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Applications are now being reviewed from executives who wish to become members of our Executive Speaking Faculty. If you have extensive knowledge of education finance/student loans and would like to apply for a position on our speaking faculty, please complete our online JOIN OUR FACULTY application or contact:

Don Buford, Founder & CEO, iiBIG
Phone: 212-300-2521 | Email: donb@iibig.com


Lutz BraumLutz Braum, VP, Marketing & Business Development, Mpower Financing

Lutz Braum is the head of marketing and business development for MPOWER Financing, a mission-driven fintech company and provider of global educational loans. It is the only lender in the world that leverages both overseas and domestic credit data, as well as future earnings potential, to serve high-promise international and DACA students at over 350 top universities and colleges across the U.S. and Canada. Lutz has been marketing financial services all over the world for over 25 years, at companies such as Citibank, Wells Fargo and PayPal. Prior to MPOWER he was CMO of Higher One, a fintech company focused on the disbursement side of student loans, which he helped turn around and lead to a successful exit. He is especially excited to now be in the international student lending business as he was a former international student himself, having come from Germany to attend Arizona State University and subsequently the Wharton School.

Scott ClineScott Cline, VP, Enrollment Management, California College of the Arts; and, Western President, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)

Dr. Scott Cline is the Vice President of Enrollment Management at California College of the Arts. Previously he held the position of Director and Associate Director at CCA. He has also worked at Stanford University and Chapman University. He holds a Doctor of Education degree from San Francisco State University in Educational Leadership and Administration, a Master of Arts in Education Leadership and Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Political Science from Chapman University. He is a Past-President of California Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CASFAA) and the President-elect of the Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA). He is currently serving and previously serviced on a number of committees, including WASFAA Strategic Planning Committee, National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Federal Policy Rapid Response Task Force, NASFAA One Grant/One Loan Task Force and served as the primary non-federal negotiator for financial aid administrators with the U.S. Department of Education on the Title IV Loans Negotiated Rulemaking committee in 2015. In his free time he does research on financial aid, access, and enrollment management. You can heckle him on twitter as @scottcline, if you are into that type of thing.

Deidre Clute, Co-Founder & COO, Rightfoot.com

Deirdre Clute and her cofounder Danielle Pensack are a team of female Stanford MBA graduates who founded Rightfoot with the mission of freeing employees from their student debt. Did you know that women hold 2/3 of all student debt- or $1T in the US? Or that black graduates hold 31% more debt, and LGBTQ grads are burdened with $15k more debt on average than peers? It’s absurd and Rightfoot is on a mission to change that. Rightfoot offers vesting student debt benefits that helps firms attract and retain employees while freeing employees from their biggest burden. They align the incentives of employees to the long-term retention strategies of a company by releasing student debt repayment only once employees have hit defined tenure milestones. Rightfoot is backed by VCs like Lightspeed Ventures and Bain Capital, and is launching with a billion-dollar company in January. Prior to Rightfoot, Deirdre launched two new soda brands while working at PepsiCo, hitchhiked over 3,000 miles solo, and was the Harvard Varsity Swim Captain. She’s passionate about leveling the playing field and believes freeing individuals from student debt is the key to doing so.

Bob CollinsRobert Collins, VP Financial Aid, Western Governors University

Bob Collins joined Western Governors University (WGU) in October 2012 as the Vice President of Financial Aid. In the late 1990’s, Collins was the Acting Director of Financial Aid at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was a consultant for WGU in its very early stages—before the first students enrolled. Collins has nearly 40 years of experience in student aid administration and continues to be active in the state, regional, and national professional associations. Collins has been a member of several technical review panels for the National Center for Education Statistics, participated on numerous negotiated rulemaking committees, and actively engaged in the Distance Education Demonstration Program with the US Department of Education. In 2016, WGU received national recognition from the American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) and WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) for its Responsible Borrowing Initiatives (RBI) program. Collins serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Competency-Based Education and is a member of the Higher Education Committee of 50 as a national thought leader on higher education public policy.

