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Dr. Edward Buckingham
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Mr. Ariel Sokol
Member of the Board of Directors
Dr. Michael J. Hillyard
Member of the Board of Directors


Dr. Edward Buckingham is a member of our board of directors and currently works at the Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. His post-graduate training consisted of an internship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston from July 1997 – June 1998. Edward had his residency training consisting of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston from July 1998-June 2002. He then had his fellowship training for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the New England Laser and Cosmetic surgery center in Albany, New York from July 2002-June 2003. Some of Edward’s past positions include working at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston as a Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology. He also worked at the Albany Medical Center from July 2002-June 2003 as the Attending Surgeon, Clinical Instructor, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery/Division of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

Mr. Ariel Sokol joined the Board in October 2020. Mr. Sokol has over two decades of experience in the education and business services industries as a consultant, sell-side equity research analyst and senior executive. Currently he serves as a partner at Kolari Consulting, an education consulting company. Previously he served as Vice President of Strategy and Finance at the K-12 online education division of Pearson, developing and implementing strategic plans, analyzing potential growth opportunities, leading restructuring efforts and executing M&A transactions. Before that he served as a sell-side analyst at several investment banks. Mr. Sokol received his BA from Amherst College, magna cum laude, and MBA from Columbia Business School.

Dr. Michael J. Hillyard has over 20 years of experience in higher education strategy, governance, quality assurance, curriculum, accreditation, and regulation. He had previously served as President of the University of St. Augustine, a health science institution that annually produces the U.S.’s largest and third-largest classes of physical and occupational therapists. Prior to that, Hillyard served as President of Rockwell University, a university in Washington D.C., and before that, as an Executive and Vice President at the American Public University System. He has served on numerous governing and higher education boards, such as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Career College Advisory Board in addition to providing consulting services to Hong Kong government’s accreditation council, Saudi Arabia’s national accreditation commission, the Sultanate of Oman’s academic quality assurance body, Jamaica’s higher education university council, Barbados’s accreditation council, and Egypt’s national accreditation authority.