NewSchools Venture Fund has named Stacey Childress as CEO. She is joining NewSchools from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Headquartered in Oakland, Calif. and with offices in Boston and Washington, D.C., NewSchools is a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm focused on public education for underserved students.
OAKLAND, Calif., May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — NewSchools Venture Fund today announced that its Board of Directors has named Stacey Childress as Chief Executive Officer to lead the venture philanthropy’s support of innovation in K–12 education.
“Stacey brings to NewSchools a deep understanding of education entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Dave Goldberg, NewSchools board member and CEO of SurveyMonkey. “But it is Stacey’s track record as a bold investor in people and ideas with the potential to accelerate learning for underserved students that has us most excited about NewSchools’ next chapter.”
For more than 15 years, NewSchools has provided startup and scale-up capital and strategic counsel to leading education entrepreneurs and harnessed their energy and vision to solve the biggest challenges in public education. NewSchools has been on the cutting edge of some of education’s most promising new practices including high-quality public charter school networks, education technology and practice-based professional development programs for teachers.
Childress joins NewSchools from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she led the team responsible for next-generation learning, supporting nearly 200 ed-tech and school entrepreneurs during her four years there. In 2012, Forbes placed Childress on its Impact 15 list, a group of innovators revolutionizing education globally.
“Throughout each phase of its history, NewSchools has identified the biggest opportunities for impact and supported entrepreneurs with the passion to pursue them,” Childress said. “Today’s students are the most diverse, connected generation in history, and they deserve learning experiences that meet them where they are and help them realize their most ambitious aspirations. I look forward to working with the NewSchools team to support innovators working on this challenge.”
Before joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Childress was on the faculty at Harvard Business School where she developed and taught a course on education entrepreneurship and advised large urban districts. During a decade in the private sector, she was on the founding team of an enterprise software company after rising through the sales and management ranks at ADT Security Services. She also spent time in a public high school classroom as a substitute English teacher in Texas.
Childress will succeed Ted Mitchell, who was confirmed last week as U.S. Undersecretary of Education. Mitchell’s strong leadership and passionate advocacy of entrepreneurship as a lever for change in public education resulted in tremendous growth in the size and impact of NewSchools’ portfolio.
“Stacey understands the big challenges we are facing as a country when it comes to educating all kids well and the important role entrepreneurship plays in tackling those challenges,” said KIPP Foundation CEO Richard Barth. “She deeply gets the fact that technology can help us pursue our dreams for our students, and she knows schools well enough to recognize that there are no silver bullets.”
LearnZillion CEO Eric Westendorf said, “Stacey champions social entrepreneurs and is exceptionally good at bringing talented people together in a way that creates practical, meaningful change.”
Childress will join NewSchools full time in late July.
About NewSchools Venture Fund
NewSchools Venture Fund is a venture philanthropy that partners with entrepreneurs to provide all students — regardless of where they come from or live — with an excellent public education and the promise of a bright future. Since NewSchools’ founding in 1998, more than $200 million have been raised and invested in a national portfolio of entrepreneurial ventures, including charter management organizations, teacher preparation programs and educational technology companies. These investments have improved educational outcomes for more than 15 million students. To learn more, please visit www.newschools.org.
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