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


Frances Messano is President at NewSchools Venture Fund. In this role, she oversees our four investment areas, as well as our research and learning team. Throughout her six year tenure at NewSchools, Frances has had a broad set of responsibilities, including creating the Diverse Leaders investment strategy, leading the Innovative Schools team and developing the content for four Summit conferences.

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, where she worked with education non-profits and foundations to 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 sings with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir and will always say yes to a karaoke night out.