Meet the people dedicated to changing lives

The CDI team is committed to supporting students on the path to college graduation.

OUR FOUNDER

Nina W. Marks
Founder
×

Nina W. Marks

Founder

An independent schoolteacher and administrator for 30 years, Nina became the Director of College Guidance for the National Cathedral School (NCS) in Washington, D.C. in 1992. During her tenure, she created and directed a nationally recognized college guidance program, and she wrote and published the National Cathedral School College Handbook. In 2002, she assumed additional responsibilities as Assistant Head. Nina left the National Cathedral School to found Marks Education in 2004 and Collegiate Directions, Inc. in 2005.

Nina was educated in India, the United Kingdom, and at Harvard, where she graduated magna cum laude in English. Nina served for several years as moderator of the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s (NACAC’s) workshops on selective college admissions issues.

Read her article “Simplifying the College Aid Maze” in The Washington Post.

CDI STAFF

Ana Hilton
Acting President
×

Ana Hilton

Acting President

ahilton@collegiatedirections.org

Originally from the Dominican Republic, Ana received her B.A. in cultural area studies from the College of Wooster and her M.S. in conflict analysis and resolution with a concentration in college student personnel administration from Nova Southeastern University. Prior to joining CDI, Ana worked at the College of Wooster as a special assistant to the deans, where she served as resident director for first-year housing, coordinated new student orientation and established Summer Connect, a new student transition program. Ana joined CDI as a counselor in 2007.

Michele Flores
Senior Counselor
×

Michele Flores

Senior Counselor

mflores@collegiatedirections.org

Michele joined the CDI team in September 2013. She is a native Texan with experience in school counseling and teaching grades 5-12. A first-generation college graduate, she earned her B.A. in English from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX in December 2002, and began her career in education as a high school English and reading teacher. During her time as a teacher, Michele also earned her M.A. in school counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She earned a M.Ed. in educational administration from Lamar University.

Zahra Gauthier
Counselor
×

Zahra Gauthier

Counselor

zgauthier@collegiatedirections.org

Zahra joined CDI in August 2015. A proud native of Miami, Florida and a first-generation college graduate, she earned a B.A. in political science from Florida International University. She later earned a M.Ed. in social studies education from the University of Florida, and has taught middle and high schoolers, as well as adults.

Tracy Kyttle
Counselor
×

Tracy Kyttle

Counselor

tkyttle@collegiatedirections.org

Tracy joined the CDI team in February 2013. A native of New England and a first-generation college graduate, she earned a B.A. in sociology and psychology from Central Connecticut State University. She continued her studies at Columbia University, where she earned an M.A. in higher and postsecondary education. While at Columbia, Tracy thrived as a graduate assistant in the Office of Financial Aid, where she determined student aid eligibility, packaged financial aid awards, and delivered financial literacy program goals and presentations.

Danny Rosa
Counselor
×

Danny Rosa

Counselor

drosa@collegiatedirections.org

Danny joined the CDI team in September 2014. A native of Los Angeles, Danny spent his freshman year of college at Santa Monica College. By sophomore year, he transferred to the University of Chicago where he received a B.A. in sociology with honors. After graduation, Danny worked as a youth advocate in the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transitional Living Program.

Carmen Johnson
Operations Manager
×

Carmen Johnson

Operations Manager

cjohnson@collegiatedirections.org

Carmen joined CDI in August 2016 following a career spent working at independent schools. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Carmen holds a B.S. in management science from Fontbonne University and a master’s in finance from St. Louis University. She has previously served as the chief financial officer and assistant head of school at Sandy Spring Friends School, director of finance and administration at the U.S. Dream Academy, and chief financial officer and managing director at the SEED Public Charter School.

Lauren Fliegel
Mental Health Counselor
×

Lauren Fliegel

Mental Health Counselor

lfliegel@collegiatedirections.org

Lauren is a licensed clinical social worker, who has been providing counseling services to children, adolescents, and young adults for over 10 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park, and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, with a clinical concentration in mental health.  She received advanced training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy through the University of Maryland, School of Medicine. She has worked in a variety of settings including public and independent schools, outpatient mental health clinics, and was the first senior mental health clinician in Montgomery County’s first high school wellness center. She began working with CDI in September 2016.

