Jim Peyser and Sareena Ghulati Deepen Venture Team’s Expertise in Education, Public Policy and Business
SAN FRANCISCO â€” November 13, 2003 â€” NewSchools Venture Fund announced that two new Partners had joined the firm’s Venture Team. Jim Peyser — Massachusetts state education board chairman and a well-respected education policymaker — has joined as Partner to head up East Coast operations, while Sareena Ghulati — a former senior executive at SCORE! Educational Centers — has joined as Partner in the San Francisco office.
“As NewSchools’ ‘hybrid’ ideas for improving public education continue to gain traction nationally, we look forward to drawing on Jim’s strong policy background and Sareena’s operational strengths,” said Kim Smith, co-founder and CEO of NewSchools. “Like NewSchools, they both are truly committed to a vision of transforming public education by working across the sectors, drawing on the strengths and skills of public, private and nonprofit leaders.”
From the organization’s new Boston office, Peyser will focus on investment diligence and management assistance to ventures in both the Charter Accelerator Fund and Performance Accelerator Fund. “After more than a decade of helping to shape education policy, I am looking forward to working hands-on with education entrepreneurs and the team at NewSchools,” said Peyser.
Prior to joining NewSchools, Jim served as education advisor to Governor Mitt Romney and two previous governors, where he helped shape outcomes-focused policy at the state level on standards, charter schools and school accountability. He also spent more than seven years as Executive Director of Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, an independent, nonpartisan policy think tank, where he supported public education innovations, including charter schools. Since 1996, Peyser has been a member of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and has served as its chairman since 1999.
Ghulati will work primarily with NewSchools’ portfolio of scalable, sustainable, nonprofit charter school management organizations, bringing to bear her extensive operating experience with multi-site educational services. “Charter management organizations have the potential to serve hundreds of thousands of underserved children who deserve a high-quality public education,” says Ghulati. “To make sure they get there, they’ll need to pay attention to all the challenges of growing to scale. I look forward to helping these education entrepreneurs reach this goal by aligning their systems and resources around a common vision of excellence.”
Prior to joining NewSchools, Ghulati was Senior Vice President of Operations at SCORE! Educational Centers, a nationwide chain of for-profit after school learning centers for kids 4-14. As the number two at SCORE!, overseeing all of operations, Ghulati was responsible for managing the financial performance of the company’s 150 centers. Before running SCORE! centers, she managed the company’s Recruiting and Professional Development departments, and began her career as a management consultant with Monitor Company in Toronto, Canada.
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund is a venture philanthropy fund founded in 1998 that is working to transform public education by investing in education entrepreneurs who create high-quality ventures focused on results-oriented, systemic change. Through its first fund, NewSchools invested over $20 million in 10 ventures, all of which are making a measurable difference in the lives of students across the country. Its current fund consists of both the Charter Accelerator Fund — accelerating the growth of nonprofit charter school systems — and the Performance Accelerator Fund — enhancing the capacity of school districts to produce high levels of student achievement.