The fundamental goal of the company is to produce the high quality of work that can lead to fundamental improvements in education — and recognition of the need for universal high-quality education and the elements necessary to create that quality — through conscientious work that adds value to the efforts of our clients. High quality in our own work begins with the talents, interests, and capabilities of the CW staff.

Our staff and consultants include directors of nonprofit organizations; advocates who have led state and national initiatives; award-winning editors, writers, and designers; and media strategists. We also work in close partnership with some of the nation's leading polling, video, marketing, advertising, and policy shops.

Mary-Mack Callahan
Chief Operating Officer

Mary-Mack Callahan, chief operating officer, oversees all CommunicationWorks operations and manages projects focused on higher education, research, philanthropy, and nonprofit management. Mary is the former managing director of the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education, where she was an adviser to dozens of foundations and hundreds of private colleges for more than a decade. She has managed foundation grants in community development; faculty roles and rewards; and efforts to encourage colleges to play a stronger role in developing the skills of youth in poor, urban, and rural communities. She has been a participant in Grantmakers for Education and other philanthropic groups. Mary has an undergraduate degree in anthropology from Swarthmore College.

Mark A. Carter, CPA, MBA
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Carter is an accomplished executive and entrepreneur with broad experience in finance, accounting, audit, investigations and internal controls. He has served as a Chief Financial Officer in both large and small companies. He was a founder and Chief Financial and Operations Officer of CoreFacts, LLC, a high technology investigations and litigation support company. He developed and implemented all financial and operational support systems and guided CoreFacts through its sale to a public company.

Prior to his venture with CoreFacts, Mr. Carter spent eleven years with Bell Atlantic Corporation (now Verizon). His tenure at Bell Atlantic began in internal auditing where he eventually headed a group responsible for assessing risks, developing plans, and executing audits of all financial and operational aspects of telephone company operations. Later, as the head of worldwide security, he established programs to investigate and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse and served as a key participant in establishing a corporate ethics and compliance program. Also, selected for a Fellowship for The Brookings Institution, Mr. Carter spent a year as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Scott Klug, (R, WI) where he oversaw the Congressman's participation in programs for the privatization of government functions and the auditing and financial reorganization of Capitol Hill operations. His other experience includes four years as a Special Agent Accountant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigating white-collar crime.

Mr. Carter has developed and presented classes on financial fraud and computer forensics; he has testified in federal court both as an accounting expert and as a computer forensics expert; and, he has appeared on the CNN News television show, “Burden of Proof” as an expert in white collar crime. His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Troy University and he is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Barbara McKenna
Writer and Editor

Barbara McKenna, writer and editor, is an award-winning editor of national education magazines who has written about issues ranging from college affordability and student debt to equity and diversity, technology, and state and federal policy. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, AFT On Campus, Cable in the Classroom, CASE Currents, and Books & Arts. She was among the founding editors of the Washington Book Review. McKenna also served as director of public relations and publications and special assistant to the president of Mount Vernon College (now a campus of George Washington University). She holds a degree from Georgetown University and advanced publications certificates from George Washington University and Radcliffe College. Her work has been honored with awards from ILCA, Ed Press, the Ozzie Awards, and Project Censored.

Angus Paul

Angus Paul, editor, has edited numerous national reports for clients on education and civil rights issues. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College, he has taught school, reported for The Chronicle of Higher Education (his beat was the research produced by college and university scholars), and edited George Washington University's alumni magazine.

Sheppard Ranbom

Sheppard Ranbom is founder and president of CommunicationWorks, L.L.C. In leading the firm since 1996,  Ranbom has focused on increasing the visibility and power of ideas and institutions through leveraging research, the media, issue-driven campaigns, grassroots advocacy initiatives, and marketing techniques. He has helped launch new nonprofit organizations and revitalize the image of well-established institutions. His clients have included many of the nation’s leading foundations, corporations, education nonprofits, and research institutions, such as Achieve, Inc.; Center for Education Policy; Educational Testing Service; IBM; Intel; Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards; National Geographic Society Education Foundation; National Center on Public Policy in Higher Education; President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities; Teachers College, Columbia University; and the U.S. Department of Education.

A former staff writer for Education Week who also edited a weekly education news syndicate for daily newspapers and publications for higher education officials, he has written or edited numerous reports in education issues. An award winning writer and strategist, Ranbom also has written or edited dozens of authoritative reports on education and civil rights issues. He is the author of King Philip’s War (Settlement House, 2008) and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Colgate University.

Craig P. Smith
Senior Associate and Chief Strategist

Craig P. Smith, senior associate and chief strategist, has led many of CW’s higher education and policy efforts, including our work for Achieving the Dream, Jobs for the Future, Excelencia in Education, and other clients. He was for several years the director of higher education at the American Federation of Teachers. At AFT, he managed national advocacy campaigns, worked on federal and state policy issues with legislative staff in Congress, developed research and policy statements, built and managed coalitions of diverse groups of organizations, developed media strategy, and managed online coordination of AFT’s conference and events. For seven years Smith was a faculty member at Salt Lake Community College in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he developed curriculum and taught business communications, composition, and English; helped to develop the college’s first online business degree; established the first “learning community” curriculum on campus; served on the faculty senate and on the service learning board; advised the Teaching and Learning Center; and served as chair of the adjunct issues committee. He also served as president of the faculty association, the collective bargaining unit on campus. Smith earned a B.A. in English and history from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, an M.A. in English from Syracuse University, and completed Ph.D. coursework in communications at the University of Utah.