Brave New Speakers

Diana Shulla-Cose

Diana Shulla-Cose is the Co-founder and President of Perspectives Charter Schools in Chicago. She is an inspiring leader whose work and pioneering approach to social-emotional learning in urban education has changed the lives of thousands of student and their families. The success of the students is closely linked to a curriculum and philosophy called “A Disciplined Life,” an approach Diana co-created  and has woven in every aspect of the culture of her organization.

Diana regularly presents to audiences across the country on the topics of innovation, leadership, organizational culture, and social change. Her message, experience, story and charisma make her a powerful addition to any conference or leadership meeting.

At Perspectives, our students are intelligent, compassionate, and driven. We aim to grow ethical leaders by living A Disciplined Life® in our Southside Chicago communities

About Diana

Diana is Co-Founder and President of Perspectives Charter Schools in Chicago. After working as a teacher for the Chicago Arch Diocese, and then for Chicago Public Schools, she co-founded Perspectives as a school-within-a-school in 1993. Perspectives became one of the first five charter schools in Illinois in 1997, and is now a network of five 6th-12th grade schools, educating close to 2,000 students. Despite coming from some of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago, Perspectives students graduate from high school, enroll in college, and persist towards graduation at rates above the national average. The key to these results is a social-emotional learning curriculum and culture called A Disciplined Life®, which Diana co-created. The A Disciplined Life® curriculum is in process of being shared with schools throughout Chicago and the country, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Diana is a contributor for Smart Business, Medium’s Bright and the Executive Producer of the “I Am for Peace” documentary, which features U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and performer Jennifer Hudson. She has spoken at many high-profile events including National Charter Schools Conference, SouthXSouthwest and Chicago Innovation Week. Diana has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Loyola University Chicago.


“Teaching the Mind and the Heart: Driving Innovation in the K12 Environment”
“Building the Ethical Leaders of Tomorrow: Lessons from South Side Chicago”
“Strong Relationships: Your Leadership Superpower”
“A Disciplined Life: Activating Students for Peace”