CAE Adds Nakia Towns and Ingmar Berg to Its Board of Directors

These appointments bring valuable education, policy, and organizational management expertise to non-profit organization specializing in the higher-order skills development of students.

NEW YORK, Jan. 25, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Council for Aid to Education, Inc. (CAE), a leader in innovative performance tasks for measurement and instruction of higher-order skills and content areas for K–12 and higher education, is pleased to announce the appointment of two leaders in the field of education to its board of directors — T. Nakia Towns, Ed.D., Chief Operating Officer of Accelerate — The National Collaborative for Accelerated Learning, and Ingmar Berg, Chief Financial Officer of Vertex Education.

Through her leadership of research, finance, programs, and administration for Accelerate, Dr. Towns advances the organization’s mission to embed high-impact tutoring and personalized learning in public schools. During the 2022–23 school year, Dr. Towns served as Deputy Superintendent for Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia’s largest district and the 11th largest in the country. In this role, she supported over 181,000 students and 22,000 employees in 142 schools and oversaw a $2.9 billion budget. Prior to this role, she was a long-tenured educational leader in Tennessee, serving as interim Superintendent at Hamilton County Schools (HCS), Assistant Commissioner, Division of Data and Research, at the Tennessee Department of Education, and Chief Accountability Officer at Knox County Schools.

“Nakia has an impressive track record of leading states, school districts and organizations to implement system-wide improvements that yield positive outcomes,” said Dennis Brown, CAE’s board chairman and group operating officer (retired) of the NPD Group. “We are thrilled to have her join our team and I look forward to her valuable insight and experience.”

"My personal and professional mission has always been focused on helping students learn the skills they need to succeed in life," Dr. Towns shared. "I am excited to join CAE’s board to help the organization elevate the importance of higher-order skills and competency-based learning models in schooling and careers."

Mr. Berg brings more than two decades of experience in various financial and operational roles for public, private, and private equity-backed companies to CAE’s board. He currently leads Vertex’s financial operations and supports 28 charter schools with close to 30,000 students in multiple locations across Arizona, Texas and Nevada. Previously Mr. Berg has served as Group Chief Financial Officer for Educatius International and President of its North American business and was the CFO for ManpowerGroup’s Swedish operations.

“Combining Ingmar’s financial expertise with a knack for streamlining business operations and a passion for improving student outcomes, he will be a valuable asset in furthering CAE's mission,” noted Bob Yayac, fellow board member and CAE’s president and CEO. “We are honored to work with Ingmar and are looking forward to his guidance.”

“I am excited to use my professional experience and passion for helping students fulfill their goals in my work as a CAE board member,” said Berg. “I am eager to collaborate with my board colleagues to advance the objectives and vision of CAE."

“Our board is well equipped to guide CAE in our mission to improve student outcomes,” said Yayac. “As we kick off 2024, we look forward to a new phase of growth, new and expanded partnerships, and enhancing our critical thinking solutions and performance-based assessments. I’m confident CAE and our clients will benefit immensely from our board’s collective expertise and diverse perspectives.”

Also on the CAE board are Judith S. Eaton, Ph.D., president emeritus of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA); Michael J. Feuer, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, professor of education policy at George Washington University and immediate past president of the National Academy of Education; and Darleen Opfer, Ph.D., vice president and director of RAND Education and Labor.

About CAE
As a nonprofit whose mission is to help improve the academic and career outcomes of secondary and higher education students, CAE is the leader in designing innovative performance tasks for measurement and instruction of higher-order skills and within subject areas.

Over the past 20 years, CAE has helped over 825,000 students globally understand and improve their proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving and effective written communication. Additionally, CAE’s subject area assessments have helped millions of K12 students across the US. Supported by best practices in assessment development, administration and psychometrics, CAE's performance-based assessments include the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) and College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+). To learn more, please visit and connect with us on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Emily Sumner