Jessica HaseltonJessica Haselton, Director of Program-Related Investments, ECMC Foundation

Jessica Haselton leads Education Innovation Ventures (EIV), ECMC Foundation’s program-related investment program.  In her role at EIV, Jessica is responsible for executing the strategy of the program, sourcing, originating and negotiating investments, and conducting ongoing monitoring and evaluation. The EIV program has a particular emphasis on improving postsecondary educational outcomes for learners, introducing innovative and alternative education financing mechanisms (such as income share agreements), and improving economic mobility for individuals from underserved backgrounds. Jessica has a broad background in grantmaking, social enterprise, impact measurement and impact investing. Prior to joining ECMC Foundation, Jessica was a partner at TriLinc Global, an investment management firm that makes impact investments in small and medium enterprises in developing economies, where she managed investor relations, corporate social responsibility and corporate communications for the firm. Jessica came to TriLinc Global after conducting a post-graduate fellowship at the Clinton Foundation, where she led the development of an impact measurement system and produced key performance indicators for the organization’s members to use in tracking and reporting on the performance of their social and environmentally focused work. She has worked with multiple nonprofit organizations, spanning Southern California, Washington, DC, and Southeast Asia. Jessica holds an MBA with an emphasis in social entrepreneurship from the USC Marshall School of Business, and a BA in political science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Jamie HaydenJamie Hayden, Director of Financial Aid, Haas Scholl of Business at UC Berkeley

Jamie Hayden joined the Haas Financial Aid Office in January 2011 as an Assistant Director. In January 2019 she accepted the role of Director of Financial Aid, bringing over 17 years of experience administering graduate professional financial Aid.  Prior to her time at Haas, Jamie held positions at the University of San Francisco, School of Law, Golden Gate University, School of Law and The Wright Institute.

Robert HumannRobert Humann, GM, Student & Personal Loans, Credible.com

Robert Humann is the GM of Student & Personal Loans at Credible, a leading consumer finance marketplace in the U.S. Credible provides a unique and personalized experience that enables consumers to compare instant, accurate prequalified rates from multiple financial institutions across student loans, personal loans, and mortgages, helping consumers save money and make better financial decisions.  A career to-date in finance and technology naturally led to their intersection upon Robert joining Credible. Previously, he held senior roles in a technology-focused private equity fund and an early-stage medical technology company, and prior to that began his career in professional services consulting. Robert is passionate about bringing transparency, simplicity, and immediacy to the lifecycle of consumers’ financial decisions. A born and bred Australian, Robert followed his wife to the USA and now resides in San Francisco. Robert holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance.

John HupaloJohn Hupalo, Founder & CEO, Invite Education

John Hupalo is nationally recognized expert in education loan finance and college planning. He is the founder of MyCollegeCorner.com and Invite Education, a mission-driven company dedicated to empowering families with the information, tools and services needed to make more informed college decisions. His education-focused career spans more than 30 years as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill, Managing Director on Wall Street, and Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of First Marblehead Corporation (NYSE:FMD). He was elected to the Bronxville School Board, chaired the NYU Stern School Alumni Association, established the Mainstream Foundation, served as a Trustee and Treasurer for the Carroll School and Treasurer for the Wellesley Village Church. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Point O’Woods Association. John co-authored Plan and Finance Your Family’s College Dreams (Peterson’s, 2016); has testified before Congress on private credit student loans; and, has been a guest on more than 70 radio shows including Bloomberg Day Break and The Street with Gregg Greenberg. John has been published or quoted in the New York Times, the Fiscal Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Fox Business, and U.S. News and World Report. He is a contributor to The Hill and Bob Brook’s Prudent Money Radio show. John received his B.A. with Honors from Boston University and an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Charles Kelley Charles Kelley, Executive Director, Rhode Island Student Loan Authority

Charles Kelley joined the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) in April 1991 as Deputy Director and was appointed Executive Director in 1993. Mr. Kelley served on the Board of the Education Finance Council from 1996 – 2002 where he served a two-year term as Chairman. A graduate of Harvard with a MA in Public Administration with a concentration in public finance, he received his Bachelors in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Kelley is a Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst.

Karthik Krishnan, CEO, MentorWorks Education Capital

Dr. Karthik Krishnan is CEO and co-founder of MentorWorks Education Capital. The company provides income share agreement (ISA) financing to students combined with career support, professional networking, and employment connections. Funded students in the MentorWorks program return as mentors to support the next generation. Dr. Krishnan is also a tenured Associate Professor of Finance at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University and works with student startups as an advisor. He has published articles in the student loan space that have been widely cited in media and by policymakers. Dr. Krishnan holds a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Delhi University and a Ph.D. in Finance from Boston College. He has been an angel investor at Launchpad Venture Group, which is one of the largest angel group networks in the New England area. Dr. Krishnan teaches a course on entrepreneurial finance in which students learn about startup financing, receive opportunities to make industry contacts, and come up with a business idea and a final pitch. He has published many academic articles on entrepreneurial finance, venture capital, angel financing, IPOs, corporate governance, banking, and financial intermediation. His work has been published in top journals in business and he has presented papers at high level academic meetings. Dr. Krishnan’s research has also been cited in media outlets such as Financial TimesBloomberg, and Dow Jones Newswires.

