in history and political science from The University of the South, and studied economics and politics at Cornel University's Graduate School. Jonathan is married with 2 children.

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