Announcing the 2022 POW! Award Winners

February 25, 2022

ASU+GSV is pleased to announce the 2022 POW! Award winners – Smita Deorah, Kim Smith, Jane Swift, Jamie Candee, and Krista Endsley!

Each year our Power of Women award, presented by Cambium Learning Group, honors influential female leaders bringing about a world that provides equal access to the future through the promise of education. This year's award winners represent entrepreneurs and innovators in EdTech with momentous success increasing access to educational opportunities for millions of learners on a global scale.

Please join us in celebrating the 2022 Power of Women award winners at ASU+GSV 13.0, April 4-6, in San Diego, California!

Smita Deorah is the co-founder and Co-CEO at LEAD. As the Co-founder, she has been instrumental in developing the LEAD integrated system with extensive benchmarking with some of the best education systems of the world and contextualizing them for the unique needs of affordable schools in India. LEAD integrates world-class curriculum in Languages, Math, Science, Social Sciences, Coding, Life Skills with technology that powers all stakeholders in a school environment. Today, LEAD serves over 1.5MM students across ~4,000 schools. Before co-founding LEAD, Smita founded Sparsh, a non-profit working with the Govt. of Maharashtra in pre-schools in Mumbai. She implemented a pre-school in a box solution in 16 pre-schools around Mumbai to get students school ready and thereby reduce dropouts and low attainment. Sparsh also operates 4 high-quality K-10 affordable schools in small towns in India. Prior to that, Smita spent 9 years in Procter & Gamble Singapore and India as a leader in Finance, Treasury and Strategy.

Kim Smith is an innovator and serial social entrepreneur. Founder of the Pahara Institute where she focused on strengthening and sustaining diverse high integrity change makers and leaders. Immediately prior she co-founded Bellwether Education Partners. Earlier she was a founding team member at Teach For America created an AmeriCorps program for community-based leaders in youth development led a trade show start-up and did a stint in online learning at Silicon Graphics. She co-founded NewSchools Venture Fund a philanthropy focused on catalyzing a bipartisan cross-sector community of entrepreneurial change agents for public education. She is widely recognized as an entrepreneurial leader in education and was featured in Newsweek’s “Women of the 21st Century” as “the kind of woman who will shape America’s new century.”

Jane Swift is an accomplished leader in both the public and private sectors and a recognized national voice on education policy, women’s leadership, and work/family integration. Today she leads LearnLaunch as its President and Executive Director. Swift served for fifteen years in state government including holding the offices of Governor Lieutenant Governor Secretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and State Senator. Since leaving public office Swift has held roles as a chief executive officer; a board chair member and committee chair to public private and not-for-profit institutions; an adviser to entrepreneurial education companies; and as a partner in a venture capital fund. She brings to each new challenge a transformational leadership style a passion for educational excellence and innovation and deep experience and success in leading mission-focused organizations.

Jamie Candee leads Edmentum’s strategic vision and long-term growth as President CEO and Board Director. She has served as CEO of Edmentum since 2017 and has extensive experience in education technology, private equity, and education policy. Edmentum is a global education leader delivering research-based digital curriculum assessments for learning and quality educational consulting. Leading with an educator first approach Jamie ensures that over 1 million educators and 6 million students are always top-of-mind – from development through implementation of their Edmentum programs. In 2018 Jamie founded Edmentum’s We Can Learn foundation. We Can Learn is committed to making a meaningful impact in education through philanthropic giving and service that supports equitable and innovative learning opportunities. Since its inception We Can Learn has supported the development of a school in Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Uganda, a new K-12 school in the Dominican Republic, and provided support to over 10,000 children and dozens of grantees.

Krista Endsley is the CEO of LINQ, a company providing software solutions that enable K-12 school administrators to delight their staff parents and students. Krista also served as the former CEO for Abila and Cantata Health and has more than 25 years of experience leading teams in the software industry for both large and mid-sized companies. While at Abila Krista led the company through three acquisitions and three new product launches. She grew the business from $30M to $80M over three years which eventually led to a successful exit to industry leader CommunityBrands. Krista’s leadership blends analytical acuity with a warmth and determination to foster emergent talent leadership and creativity in every individual.