Rob LaBrecheRob LaBreche, CEO, iGRAD

Mr. Robert LaBreche, also known as Rob, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of iGrad, one of the nation’s leading financial wellness company’s, serving colleges, general businesses and financial institutions.. Mr. LaBreche formerly served as President of Consumer Marketing at College Loan Corporation. He had been with CLC since its inception and was responsible for consumer direct sales and marketing functions. He has an established track record of producing results and his successes reflect his ability to build, operate and maintain a high-performance financial services tech company . He is also passionate about many philanthropic endeavors and founded a charitable organization called Holding Hands Charities back in 2005. Prior to joining the education lending industry, he worked in other financial verticals on Wall Street and for private off-street firms. He has been Member of Advisory Board at Vireo Labs, LLC since September 2015 and various other Board positions.. Mr. LaBreche holds a BS in Marketing and Personnel Relations from the Syracuse University School of Management.

Jenny LiuJenny Liu, CFA, Director, Risk Analytics – Securitization, KPMG

Jenny Liu is a Director in KPMG’s Risk and Analytics – Securitization practice. She has 11 years of experience serving the financial services, banking, and insurance industries. She has a strong analytical, attestation and compliance review background working on various projects including asset-backed securitization offering, structured finance products valuation, and CCAR RWA forecast. Among other things, Jenny served as the lead modeler and managed an engagement team to assist financial institutions in the analysis and execution of auto and student loanasset-backed security issuances which included communication and coordination with client, underwriter and legal counsel working group members, review of the due diligence procedure results and issuance of the Covered Services AUP reports, cash flow modeling including risk retention calculations, review of the related offering documents, and issuance of the Offering Documents AUP reports.

Sabrina ManvilleSabrina Manville, Co-Founder, Edmit 

Sabrina Manville is Co-Founder and COO of Edmit, which helps families make great financial decisions about college. She has worked with leading higher education institutions throughout her career with a focus on innovation and new university business models. Her past experience includes time at Ithaka, Pearson, and several venture-backed edtech startups. She was also an AVP at Southern New Hampshire University, leading growth and marketing for College for America. Sabrina has an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Yale.

Thomas McWhorterThomas McWhorter, Dean of Financial Aid, University of Southern California (USC)

Thomas T. McWhorter currently serves as Dean of Financial Aid for the University of Southern California (USC). He joined the staff of USC in 1985, and after serving for many years on the business side as the Associate Dean of Finance and Administration for Enrollment Services, was appointed Executive Director of Financial Aid in November, 2010. With a total enrollment of 47,000 students, he is responsible for the awarding of nearly $1.7 billion in student aid funds from all sources to approximately 14,000 undergraduate and 20,000 graduate students. This includes more than $375 million in USC-funded scholarships and need-based grants for undergraduate students; approximately $700 million in student loans for graduate and undergraduate students; and more than $50 million in federal and state funded financial aid. McWhorter earned a BA in International Relations and German, and his MBA from USC. One of his major interests is in making the financial aid process more transparent and easier for families and students to navigate.

Dan MeyersDaniel Meyers, CEO, Cognition Financial

Mr. Meyers is Chairman & CEO of First Marblehead Corporation.Mr. Meyers has been working in finance for 35 years. From 1980 to 1991, Mr. Meyers was involved in arbitrage and derivatives trading. He began working on ABS financings in 1986. He currently serves as the Chair Emeritus of the Board of the Curry School of Education Foundation, and sits on the finance committee of the Board of Visitors at the University of Virginia, the Council of Foundations and the President’s Advisory Group. He also serves on the Board of the Forum for the Future of Higher Education. He is the Chairman of the Board of Steward Medical Group, a system of eleven hospitals in Massachusetts. Mr. Meyers also serves on the Board of TRACO, an offshore insurance company, where he chairs the finance committee. Mr. Meyers received an A.B. in Economics from Brandeis University and completed the Owner President Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Tony MillerAnthony (Tony) Miller, Former Deputy Secretary 2009 – 2013, United States Department of Education

