Professional Staff

Professional Staff

Lowell Milken
Chairman and Co-Founder

Richard Sandler
Executive Vice President and Secretary

Lawrence Lesser
Senior Vice President, Creative Services

Dr. Jane Foley
Senior Vice President, Milken Educator Awards

Ralph Finerman
Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Bonnie Somers
Senior Vice President of Communications, Milken Family Foundation

Joni Milken-Noah
Vice President, Mike's Math Club

Gary Panas
Vice President of Design

Dahlia Geilman
Program Director, Grants

Lowell Milken

Lowell Milken headshot 2017 1000w

Through the development of groundbreaking national initiatives—such as the Milken Educator Awards, the nation’s preeminent teacher recognition program, and TAP: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, a comprehensive school reform strategy focused on teacher effectiveness—Lowell Milken’s work has strengthened opportunities and outcomes for hundreds of thousands of educators and students. A dedicated philanthropist for more than three decades, Lowell is chairman and co-founder of the Milken Family Foundation and chairman and founder of the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.

Among his numerous business endeavors, Lowell co-founded Knowledge Universe Education, the international leader in early childhood education, headquartered in Singapore with more than 38,000 employees worldwide. He is chairman of London-based Heron International, a global leader in property development.

Lowell Milken graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, where he received the School of Business Administration’s Most Outstanding Student award. At UCLA School of Law, he earned his degree with the distinctions of election to Order of the Coif and UCLA Law Review. In 2009, Lowell was named UCLA Law Alumnus of the Year for Public Service.

For more information about Lowell Milken, please see the Founders section and visit