Diverse Leaders

Investing in leaders has always been important for transforming education, and has long been a part of the NewSchools strategy. One of the biggest talent challenges over the next decade is diversifying the senior leadership ranks of education organizations.

We believe entrepreneurs and their organizations will be more successful if they understand the perspectives and needs of their students, and have the insights required to develop creative solutions. This means we must broaden the group of people generating ideas to include leaders who have shared experiences with the students they serve. Diversifying the senior leadership and boards of directors of education organizations is key to this goal.

Our strategy is focused on closing the racial and ethnic demographic gap between education leadership and students. We aspire to increase the number of Black and Latino founders and CEOs, senior leadership team members, and board members to represent at least 30% of all education leadership by 2020.

To achieve this goal, we will:

  1. Invest directly in entrepreneurs focused on diversifying education senior leadership and ensure  diversity goals are met across our portfolio
  2. Catalyze the field of donors, entrepreneurs and partners to build interest in diversifying education leadership
  3. Reinforce our commitment to diversity across NewSchools to ensure we are well equipped to deliver on our goals

We invest in entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas focused on advancing Black and Latino senior leadership in education. Ideas may include efforts to attract, recruit, develop, retain, and/or place diverse senior leaders, among many others.

All ventures must align with our diligence and investment criteria. While we prioritize investing in early-stage ventures (0 to 2 years of development), we will also consider investing in existing organizations launching new initiatives. Entrepreneurs we fund typically have a fleshed out idea or concept. Most will have conducted some market research, developed a preliminary strategy and/or launched pilots. Investments will range from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on the stage of the organization or idea. Given our focus, we encourage Black and Latino entrepreneurs to participate.

Details on our next funding opportunity will be released in 2017. In the meantime, please share your contact information to receive updates relevant to our diverse leaders work.

You can contact diversity@newschools.org with any questions you might have.

Meet the Venture Team

Frances Messano

Tiffany Cheng Nyaggah

Natalie Wilson

Angel Njenga


If you are interested in advancing your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, check out our diversity, equity & inclusion resources page for access to research, helpful how-to-guides, and contacts to assist in your staff and board recruiting efforts.

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