Tony Miller is Managing Partner of Excolere Equity Partners, a private equity firm that invests to accelerate the growth and enhance the impact of mid-sized companies in the education and human capital management sectors. Previously, Mr. Miller was Chief Operating Officer and a Senior Partner of The Vistria Group, a private equity firm that he co-founded in 2013. From 2009 to 2013, Mr. Miller served as the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at the U.S. Department of Education. In his role, Mr. Miller oversaw day-to-day operations and was responsible for ~$500 billion in education program funding during his tenure. In addition to his operational responsibilities, Mr. Miller led the U.S. Government’s education and workforce development missions to China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, Brazil, Suriname and Russia. Prior to his Presidential Appointment, Mr. Miller was a Director with Silver Lake, a global leader in technology investing. Mr. Miller had previously been a Partner with McKinsey & Company and a senior operating executive at LRN. Mr. Miller holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he completed his studies at Stanford’s Japan Center for Technology and Innovation and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. Mr. Miller currently serves on the Boards of the ACT, Academy for Urban School Leadership, Chicago Public Education Fund, Criteria, GoGuardian, University of Phoenix, Vanta Education, and Hope Street Group (a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans).

Catherine Mueller, Executive Director, Mapping Your Future

Cathy Mueller, a Missouri native, earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Delaware. Before working with others to create Mapping Your Future, Cathy was a newspaper reporter and editor, a radio reporter and DJ, a television promotions writer and a public relations writer and director. When she moved to Texas in 1994, Cathy joined Texas Guaranteed as a writer. She helped launch the company’s web site and then work with a team to spearhead the launch of Mapping Your Future, which started as a cooperative venture among the country’s leading financial aid and student loan agencies. Cathy is an APR certified member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Ron PageRonald Page, CEO, CapaFinancial

Ronald Page is the CEO of CapaFinancial. He is an investment banker, with over 40 years of experience creating liquidity for student loans. He specialized in asset-backed finance, leading the student loan finance industry in creating the first student loan financings utilizing; asset backed commercial paper, tax-exempt auction rate notes, taxable auction rate notes, and net interest margin securities. Mr. Page earned a Masters degree in Public Administration and Policy from the American University, Washington D.C. and a BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.

Balaji RajanBalaji ‘Raj’ Rajan, CEO, IonTuition, a Ceannate Corporation

Balaji Rajan, aka RAJ, is CEO of Ceannate Corp, the parent of three companies providing technology enabled services in the higher education lifecycle to students and families, colleges and employers. Ceannate’s enterprise consists of companies META, IonTuition, and Financial Management Systems. METAis the nation’s first mobile app that provides college students on-demand access to mental health counselors; IonTuition for Universitiesprovides financial literacy and default aversion services to   colleges and universities; IonTuition for Employersprovides a voluntary benefit to Fortune 100 and small to mid-size businesses to help employers attract, retain and provide financial stability to employees; PIE by IonTuitionis the nation’s newest and most complete ISA program manager and Servicer; Financial Management Systems is the nation’s most successful default portfolio manager for education related receivables. In addition to serving as CEO, Raj sits on the Ceannate Corp Board of Directors and has been active in education finance policy and operations. He is a contributor for various OpEds on The Hill and Roll Call publications in Washington. He is a member of YPO Gold in Chicago.

Ian RasmussenIan Rasmussen, Senior Director, Fitch Ratings
Senior Director in ABS focusing on: ABCP, consumer unsecured loans, credit cards, and student loans. Long standing relationships in asset management, with strong background in commercial paper, money markets and cash management. Also broad exposure to investment products including: closed-end funds, money market funds and local government investment pools and across many asset classes. Earned a B.S. in finance from Southern Utah University and an MBA in finance from Fordham University Graduate School of Business.

Brad RustinBrad Rustin IV, Partner, Nelson Mullins LLP

Brad Rustin is a Partner at the firm, Nelson Mullins LLP.  His career began as a litigator focusing on consumer financial services litigation and defense of regulatory claims against chartered and non-chartered financial institutions, finance entities, and money services business. Following in the wake of the fiscal crisis, he began working with financial institutions, money transmitters, non-traditional lenders, check cashers, and mortgage brokers on issues of regulatory compliance. As the regulatory environment facing financial institutions has changed and increased, he now spends most of his time counseling financial institutions in regulatory matters, including strategic agreements, product development, and operational compliance. Mr. Rustin regularly works with clients on issues relating to: state and federal consumer protection laws, fraud monitoring, anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance, state and federal regulation of money transmission, stored value strategies, ACH compliance and traditional and non-traditional lending. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences, and in addition to iiBIG’s Education Finance & Loan Symposium – WEST,his speaking engagements have, in particular, focused on changing federal regulation of the money transmission and the lending space in the post-Dodd Frank environment.  Brad received his B.A. from Furman University, in Political Science and History, cum laude, and he graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, JD, magna cum laude.

