2021 ASGS Leadership Conference 

We were delighted to be joined at our virtual Leadership Conference by Megan Murphy, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, USA, Leora Cruddas, CEO, Confederation of School Trusts (CST),  Dr Marisa Porges, Head of School, The Baldwin School Philadelphia and Natalie Demers, Director of Research Initiatives and Programs and fellows of the Global Action Research Collaborative on Girls’ Education (GARC) 


Leora Cruddas, CEO, Confederation of School Trusts (CST)

Leora Cruddas is the CEO of the Confederation of School Trusts – the national organisation and sector body for school trusts in England.  She has advised successive governments and sits on several Department for Education Advisory Bodies. She is the vice chair of the Head Teacher Standards Review Group.

Prior to establishing CST, she was Director of Policy and Public Relations for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL). Just before leaving ASCL, Leora established the Commission for Ethical Leadership, on which she served as a commissioner. She now sits on the Ethics Committee. She believes education is for the common good. Leora has six years of experience as a Director of Education in two London Local Authorities. She has extensive experience at senior executive level of working with schools and trusts to improve the effectiveness and quality of education.

Dr Marisa Porges, Head of School, The Baldwin School Philadelphia 

Dr. Marisa Porges is known for her work on gender and education, leadership, and national security and is the author of What Girls Need: How to Raise Bold, Courageous, and Resilient Women (Viking Press, 2020). She is currently the eighth Head of School of The Baldwin School, a 130-year-old all-girls school outside of Philadelphia, that is renowned for academic excellence and preparing girls to be leaders and changemakers. She is an alumna of Baldwin and personally understands the power of its approach to educating girls: it provided the foundation for her own military service and work on national security and foreign affairs.

Prior to joining Baldwin, Dr. Porges was a leading counterterrorism and national security expert. Most recently, she served in the Obama White House as a senior policy advisor and White House Fellow at the National Economic Council, where she oversaw the development of domestic cybersecurity and consumer protection policies. She also has served as a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and at the Council on Foreign Relations, where her research focused on counterterrorism. In these roles, she traveled alone throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan to conduct research, interview former members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban, meet with Syrian rebel fighters in hiding, and serve as an embedded civilian advisor at NATO military headquarters in Afghanistan. She also worked as a counterterrorism policy advisor in the U.S. Department of Treasury and as a foreign affairs advisor in the U.S. Department of Defense. In all these roles, she stood out as one of a few – if not the only – women present, at any given time. 

Dr. Porges started her career on active duty in the U.S. Navy, flying jets off carriers as a naval flight officer on EA-6B Prowlers. Ten years after the Navy first allowed women to fly jets into combat, she pursued her dream of being launched off an aircraft carrier while serving her country. She earned a B.A. in geophysics from Harvard, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in war studies from King’s College London. Her awards include the National Committee on American Foreign Policy 21st Century Leader Award and the NATO Medal for service in Afghanistan. Dr. Porges lives outside of Philadelphia, with her family.


Megan Murphy, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools

Executive Director Megan Murphy has led the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) since 2012. On the forefront of girls’ education for over a quarter century, NCGS is the leading advocate for girls’ schools, connecting and collaborating globally with individuals, schools, and organizations dedicated to educating and empowering girls.

During Megan’s tenure, NCGS has achieved significant growth in membership, programs and staffing. In 2015, Megan engaged the NCGS Board of Trustees in a strategic visioning process to affirm the organization’s Purpose, Principles, and Practice for the future.  Her vision to create national and global strategic alliances led to the first-ever Global Forum on Girls’ Education in 2016, resulting in nearly 1,000 educators from 23 countries coming together to exchange ideas about innovative approaches for academic excellence and the healthy development of girls.

Previous to joining NCGS, Megan served as the chief advancement officer and/or chief enrolment officer at several institutions, including her alma mater, Allegheny College; Semester at Sea, a non-profit global education program in partnership with the University of Virginia; and at NCGS member Marlborough School, where she helped raise more than $71 million in annual, capital, and endowment gifts.


 The full conference can be found here