Thomas Gold, Ph.D. is the Vice President for Research and Evaluation at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). At NFTE, Dr. Gold is heading up the organization’s efforts to identify, measure and utilize the skills, believes and attitudes that form a students’ entrepreneurial mindset. Dr. Gold comes to NFTE with a wealth of experience in education policy, research and reform. Most recently, he was the Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University. The Research Alliance is an institute that conducts non-partisan research on the policies and practices that matter to the City’s schools. At the Research Alliance, Dr. Gold worked closely with leaders in foundations, local universities and the education policy community to develop funding, research projects and a strategic vision for the institute. 

Prior to coming to the Research Alliance, Dr. Gold held leadership positions at the New York City Department of Education (DOE) under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein. During his tenure at the DOE, Dr. Gold was the Director for External Research, Evaluation and Reporting for the NYCDOE where he counseled senior leadership on research policy. He also managed a team of education analysts and researchers to provide high quality reports and analytics for senior policy makers at the DOE and others regarding student achievement and other key indicators. Dr. Gold also managed large-scale evaluations of DOE programs by external research firms, including the Rand Corporation’s evaluation of the DOE’s revised student promotion policy from 2006 to 2009. 

Dr. Gold has published broadly on education and politics. He is the lead author of the recent report: Usage Patterns and Perceptions of the Achievement, Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS), Research Alliance for New York City Schools, NYU (2012). He is also the author of theLega Nord and Contemporary Politics in Italy (Palgrave, 2003). He was also the author of several West European reports for the Freedom in the World publication, published by Freedom House, from 2003 to 2012.

Before entering the field of K-12 education, Dr. Gold taught political science at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield Connecticut and ran the university’s study abroad program in Luxembourg. Dr. Gold received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the New School for Social Research and Dr. Gold received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in Bologna Italy in 1997.


Sophia Rodriguez is the Lead Research Analyst Associate at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. As part of the Programs and Research team, Sophia will be measuring the skills, attitudes and beliefs that form students’ entrepreneurial mindset, as well as designing and analyzing internal surveys and assessments. Sophia brings to NFTE her quantitative and qualitative research experience, as well as her expertise in higher education strategy and operations.


Prior to joining NFTE, Sophia served as the Associate Director of Dean’s Office Affairs & Undergraduate Initiatives at the NYU Stern School of Business for four and a half years. At NYU Stern, Sophia worked closely with the Dean of the Undergraduate College to track and analyze school-level data, identifying trends and creating strategic reports for internal and external stakeholders. Sophia’s passion for research has focused on a variety of policy issues. Beyond her work at Stern, she has conducted research on elections and public opinion, entrepreneurship, people’s propensity to save, and cultural identity in the diaspora.

Sophia strives to utilize her skills to help level the playing field for young people and equip them with the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century. She has worked and volunteered at a variety of youth-oriented organizations and social enterprises, including iMentor, The Future Project, Ashoka Youth Venture, and America Reads and Counts.

Sophia will be receiving a Master of Public Administration in Policy from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service this May and holds a BA in Anthropology and Social Entrepreneurship, also from NYU. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and is originally from Miami hailing from a large public high school where she first discovered the power and potential of young people.