Micha SabovikMicha Sabovic, COO & VP Marketing, MentorWorks Education Capital

Micha Sabovik is the Chief Operating Officer & Vice President of Marketing at MentorWorks Education Capital. Joining MentorWorks in July 2019, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the company as well as all marketing functions. Micha has nearly 25 years of experience in higher education in marketing, enrollment, recruiting, career services, & financial aid. Most recently, Micha has been the Executive Director of Global Enrollment at CIEE, a leading study abroad provider. Prior to CIEE, Micha served as the Executive Director of Enrollment and Student Success at the Brandeis International Business School, where she provided leadership, strategic vision & implementation of a student-centered approach in the enrollment, career strategies & engagement departments. Micha also served as Assistant Dean at Boston University’s College of Communication where she also received her graduate and undergraduate degrees. While at BU, she oversaw undergraduate student services, graduate services and admissions, graduate financial aid and career services for nearly 2,200 students. She developed integrated marketing & messaging strategies, including the establishment of the college’s digital & social media presence – collaborating with students on a number of award-winning, student-focused social & video content pieces. Micha also teaches a graduate level social media course at Boston University.

Randy Schmidt

Randall Schmidt, SVP Business Development & Marketing, Launch Servicing (a Goal Structured Solutions company)

Randy Schmidt is a 20-year veteran of the education finance industry and as the SVP of Business Development & Marketing at Goal Solutions he has been a guiding force in their sustained growth and in the development of the company’s newest product, Ascent Student Loans. Having been a lawyer in his previous life, Randy brings a deep knowledge of compliance to the team and his emphasis on accountability has led to longstanding relationships with both industry peers and clients. Randy is an astute and collaborative leader that has led multiple compliance and legal departments and managed sales organizations at companies that include the national servicing firm AES/PHEAA.

William SchaffnerWilliam (Will) Shaffner, Director of Businesss Development and Government Relationa, Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)

Will Shaffner has over 38 years of experience in the student loan and higher education finance arena and currently is the Director of Business Development & Government Relations at the Higher Education Loan Authority of the State of Missouri (MOHELA), serving in this capacity since 2004. In this role, Mr. Shaffner participates as a member of the Executive Management Team at MOHELA and is responsible for all sales activity within the Authority, including school and lender channels, private loan management, government relations, as well as marketing, e-commerce, and public relations efforts. Mr. Shaffner currently serves on the NCHER Board, and serves as Chair of its Government Relations Committee. Prior to MOHELA, he worked with American Student Assistance as Director of Lender and Strategic Partnerships. He also held various sales and training positions at USA Group/SLMA from 1990 – 2001, most recently as Regional Director Central Region USA Funds Services. Prior to working within the FFELP industry, Mr. Shaffner was the Associate Director of Student Financial Aid at the University of Central Florida, where he worked for over eight years. He currently serves on the Missouri Scholarship & Loan Foundation Board, and the board of Stray Dog Theatre. Mr. Shaffner holds a B.A. in business administration from the University of Central Florida.

Cindy TjoeCindy Tjoe, Director, KPMG

Cindy Tjoe is a Managing Director in KPMG’s Securitization practice with over 15 years of experience in the banking and finance industry including extensive experience in structured finance, credit risk, and consumer lending space.

Per von ZelowitzPer von Zelowitz, Director, PwC

Per von Zelowitz is a Director in PwC’s Consumer Finance Group and drives innovation efforts with the Consumer Lending Innovation Center. Per leads the Education Domain for the Practice. Prior to PwC, he was a Senior Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), and co-founder of the D10X program at Citi Ventures, the Innovation and Venture Capital group of Citigroup. Earlier, he was a venture capitalist and software entrepreneur executing spinouts from Softcrylic and Hypres; and leading Tapestry and PlusN as the founding CEO. He was also a Stockholm Sweden based Partner with Nordic Venture Partners, an Investment Manager with Argnor Wireless Ventures and Strategic Advisor with Northstream investing in technology startups in Europe and the US. Earlier he was an Underwriting Officer with the Chubb Group. He received an MBA from the University of Cambridge and a double BA from Macalester College in Economics and Environmental Studies where he serves as a Trustee Emeritus.