Our Leadership

As an organization, we are dedicated to providing service and support for our institutions to improve what they do to help students learn. To succeed, our leadership must be in concert with our culture as a service organization. We are governed by an independent Board of Directors and an executive team dedicated to these values, strategic direction, and a commitment to focusing on the ultimate outcome for students.

Executive Team

Mark Elgart, Ed.D.

President and CEO

Professional Background

Dr. Mark A. Elgart serves as president and Chief Executive Officer. Elgart works closely with government agencies and other leading education-focused organizations to help establish the policies, strategic vision, and actions to propel and transform the learning experience so that every learner is prepared for the rapidly and ever-changing global world. Under his leadership Cognia was established, following the merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress, to bridge the gap between school evaluation and student assessment. Dr. Elgart provides vision and leadership for a global nonprofit in over 80 countries, 36,000 institutions serving and supporting nearly 25 million students and 5 million educators every day. Cognia is an undeniable force for enhancing schools, engaging students, and driving better outcomes for all learners. Elgart’s professional experience includes serving as a mathematics and physics teacher; a middle and high school administrator; and a middle school principal. Elgart earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Springfield College, a master’s in education from Westfield State College, and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts.

Kenneth I. Bergman

Chief Legal Officer/Chief of Staff

Professional Background

Kenneth I. Bergman serves as Chief Legal Officer and Chief of Staff handling legal matters, including intellectual property; statutory, regulatory, and legislative analysis; contract review and negotiation; and drafting of corporate and legal documents. He also provides advice and guidance on corporate and accreditation issues, as well as training on a variety of Board and Governance issues. In his role as Chief of Staff, Bergman acts as an advisor to the CEO and executive leadership group. Some of his responsibilities under this charge include ensuring all staff issues are properly addressed; overseeing the daily operations of the company and executive work; leading employees and evaluating performance to optimize staff roles; and assisting with resource allocation. He is a former partner in the law firm Dreger, Coyle, Bergman, Pieschel & Reemsnyder, LLC and is well-versed in corporate law, employment law, intellectual property, real property, and civil litigation. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia (School & College Law, Corporate Counsel Law, Business Law, Intellectual Property Law, Real Property Law, and Litigation Sections); Association of Corporate Counsel; and the American Bar Association. Bergman earned his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Emory University.

Annette Bohling, J.D.

Chief Accreditation Officer

Professional Background

Dr. Annette Bohling serves as the Chief Accreditation Officer leading Cognia’s Certification Division, which manages and oversees the accreditation and certification functions, policies, and procedures for accredited institutions and school systems in the Cognia network around the world. Bohling’s professional career spans over 37 years, including the fields of education and law. Her professional experience includes teacher, administrator, deputy state superintendent, interpreter/translator, and attorney. She was the chief architect in the design of Wyoming’s assessment and accountability system under No Child Left Behind. Bohling’s degrees are from the University of Tulsa College of Law, University of Wyoming, Northeastern State University in Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University.

Martin Borg

Chief Innovation Officer

Professional Background

Martin Borg serves as the Chief Innovation Officer. This role brings together Borg’s primary interests and experience with technology, measurement, and education by developing holistic solutions that support students, schools, districts, and states in their continuous improvement initiatives. Borg joined Measured Progress as President in 2008 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer thereafter. Under his leadership, the organization broadened its strategic outlook to bring innovative and responsive assessment solutions to districts and schools, while continuing to work with state clients on large-scale programs. Prior to joining Measured Progress, he taught social studies; served as a school district technology integration officer; designed school accountability systems; won awards for his work on Mindquest (the first of its kind online high school for adult learners); was recognized as an Apple Distinguished educator; developed an online test delivery system; and founded Achievement Data Inc., which he ultimately sold to a testing company. Borg received his Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College and completed his graduate-level at Harvard Business School, Clark University, and The University of New Hampshire.

Vicki Denmark, Ph.D.

Chief Architect, Innovation Lab

Professional Background

As the Chief Architect for the Innovation Lab, Dr. Vicki Denmark oversees the design and development of solutions and resources for educational institutions to improve organizationally and most importantly, for students. She serves as the subject matter expert for products, content, and solutions and identifies new opportunities that lead to innovative solutions for institutions. She has worked with K-12 schools around the world, and prior to joining AdvancED in 2010, Denmark served in leadership roles in large public-school districts in Georgia. She began her 38-year career in education as a classroom teacher and then as an assistant principal, principal, area superintendent, and assistant superintendent. She also served as a full-time university professor where she taught master’s and doctoral level courses to aspiring educational leaders. Denmark has co-authored a book mentoring first-year teachers and several research-based journal articles and served on national and state-wide boards that focus on middle level education. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University.

