The current Georgia Partnership team has been together since the newest member, Elisa Olivarez, came on board in August 2012 as the part-time manager of the REACHES program.  She has since become a full-time program manager for the Georgia Partnership.

The six-member full-time crew counts on each other to accomplish a myriad of tasks.  In every sense of the word, the Georgia Partnership is a team.

From time to time, the Partnership is supplemented by policy and research and communications interns.  See the right side of this page for individual profiles.

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Stephen D. Dolinger, Ed.D

Joined the Partnership in 2002 as its president.  Served as the Superintendent of Schools for Fulton County for seven years prior to joining the Partnership.  He served in the Fairfax County, VA school system for 26 years before accepting the Fulton position.  He has an Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University, an M.Ed. from George Mason University, and B.B.A. from Wake Forest University.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations including: the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Voices for Georgia's Children, and the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement. In addition, he has served on the Education and Health Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and has been recognized on Georgia Trend magazine's "100 Most Influential Georgians" 2013 list.

Diane Hopkins, CAE
Vice President

Joined the Partnership in 1992.  She has 30-plus years in non-profit management. Prior to her Partnership service, she held positions with the Industrial Development Research Foundation, 1991-92, and the Business Council of Georgia, 1986-91.  She became a Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 1999.  She is a board member of the Georgia Society of Association Executives; a member of the American Society of Association Executives; a member of the Education and Worforce Development Committee of the Georgia Economic Developers Association; and  a member of College Access, Grant Leadership Team.  She holds a B.S. degree from the University of North Alabama and an MS degree from the University of Alabama.

Alice Ford
Administrative Assistant

Joined the Partnership in 1998.  She has 15-years administrative experience and has particular expertise in scheduling and travel planning and conference, meetings and other large event coordination. She earned an Associates Degree in Business Management from Georgia State University.

Bill Maddox
Communications Director

Joined the Partnership in 2004 after serving seven years as the director, external communications with the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the American Red Cross.  He has more than 25-years communications experience, much of that in public affairs assignments with the U.S. Army.  He holds a B.S. degree in communications from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville and is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the Atlanta Press Club as well as the Georgia School Public Relations Association.

Elisa Olivarez
Program Manager

Passionate about closing the Hispanic/Latino achievement gap, Elisa joined the Partnership in June 2012 as the Research, Engagement and Communities for Hispanic/Latino Educated Students (REACHES) program coordinator.  She holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.  Prior to pursuing graduate school, she worked as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) through the University of Texas - Austin.  As a VISTA, Elisa worked on a team that brought together local representatives from education and social service agencies to formulate a plan to improve the university's impact on the city of Austin.  She is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society for Public Administration, and a graduate of the GALEO Institute for Leadership.

Dana Rickman, PhD
Policy and Research Director

Joined the Partnership in July 2011 after serving as the Director of Research and Policy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation -  Atlanta Civic Site.  She has also worked for more than 10 years at Georgia State University conducting research on education programs within Georgia.  She holds a PhD from Georgia State University in Political Science and a BA from Mary Washington College. She has authored multiple articles in peer reviewed journals and book chapters related to education policy.

Laura Margaret Burbach
Policy and Research Intern

Serving with the Georgia Partnership this summer before beginning her senior year at Georgia Tech this fall.  Originally from Madison, GA, Laura Margaret first worked with education policy issues during the 2014 session of the General Assembly.  She interned for the House Education Committee in the office of the committee chairman, Brooks Coleman.  After working with Senate Bill 167, the bill designed to preclude the state's implementation of the Common Core Standards, she became interested in how advocacy groups interact with multiple levels of government to influence education policy.  She plans to conduct research on this topic in the fall.  At Georgia Tech, she serves as chief of staff for the Student Government Assn. and president of the student advisory board for the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.  She also volunteers each year as a college staffer for the State YMCA Georgia Youth Assembly.  She plans to continue working with education policy, either in the workforce or in graduate school, after she graduates next May with her B.S. in public policy.