Background: Mary K. Wells is a co-founder and managing partner at Bellwether Education Partners. Mary splits her time between leading the day-to-day operations of Bellwether and working with organizations to provide strategic advising support. Prior to launching Bellwether, Mary led STEM and new school investments for the Texas High School Project, where she was a founding team member. She oversaw a portfolio of over $80 million in grants focused on expanding access to high-quality college preparatory schools, improving the quality of math and science education in Texas, and expanding the pipeline of highly skilled employees qualified for careers in the economy of the 21st century. Before joining the Texas High School Project, Mary was a manager and consultant with Bain & Company, where she advised Fortune 500 companies on growth strategy, new business development, and post-merger integration issues. Mary is a first-generation college graduate and holds a bachelor’s from Harvard University and a master’s from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, son, and daughter.
Experience at Bellwether:
- Supporting education organizations with growth strategy, market assessment, business planning, organizational development, and implementation planning
- Supporting the development of start-up business plans with several entrepreneurs to establish a new graduate school of education, a human capital academy, a CMO, and several city-wide education intermediaries
- Advising dozens of organizations on growth strategy and organization design
- Writing two winning RTT-D grants, two winning i3 grants, and one winning RTT state grant in partnership with clients, securing over $180 million in funding for the students of RI, LA, and TX
- Leading the growth of Bellwether itself from a start-up to an established organization
Client segments served: charter schools, school districts, state education agencies, intermediaries, human capital, and nonprofit product and service organizations
Sample clients: Urban Teachers, San Antonio Independent School District, Aspire Public Schools, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Texas Education Agency, Project Lead the Way
Why I do this work: I grew up working on a farm, and I saw education as a way to follow a whole different life path. I had that opportunity through a strong public education, and I want all kids to have that same opportunity, regardless of where they live.