Angela Hilliard

Chief Marketing Officer

Professional Background

Angela Hilliard currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer, where she is responsible for marketing, communications, public relations, advocacy, and corporate strategy.  Her background includes over 20 years of extensive experience in finance and marketing across multiple industries. Hilliard holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Georgetown University.

Heather Kinsey

Chief Operations Officer

Professional Background

Heather Kinsey serves as the Chief Operations Officer. In this role, Kinsey provides strategic leadership and oversight for the organization’s US operations, business development, and professional services. Her deep passion for education, coupled with over 25 years of knowledge and expertise in school improvement, business, education, and accountability, provides a unique foundation from which she has served since joining AdvancED in 2008.  Prior to assuming a role with AdvancED, Kinsey spent ten years with the Michigan Department of Education in various roles. A significant portion of that time was spent with the Office of School Improvement, where she played a key role in developing the statewide system of support; oversaw implementation of No Child Left Behind; managed data collection and reporting for state and federal accountability and compliance; and managed over a billion dollars in education funding.

Albert Mayo

Chief Technology Officer

Professional Background

Albert Mayo serves as the Chief Technology Officer where he has spearheaded the development and implementation of web-based solutions for school improvement and accreditation processes.  Mayo has proven skills in planning and implementation of e-business and core IT technologies, including enterprise web-based applications and systems/network infrastructure. He has a solid background in the full software development life cycle, effective project management methodologies, and process re-engineering.  Throughout his extensive career, he has worked in organizations of all sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, in a variety of industries. Mayo holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and a Master of Science degree from Georgia Tech in Electrical Engineering. He is bilingual with fluency in Spanish.

Stephen Murphy, Ph.D.

Chief Assessment Officer

Professional Background

Dr. Stephen Murphy is the Chief Assessment Officer and in this role he oversees the Project Management; Content Development and Publishing; Assessment Services; Psychometrics; Reporting; and Research and Analytics teams. These expert teams perform all aspects of assessment and research design, measurement, development, delivery, scoring, psychometrics, analysis, analytics, and reporting. Murphy previously served as Vice President, Measurement Services for Measured Progress leading teams responsible for assessment design and development, including psychometrics and research, content development, publishing, and project management. Beginning his career in research and psychometrics, Dr. Murphy went on to assume leadership roles in K–12 assessment at major educational publishing companies. His experience includes leading teams of researchers, psychometricians, and data analysts, as well as overseeing the development of products and solutions for national, state, and district assessment programs. He is a frequent journal contributor and presenter at national conferences for educational measurement and for industrial and organizational psychology. Murphy holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. He also earned a master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University, and Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Cumberland University.

Rosario Rodriguez

Chief Financial Officer

Professional Background

Rosario Rodriguez serves as Chief Financial Officer overseeing the Finance department and is responsible for managing all financial aspects of the company, including reporting financial results to the Board of Directors and other stakeholders; budgeting; forecasting; banking; cash flow management; business process improvement; defining and monitoring internal controls; and other company-wide projects. Rodriguez has over 25 years of professional experience in accounting and finance, including Big 4 public accounting and over 11 years of experience in education. Prior to joining AdvancED in 2012, she was the Controller for Kaplan IT (a division of Kaplan Inc.). She also has worked in the healthcare and professional services industries. Rodriguez holds a Bachelor in Science major in Accounting from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela.

David Shafer

Chief Entrepreneur

Professional Background

David Shafer serves as Chief Entrepreneur of the Innovation Zone responsible for seeking and partnering with entrepreneurs who have made innovations that make a difference in teaching and learning.  His professional experience spans more than two decades as a successful entrepreneur and business leader.  He has participated in the formation of multiple start-up companies both tactically and strategically.  He is a key contributor that has consistently excelled at both emerging new businesses and leading innovative businesses.  He has worked in several diverse markets, including education, broadcast, entertainment, and banking.  At 26, he participated in co-founding Frontline Data (now Frontline Education) that today serves over 12,000 school systems. Shafer has served several terms as an elected school board member in Pennsylvania, as an Executive Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America, and on the executive board of the YMCA.  He is active with Best Buddies, an organization focused on the integration of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).