Our Team

The NewSchools team draws on extensive experience from across the education, business, policy and nonprofit sectors to help find, fund and support teams of educators and innovators.

Frances Messano

Frances Messano

Chief Executive Officer

Frances Messano is CEO at NewSchools Venture Fund. In her role, she leads the organization’s strategy and oversees its $45M annual grantmaking budget across four investment areas: Innovative Schools, Learning Solutions, Diverse Leaders and Racial Equity. Throughout her eight-year tenure at NewSchools, Frances has had a broad set of responsibilities, including creating the Diverse Leaders investment strategy and leading the Innovative Schools team. 

Previously, Frances served as a Vice President at Teach for America, where she led the development of the organization’s long-term, national strategy.  Before that, Frances was an Associate Partner at Monitor Institute, the social impact practice within Monitor Deloitte’s strategy consulting arm, where she helped education organizations scale their impact through strategy development, organizational design, leadership development, and program design. 

Frances has an MBA from Harvard Business School and AB from Harvard College. She serves on the board of Unidos US, Stand for Children, Pahara Institute, and Latinos for Education. She is also on the Tipping Point leadership council and a Pahara-Aspen education fellow. Frances is a first-generation college graduate and an alum of Prep for Prep, Management Leadership for Tomorrow, and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, non-profit organizations that she credits with helping her gain access to educational opportunity. Frances lives in San Francisco with her husband and their three children, who attend a NewSchools portfolio school. She also sings with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and will always say yes to a karaoke night out.