Wendy Ayala
Administrative Assistant
×

Wendy Ayala

Administrative Assistant

Wendy Ayala joined the CDI team in October 2016. She is a CDI Scholar alum, having been a member of the Class of 2011.  She graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2015 with a degree in sociology and anthropology. Prior to joining CDI as the administrative assistant, Wendy worked in career services in the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

THE CDI BOARD OF TRUSTEES

G. Anand Anandalingam
×

G. Anand Anandalingam

G. Anand Anandalingam, took the helm of the Imperial College Business School in 2013. Prior to that, he was the dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. Anand began his tenure with the Smith School in 2001, and he served in various key senior leadership positions as senior associate dean and as chair of the Smith School’s Decision, Operations, and Information Technologies department. Anand received his B.A. and M.A. from Cambridge University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Sarah S. Brown
×

Sarah S. Brown

Sarah S. Brown founded The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a private, non-profit initiative organized in 1996 to reduce the U.S. teen pregnancy rate. The National Campaign improves the wellbeing of children, youth, families, and the nation by preventing unplanned and teen pregnancy. Sarah served as the organization’s CEO until 2015. Sarah received a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.S. in public health from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has also earned a graduate certificate in epidemiology and biostatistics from Georgetown University.

Nancy M. Carr
×

Nancy M. Carr

Nancy is a trained psychiatric social worker. Early in her career she worked for 10 years at the Family Psychiatric Clinic in Prince George’s County, MD, primarily treating children and adolescents. As a psychotherapist, she also treated families and facilitated group therapy sessions with adolescents with major behavioral issues. After leaving the clinic, Nancy privately treated individual children and their parents. Nancy received her M.S.W. from Columbia University and her B.A. from Beaver College.

Susan H. Colby
×

Susan H. Colby

Susan H. Colby has more than 40 years of experience in education and admissions consulting. After graduating from Smith College and receiving a MAT in history from Yale University, she held administrative and teaching positions at Chapin and Nightingale-Bamford Schools in New York City, Holton Arms School in Maryland, and Seymour High School in Connecticut. She founded Susan Colby Associates, providing complete assessment and guidance services to students in New York, Hong Kong, and Tokyo applying to secondary and undergraduate institutions. She has previously served on the board of the Arts and Technology Charter School, the Latino Student Fund, and the Groton School. Currently, Susan is an active board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Martin County, Florida, as well as a volunteer with the Trust for the National Mall.

I. Howard Diener
×

I. Howard Diener

I. Howard Diener has 35 years of experience as a senior level executive, most recently serving as managing director at Old Towne Pet Resort. He also served as a consultant for The Taproot Foundation, helping non-profit organizations with the development of strategic plans and engaging marketing materials. Prior to working at Taproot, he was the founder, president, and COO of Healthquick.com and the president and COO of Cosmetic Center, Inc. He has also served as executive vice president at the McCrory Company, senior vice president at Rite Aid Distributors, and vice president at Peoples Drug Stores, Inc. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore.

Ann Marie Etergino
×

Ann Marie Etergino

Ann Marie Etergino leads the Etergino Group at RBC Wealth Management in Chevy Chase, MD. She has been recognized as one of the "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors" and as one of the "Top 1,000 Investment Advisors in the United States,” by Barron's. Ann Marie began her wealth management career in 1981 and joined Tucker, Anthony, Sutro and Company (TAS) in 1984. She served as a member of the TAS board of directors from 1998 until 2001, when TAS became part of RBC Wealth Management. She earned a bachelor's degree in international affairs from Lafayette College, she earned the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) designation from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies. She is active with the D.C. Leadership Circle for Women for Women International, whose mission is to help women in war torn areas achieve emotional and financial stability.

Elizabeth W. Galvin
×

Elizabeth W. Galvin

Elizabeth W. Galvin received her B.A. from Barnard College and J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law. Elizabeth holds expertise in philanthropy and service. She pursued a corporate law career at Shearman & Sterling, Winston & Strawn, and later as a partner at Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw. Her work included mergers, acquisitions, public offerings and complex financial transactions.

