A Boston native and lifelong philanthropist, Mark Gelfand created the Gelfand Family Charitable Trust and STEM Synergy because of a passion for the sciences and a desire to give back. His mission is to see all students with access to the same kind of quality STEM education his own children had in the United States. After witnessing students achieve huge success in Israel, Gelfand knew that if given the opportunity other students in developing nations could thrive and become celebrated scientists and engineers in their communities in the future. He is driven by the belief that a nation's survival rests on its youth and it is for this reason that youth everywhere should be encouraged to embrace and adopt STEM subjects early on. Gelfand knows that children who develop a love for learning STEM subjects will not just change their country, they will change the world with their discoveries and the advancements they make to improve the lives of humankind. Mr. Gelfand is also involved in helping build the industrial capacity of Ethiopian Exports though his successful for-profit Today Tomorrow Ventures.
Francis Vigeant serves as President on the Board of Directors. He holds a BA in Economics, Mathematics and Computer Science from Gordon College and Global Economic Systems and Development from Boston University. He started his career in public education as a high school mathematics teacher and later became a STEM specialist for primary and secondary students. Francis is the co-founder and CEO of KnowAtom, an organization that serves public education K-8 with the first research-based full-sequence STEM curricula for the Next Generation Science Standards, including materials and professional development. He received the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year award from Gordon College in 2014, and the prior year was internationally recognized by Jeffery Immelt, the CEO of General Electric, with an award for the sustainable impact his work has made in urban schools. Francis was a member of the Clinton Global Initiative’s STEM workgroup and sits on several boards focused on STEM education.