Meet Our Staff

Linda P. Rosen, Ph.D. 

Since 2010, Linda P. Rosen has been the chief executive officer of Change the Equation, which works with and through its corporate members to ensure that K-12 students are STEM-literate by collaborating with schools, communities, and states to adopt and implement relevant policies and high quality programs.  Dr. Rosen’s career has focused on scaling up research-based best practices, and working with states, localities, and corporations to ensure long-term sustainability and success. In 2015, she was appointed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan to a four-year term on the National Assessment Governing Board, which helps set policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

Dr. Rosen previously served as president of Education and Management Innovations, Inc., and as senior vice president of the National Alliance of Business, with a focus on math and science education policy. She was also a senior math and science adviser to Education Secretary Richard W. Riley where she led the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, known familiarly as the John Glenn Commission.  Prior to joining the Department, Dr. Rosen was Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Academy of Sciences’ Associate Executive Director of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board. Early in her career, Dr. Rosen taught mathematics to high school through graduate school students. 

Claus von Zastrow, Ph.D. 

Claus von Zastrow is the chief operating officer and director of research for Change the Equation. At Change the Equation, he directs a leading national database of STEM education programs that meet rigorous standards for effectiveness. In addition, he oversees major research on the condition of STEM education. 

Before joining Change the Equation, Dr. vonZastrow was executive director of the Learning First Alliance, a partnership of 16 major education associations that represent over ten million parents, educators and policymakers. At the Alliance, he worked with the executive directors and elected leaders of Alliance member organizations to facilitate collaboration at every level of the education system and promote the continual and long-term improvement of public education. Prior to joining the Alliance, Dr. von Zastrow was at the Council for Basic Education where he published research on the impact of state and federal policy on school practice. He also served as a policy director at the National Alliance of Business, where he developed or managed policy initiatives to improve student achievement at all levels, promote universal access to higher education, and formulate sound workforce development strategies focused on lifelong learning.

Passion Rutledge Cheek

Passion Rutledge Cheek is the executive assistant at Change the Equation.  She is an administrative and event planning specialist with a diverse skillset and a knack for hyper-personalized problem-solving for c-suite executives. Previously, Cheek served as the executive administrative assistant at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and for the chief executive officer of New Perspectives Psychotherapy & Consulting.

Cheek earned Bachelor’s degrees from Temple University in both Journalism and Psychology and is pursuing a Master's of Business Administration.

Buffy DeBreaux-Watts

Buffy DeBreaux-Watts is the director of member engagement at Change the Equation.  She is a former educator with a strong commitment to supporting the future of the American educational system as an active catalyst for education reform.  DeBreaux-Watts worked most recently as Director of Business Development with an education management company; in teacher certification as a start-up staff member at ABCTE, and as the director of constituent relations at Partners in Education, where she oversaw membership recruitment and retention managing a membership network of 10,000 individuals and 35 state affiliates. In this role, she successfully managed corporate-education partnerships with major U.S. companies including Exxon-Mobil, Southwestern Bell, Booz Allen Hamilton and the Allstate Foundation.

DeBreaux-Watts earned Bachelor’s degrees from Mary Baldwin College in Theatre Education and Public Relations.  Since then she has been a student at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia and holds a Master of Arts in Contemporary Communication from Notre Dame of Maryland University.