Jonathan B. Marks
×

Jonathan B. Marks

Jonathan has been a full-time dispute resolution professional since 1981, when he co-founded Endispute. From 1994, when Endispute merged with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, until 1999, Jonathan was vice-chairman of JAMS-Endispute and chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee, which set professional practice policies and standards for the firm’s 400 former judges and attorney neutrals. In 1999, he founded MarksADR, LLC, where he now practices. Jonathan is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review.

Nina W. Marks
×

Nina W. Marks

An independent schoolteacher and administrator for 30 years, Nina became the director of college guidance for the National Cathedral School (NCS) in Washington, D.C. in 1992. During her tenure, she created and directed a nationally recognized college guidance program, and she wrote and published the National Cathedral School College Handbook. In 2002, she assumed additional responsibilities as assistant head. Nina left the National Cathedral School to found Marks Education in 2004 and Collegiate Directions, Inc. in 2005. Nina was educated in India, the United Kingdom, and at Harvard, where she graduated magna cum laude in English.

Elise J. Rabekoff
×

Elise J. Rabekoff

Elise J. Rabekoff has been vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Quadrangle Development Corporation and affiliates for more than 15 years. As general counsel, Elise heads a seven-person in-house legal group established to ensure the effective and cost-efficient use and supervision of outside counsel and to provide a critical in-house legal resource for the company and its affiliated entities. Elise is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.

Jean H. Rutherfoord
×

Jean H. Rutherfoord

Jean H. Rutherfoord is a longstanding philanthropist, active in managing the Thomas Rutherfoord Foundation, a family foundation focused on educational, community, and environmental causes. Through the Foundation, Jean works with several non-profits including The Salvation Army, Planned Parenthood, and Teach For America. She received her B.A. in art history from Hollins University, and is currently serving her third term on their board.

Sanford J. Ungar
×

Sanford J. Ungar

Sanford J. Ungar is a distinguished Scholar in Residence at Georgetown University and a visiting lecturer in government at Harvard College. He stepped down as president of Goucher College in June 2014, after 13 years. Sanford remains a tenured Goucher professor of history, and of communications and media studies. Sanford obtained his B.A. in government magna cum laude from Harvard College and his master’s in international history from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Rotary Foundation fellow.

Lee L. Verstandig
×

Lee L. Verstandig

Lee L. Verstandig is a founding principal of the Farragut Group, LLC. He combines decades of experience and expertise in both the public and private sectors in helping to provide public policy strategic planning, political analysis, and a broad bipartisan understanding of the federal legislative and executive process. Lee earned his B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College, his M.A. from the University of Tennessee, and his Ph.D. in American history from Brown University, where he taught history and political science. He also served as associate dean at Brown and was a member of the Committee on Academic Standing.

Stephen A. Weiswasser
×

Stephen A. Weiswasser

Stephen Weiswasser provides legal and strategic assistance to companies in the rapidly changing media, telecommunications, and new media industries. From July 1999 to January 2001, he also served as executive vice president and general counsel of Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc. Steve received a B.A. degree with distinction from Wayne State University, attended The Johns Hopkins University on a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship for Graduate Education, and received a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Denise C. Buchanan
×

Denise C. Buchanan

Denise C. Buchanan is a counselor at Marks Education, specializing in school admissions. Prior to her work with Marks Education, Denise was the director of admission and financial aid and on the English faculty at National Cathedral School (NCS), an independent girls’ school in Washington, D.C. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wheaton College, Smith College, and Boston University.

Reginald G. Exum
×

Reginald G. Exum

Reginald G. Exum is a community development officer at Citi Community Development (CCD), based in the Greater Washington D.C. area. He sits on the board of directors of the Coppin State University Development Foundation and has previously served on the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers board, the executive committee of the Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative, the Coppin State University Board of Visitors, the advisory committee for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, and the executive board of the James Mosher Youth Baseball League. Reginald received a Bachelor of Science in economics and finance from Coppin State College, now Coppin State University.

Brooke R. Fernandez
×

Brooke R. Fernandez

Brooke R. Fernandez has been a counselor with Marks Education since 2006 and previously served as the assistant director of admissions and coordinator of the Alumni Admissions Support Program at Trinity College in Hartford. Brooke is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling, and a graduate of the Harvard Summer Institute of College Admissions. She received a degree in political science from Trinity College.

