NewSchools Venture Fund Names New CEO

Board Member Ted Mitchell to lead next wave of investments for K-12 education reform

SAN FRANCISCO – June 7, 2005 – NewSchools Venture Fund announced today that Dr. Theodore Mitchell will become the organization’s new CEO. Mitchell, who has served as a NewSchools Board Member since 1998, will step down as President of Occidental College to lead NewSchools in its work to transform public K-12 education. Founding CEO Kim Smith, who created NewSchools Venture Fund in 1998 with technology venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, will continue to work full-time with NewSchools as Executive Chairman of the Board.

“Ted Mitchell is an exceptional leader, and we are excited to have such a strong CEO to lead NewSchools toward a new level of national impact,” said Kim Smith, co-founder and current CEO of NewSchools. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished in the last seven years towards our mission of ensuring that all children receive an excellent public education, and I’m tremendously optimistic about what NewSchools will accomplish in the future under Ted’s leadership.”

NewSchools Venture Fund is a national nonprofit working to transform public education for underserved children, by supporting education entrepreneurs who create high-quality education ventures aimed at dramatically improving urban public schools. NewSchools also provides thought leadership across traditional education boundaries to ensure that results-oriented, systemic change is accomplished. During its first seven years, NewSchools has raised $80 million and has invested in more than 25 nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurial ventures, including New Leaders for New Schools, Aspire Public Schools, Achievement First, Mastery Charter High School, Teachscape, and Teach For America. Over the next decade these entrepreneurs will create or turn around more than 2,250 public schools in the neediest communities, and will directly serve more than 2 million students. “NewSchools is demonstrating the power of entrepreneurs to dramatically improve public education for low-income students,” noted NewSchools board member Brook Byers.

“Under Kim Smith’s leadership, NewSchools created an important new approach to improving public education,” commented NewSchools board member John Doerr. “Kim introduced ‘education entrepreneur’ into the national lexicon, and created a new national network of leaders who cross traditional boundaries of the sectors and political parties in order to focus on improved outcomes for students.”

“This is an important moment in the organization’s growth, and we are thrilled that a leader of Ted’s caliber has stepped forward to lead this work,” Doerr added. “He has been with NewSchools from the beginning, has incredible leadership accomplishments in education, and is the perfect choice for this key role.”

Mitchell will lead significant expansion of NewSchools’ activity. This will include further investment in “charter management organizations.” These organizations, based on an innovative nonprofit model developed by NewSchools, build scalable branded systems of high-performing public charter schools in key urban communities across the country. In addition, Mitchell will oversee investments to support education entrepreneurs who are creating tools to enable school districts to become performance-driven systems, as well as the growth of NewSchools’ thought leadership and knowledge dissemination practices.

“I am excited and honored to join the NewSchools team as CEO,” said Mitchell. “As an education entrepreneur herself, Kim Smith has created an important and innovative organization in the landscape of public school reform. I am passionate about NewSchools’ mission to harness the power of entrepreneurs to transform education so that every child has access to an excellent public school, and I look forward to the opportunity to lead the organization for many years to come.”

Mitchell is a nationally recognized leader in education at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels. At Occidental, he led a turnaround in the institution’s finances, a dramatic increase in applications and donations to the college, and a marked rise in its national reputation. In addition to his six-year term at Occidental, he served in senior leadership roles at Stanford and UCLA and began his career as a professor of education at Dartmouth. As Dean of the School of Education at UCLA, Mitchell and his colleagues developed the School Management Program, a unique training program for school leaders conducted in collaboration with the Anderson School of Business. Mitchell’s education policy work has included a three-year term as senior education advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan as well as his current role as chair of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Advisory Committee on Educational Excellence.

Media contact:
Rachael Neumann
NewSchools Venture Fund
Phone: 415.615.6867
E-mail: rneumann@newschools.org