New Meridian
Charting a course to deeper learning through next generation assessments.

About Team


Executive Team

Each member of New Meridian's executive team has more than 15 years' hands-on experience in assessment and education management, in public, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations.
  Arthur VanderVeen, Ph.D.    Chief Executive Officer

Arthur VanderVeen, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. VanderVeen works with the Board of Directors to set the strategic direction, overall strategy, and priorities to achieve New Meridian’s mission. This includes recruiting, retaining, and developing talented, mission-driven leaders and cultivating a high-performance culture with motivated and engaged employees. He also raises funding to support New Meridian’s research and development initiatives.

Dr. VanderVeen has 18 years’ experience in education assessment and technology organizations. Prior to founding New Meridian, Dr. VanderVeen was Vice President of Business Strategy and Development for Compass Learning, where he successfully designed and negotiated the company’s $5.4 million award from the state of Texas to deliver statewide benchmark assessments and instructional services under the Texas Success Initiative.

Previously, Dr. VanderVeen served in several roles with the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE), including Chief of Innovation, and Executive Director of Assessments. In this role, he directed the NYC DOE’s $60 million citywide summative and interim assessment program, with an assessed student population of nearly 900,000 students.

Previously, while at the College Board, Dr. VanderVeen directed a three-year, multimillion-dollar initiative to develop the College Board Standards for College Success in English Language Arts and Mathematics and Statistics, which became foundational reference documents for the Common Core State Standards. He also worked on the SAT Reading and Writing exams, including leading the development of the Writing scoring rubric and serving on content review committees.

  Dr. Michele Walker    Chief Assessment Officer

Dr. Michele Walker

Chief Assessment Officer

Dr. Walker directs and manages the New Meridian test development, research, and psychometric teams that provide oversight and quality assurance for assessment development programs.

Most recently, Dr. Walker was Director of Student Assessment for the Indiana Department of Education, where she managed the implementation of the statewide assessment system, including overseeing all assessment vendors. She was responsible for both operational administration and policy issues related to assessment, including representing the State Superintendent in regular presentations before the Indiana General Assembly Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, the House Committee on Education, the State Board of Education, and in communications to districts.

Before joining the Indiana Department of education, Dr. Walker was a middle school English Language Arts and Math teacher.


  Jennifer Sattem    Chief Policy and Engagement Officer

Jennifer Sattem

Chief Policy and Engagement Officer

  Walter Sherwood    Vice President, Business Development

Walter Sherwood

Vice President, Business Development

  Lisa Dare    Director Program Management

Lisa Dare

Director Program Management

  Neil Lane    General Counsel

Neil Lane

General Counsel

Ms. Sattem sets the strategic agenda for and leads all state and stakeholder engagement activities, with the goal of ensuring that the voices of relevant constituencies inform governance and policy decisions.

Most recently, Ms. Sattem was Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education (USED), where she led the development of and finalized new federal assessment regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act. This process included soliciting input from states and other stakeholder groups to inform the regulations and develop new federal guidance to support state assessment activities.

Before joining USED, Ms. Sattem was a Research Fellow with the New York State Regents Research Fund, where she served as New York’s primary lead for the PARCC assessment consortium. In that role she implemented the first computer-based field test and led the New York PARCC Educator Leader Cadre, a 24-member panel supporting teachers in the transition to new assessments. This work also included developing and implementing a strategic engagement with New York State’s higher education institutions to establish new policies supporting the alignment of college and career readiness standards, college readiness assessments, and placement policies.

Previously, Ms. Sattem was Lead Researcher at the Education Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), where she led the implementation of multiple state-level initiatives to create college readiness standards and aligned project-based assessments.


Walter Sherwood is an accomplished educational assessment expert, with many years of successful sales, business development, account management, and program delivery experience. He began his career at Pearson Education over 15 years ago, and has served in various sales and delivery roles during that time. His most recent role being President, State Assessment Services where he was responsible for the overall performance of the business unit including the sales, go-to-market planning, and business capture and fulfillment activities while overseeing 200+ employees, 10 Vice Presidents, and serving 20 state education agencies and large school districts encompassing 20M+ students.

Prior to his work at Pearson, Walter has served in various education roles including the University of Texas, Austin, Region XIII Education Service Center, and as a high school and middle school teacher. Walter also has served for many years as a naval officer both on active duty and in the reserves.


Ms Dare provides overall program management for all operations. This includes coordinating the development and maintenance of all project schedules to ensure tasks and deliverables are completed as scoped and on time. Ms. Dare also runs our risk management function, proactively anticipating, evaluating, planning for, and recommending actions to address and mitigate risks that threaten to disrupt the operational or financial success of the program. Finally, she manages our continuous improvement efforts, proactively identifying, evaluating, planning for, and recommending actions to improve program operations.

Ms. Dare has extensive experience in strategic planning and operational management with large educational organizations. Most recently, she has consulted with Blythe Daggett Consulting, providing strategic planning and project management for clients, including the New York City Department of Education and Jersey City Public Schools. Previously, she was Executive Director of Special Projects in the Office of the President at the College Board. Prior to the College Board, she served as Chief Operating Officer, Division of Teaching and Learning, at the New York City Department of Education.


Mr. Lane serves as New Meridian's general counsel. He has served as general counsel for publicly-traded, privately-held, and not for profit companies. He has provided leadership and counsel in sectors such as education, financial services, media, and publishing & gaming, consumer packaged goods, energy, environmental services & engineering within complex organizations such as Citigroup, Vivendi and the College Board

As the first-ever General Counsel of the College Board, Mr. Lane helped lead the revitalization, growth and worldwide expansion of that organization's operations. He built and ran a legal and compliance function responsible for domestic and international enterprise risk management of a provider of a wide array of secure assessments and other products and services across numerous customer sectors around the world. His work spanned a broad array of disciplines, including intellectual property creation, protection and monetization, acquisitions, SaaS businesses, commercial transactions, B2B, B2C and B2G sales, finance, governance, regulatory oversight and compliance including export compliance, employment matters, litigation management and new product development, to name but a few.