Maxine B. Freund
×

Maxine B. Freund

Maxine B. Freund is the director of the Office for Partnerships and External Relations in the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GW-GSEHD). A tenured professor in the recently reorganized Department of Special Education and Disabilities Studies, she has been engaged in the preparation of special and general educators for over 30 years. Max received her B.A. from the University of Minnesota, her teaching certification from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.A. and Ed.D. from The George Washington University.

Eric D. Grant
×

Eric D. Grant

Eric D. Grant, a native Washingtonian, serves as a senior originator at Constellation Energy/Exelon. Prior to Exelon, Eric was a senior vice president for the Commercial Banking Group at Citibank where he provided integral financial advice to executives in the areas of capital structure, cash flow optimization, and risk mitigation. Eric holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from The Catholic University of America and an M.B.A from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Larry A. Griffith
×

Larry A. Griffith

Larry A. Griffith is Senior Vice President, Scholarships, Programs, Internships, and Fellowships at the United Negro College Fund. His role at GMS includes operational and financial management, organizational leadership, programmatic and strategic oversight, marketing and research, and external relations. Larry has held positions with the National Association of College Admissions Counselors as a college advisor and as an admissions director. Larry received his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, and his M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the University of Delaware.

William E. Kirwan
×

William E. Kirwan

William E. Kirwan has served as chancellor of the University System of Maryland since 2002, and is a nationally recognized authority on critical issues shaping the higher education landscape. He served as president of Ohio State University for four years and president of the University of Maryland, College Park for 10 years. Prior to his presidency, he was a member of the University of Maryland faculty for 24 years. He chairs the National Research Council Board of Higher Education and Workforce, and co-chairs the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. William received his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and his master's and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Annette L. Nazareth
×

Annette L. Nazareth

Annette L. Nazareth is a Davis Polk partner practicing in the firm’s Financial Institutions Group in the Washington DC office. Annette was a key financial services policymaker for more than a decade. In 2005, she was appointed an SEC Commissioner. During her tenure at the Commission, she worked on numerous groundbreaking initiatives, including execution quality disclosure rules, implementation of equities decimal pricing, short sale reforms and modernization of the national market system rules. Annette earned her A.B. from Brown University and her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

Courtney Clark Pastrick
×

Courtney Clark Pastrick

Courtney Clark Pastrick is the president of the Clark Charitable Foundation. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Washington Jesuit Academy (a middle school for at-risk boys in Washington, D.C.), DC-CAP (a college access program for public and charter school students in the District of Columbia), and Vanderbilt University. Courtney earned her B.A. from Duke University and her J.D. from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.

Rebecca Carr Rizzo
×

Rebecca Carr Rizzo

Rebecca Carr Rizzo is a counsel in Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Washington, D.C. Litigation practice. While in law school, Rebecca served as a judicial intern in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Rebecca received her A.B. from Duke University and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Jennifer D. Schifter
×

Jennifer D. Schifter

Jennifer D. Schifter’s life-long focus has been working with children and adolescents on emotional and learning issues. She received her B.A. from the George Washington University, and her M.A. in social work, specializing in issues related to children and adolescents, from the National Catholic School of Social Service.

Martha Rooney Webb
×

Martha Rooney Webb

Martha Rooney Webb is a native of D.C., with 20 years of development experience working and volunteering for a variety of organizations in Washington’s non-profit community. In 2006, she established MRW Consulting. Martha graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a degree in psychology.

Stephen H. Whisnant
×

Stephen H. Whisnant

Stephen H. Whisnant is the founder and managing director of Stephen Whisnant Strategies, LLC. He previously served as director of philanthropy at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and a managing director for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), where he assisted with a number of special projects, including work with the U.S. Paralympics and the U.S. Olympic Foundation Trustee group. Previous to joining the USOC, Steve served as the campaign director for the "Building for Peace Campaign" of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and vice president of development and investor relations at Venture Philanthropy Partners. He holds a B.A. from the University of Carolina and a master’s in education from Harvard University.

CDI Tutors

Our tutors are a team of highly qualified and educated professionals who share their passion for knowledge with our Scholars. Led by Nitin Sawhney, Marks Education’s Tutoring and Test Preparation Principal and Vice President, the tutors provide pro bono services to CDI Scholars. You can learn more about our dedicated tutors here.