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John is the executive director of Educate Texas, CFT's statewide education initiative. His role spans five areas: strategy, fundraising, advocacy, culture/talent and what he calls Team CFT.

From 1997-2004, John had a dual role as the executive director of Skillpoint Alliance, a central Texas nonprofit, and vice president for education and workforce development at the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

John moved to Texas in 1994 to attend grad school at the LBJ School at UT Austin, where he met his wife, Kristen Vassallo. Before that, he worked on Capitol Hill for Republicans and Democrats on education, workforce development, trade and other issues.

John taught eighth-grade English and U.S. history for a year in Long Island, New York. He holds a bachelor’s in sociology from Wesleyan University, where he also played soccer. 


Community Leadership / Board Service

John serves on the board of the national Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation, a neuromuscular disease that impacts members of his family. He served as a member of the Austin ISD school board from 2002-06.

Joined CFT


Favorite Aspect of CFT

"My three favorite things about working at CFT are the people, the impact of our work in education statewide and the autonomy we are given to be creative. I am proud of so many things at CFT, from North Texas Giving Day to game-changing Caruth Fund grants such as those to Dallas Children's. At Educate Texas, I love that we work statewide from El Paso to Texarkana and the Rio Grande Valley to Austin in both program and policy. I believe wholeheartedly that we make a huge difference in North Texas and statewide."

Favorite Quote

"Keep On Movin"

— Soul II Soul