Mary Filardo founded the 21st Century School Fund in 1994 to improve the policy and practice of planning, design, construction, management and financing for the District of Columbia public schools. In 2001, with support from the Ford Foundation, she started Building Educational Success Together (BEST) to work nationally on these issues. She has written extensively on public school facilities, developed software to support public engagement in facilities master planning, and piloted public-private school development partnerships. She holds a BA in philosophy and mathematics from St. John’s College and a MPP from the University of Maryland. She was the 1979 Truman Scholar from the District of Columbia.