Derek Dash is the Interim CEO of the Ganas Network and is living proof of the positive impact that a charter school can have on an individual. Prior to serving in this role, Derek spent the past 8 years working in multimedia advertising, statewide Colorado political campaigns, and for federal and state governments.
Currently, Derek is a master’s candidate at the University of Denver where he is pursuing a degree in Media and Public Communication with a certificate in Public Diplomacy. Prior to pursuing his advanced degree, Derek lived in New York City where he helped to manage over $10 million in annual revenue by implementing local, multimedia advertising campaigns for a variety of political and advocacy organizations.
Before moving to New York, Derek worked in communication and operations related roles in federal and state politics in Colorado. He served on two U.S. Senate campaigns during the 2014 and 2016 elections, as well as serving as the Director of Advance for the Colorado Governor’s Office. Prior to these roles, Derek also served as an Advance Associate for the White House Office of Scheduling and Advance in 2014. Derek graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder) with his B.A. in Political Science in 2013. He is a proud member of the founding class of the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST), a charter school network established in his hometown of Denver, Colorado.
Derek has valued three things throughout his career: education, diversity, and integrity. As the product of a public school system, Derek has faced the challenges that are created by diminishing public school budgets. He has been an active volunteer with education organizations, such as the Denver Scholarship Foundation, to help ensure that every public-school graduate in Denver has the resources to attend college. While attending CU Boulder, Derek joined the Student Academic Success Center (SASC), a multi-cultural academic learning community serving low income and first-generation college students similar to him, where he worked until graduating. His professional experience has taught him that it’s easier to hold your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold them 98% of the time. He applies this lesson each day while working for the Ganas Network, making sure that every action the organization takes is for the ultimate benefit of its program fellows.
Dr. Nate Easley
Dr. Easley established the Ganas Network in June of 2019 and served as the Founding CEO until June of 2021, when he transitioned into a role on the organization’s advisory board. He established the Ganas Network to engage ethnically diverse charter school alumni in reforming public education. Prior to founding the Network, Dr. Easley applied more than 30 years of experience in education leadership to providing strategic advice to nonprofits, college access and success organizations, foundations, and school districts as an education consultant.
Dr. Easley is the former Founding CEO of RootED, a 501(c)(3) public charity focused on increasing the availability of high-quality public schools in Denver through leveraged investments in educator/leader talent, high performing schools, and a supportive policy environment. Prior to RootED, Dr. Easley served as CEO of the Denver Scholarship Foundation, a nonprofit public charity focused on inspiring and empowering Denver Public School (DPS) students to achieve their postsecondary education goals by providing the tools, knowledge and financial resources essential for success. As an elected official, Dr. Easley served as President and Secretary of the DPS Board of Education. Prior to returning to Denver where he currently resides, Dr. Easley worked as Vice President for National and International Programs for the Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, DC.
Dr. Easley has extensive experience helping public school students realize their dream of a college education and securing grant funding to sustain student programs. His master’s and doctorate focused on how higher education can better support the academic success and college completion of Black and Latinx students. He has worked at the state, national and international levels to create opportunities for first-generation, low-income and ethnic minority students. He is a proud graduate of Montbello High School in Denver, CO.