Staff & Board of Advisors

DFER Colorado Staff:

Jennifer Walmer, DFER Colorado State Director

Jennifer Walmer - State Director, COJennifer Walmer is the state director of DFER Colorado (DFER-CO). Prior to joining DFER-CO, Walmer was the Chief of Staff for the Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, Tom Boasberg, where she helped pass a $500 million bond and mill initiative in November 2012. Walmer also was the Superintendent’s primary strategic liaison with a divided Board of Education; managed government affairs for the district; and led strategic partnership efforts with community organizations.

She has deep political ties in Colorado’s Democratic circles, having served as Chief of Staff for State House Speaker Terrance Carroll prior to joining Denver Public Schools. In this role, Walmer was instrumental in the passage of landmark reform legislation surrounding teacher effectiveness.

Will Andras, Colorado Political Director

Jack Teter, Colorado Research Director


DFER Colorado Advisory Committee:

  • Marti Awad, Founding Partner, Cardan Capital Partners
  • Hon. Elaine Gantz Berman, Former CO State Board of Education Member
  • Brooke Johnson Brown, Executive Director, Carson Foundation
  • Hon. Terrance Carroll, Owner, J.H. Carroll Ranch, former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives
  • Moira Cullen, Founding Director
  • Hon. Mark Ferrandino, CFO, Denver Public Schools, former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives
  • Hon. Joe Garcia, President, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Ed, former Lt. Gov of Colorado
  • Josh Hanfling, Principal, Sewald Hanfling Public Affairs
  • Hollie Velasquez Horvath, Director, Community Affairs, Xcel Energy
  • Hon. Mike Johnston, former State Senator
  • Tom Kaesemeyer, Fox Family Foundation
  • Denise Maes, Legislative Director, ACLU
  • Lindsay Neil, Chief External Affairs Officer, STRIVE Prep
  • Hon. Barbara O’Brien, DPS Board Member, Former Lt. Gov of Colorado
  • Hon. Christine Scanlan, President and CEO, The Keystone Policy Centers, former State Representative
  • Van Schoales, CEO A+ Denver
  • Hon. Mary Seawell, Senior Vice President for Education, Gates Family Foundation, former President of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education
  • Mary Shay, Director of Professional Learning, Cherry Creek School District
  • Kimberlee Sia, Executive Director, KIPP Colorado
  • Cole Finegan, Regional Managing Partner, Hogan Lovells, former Chief of Staff to then Mayor Hickenlooper
  • Sarah Kendall Hughes, former Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet