KIPP Foundation Leadership Team

We believe that all students will learn and achieve at high levels if given the opportunity.

KIPP Foundation Chief Executive Officer Richard Barth
Richard Barth
Chief Executive Officer
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KIPP Foundation Chief Executive Officer Richard Barth

Richard Barth

Chief Executive Officer

"When life is difficult, or I doubt my abilities, I think of what our kids do every day and what we ask of them. It's our KIPPsters who inspire me to keep going."

As CEO of the KIPP Foundation, Richard leads the growth of the KIPP network, which has grown from 45 to 242 schools, from 8,000 to over 100,000 students, and from 400 to 28,000 alumni since 2005. Under Richard’s leadership, KIPP dramatically expanded KIPP’s leadership development programs, advocated for high performing charter schools on Capitol Hill, and secured partnerships with 97 colleges and universities.

Richard came to KIPP from Edison Schools, where he served as President of District Partnerships. Prior to joining Edison, Barth was one of the founding staff members of Teach For America.

Richard earned a B.A. in American History from Harvard University, and is an Aspen Institute-New Schools Fellow. He currently sits on the board of directors of Braven and the KIPP Foundation. Barth was named a 2014 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and Harvard University’s Chief Marshal for 2014. Richard lives in New York with his wife and children.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Curious. As curious at 80 as I am now.

Favorite quote:

"Respect everyone. Fear no one."

KIPP Foundation Chief Financial Officer Garfield Byrd
Garfield Byrd
Chief Financial Officer
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KIPP Foundation Chief Financial Officer Garfield Byrd

Garfield Byrd

Chief Financial Officer

"Money can be accumulated and lost, but investments you make in yourself can make you very rich indeed."

As Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Garfield Byrd leads the Finance, Grants, Financial Planning and Administration teams at KIPP. Prior to joining KIPP, Garfield spent 25 years in both non-profit and for-profit sectors providing accounting and financial guidance to numerous organizations that had a commitment to positively impact lives and increase access to education. Garfield served as Chief of Finance and Administration for the Wikimedia Foundation, where he worked to support a global network of chapters to improve financial and governance practices. Garfield also served as the executive sponsor for Wikimania, the global conference of the Wikipedia and Wikimedia community, and was awarded San Francisco Bay Area CFO of the Year for a Non-Profit Organization.

Garfield has also served as CFO of The New Teacher Center, CFO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Treasurer of Pacific Collegiate School. Garfield has an MBA and a B.S in Business Administration from John F. Kennedy University. Garfield enjoys spending time with his high school sweetheart, of over 35 years, in Sausalito, CA and their two sons.

Who inspires you:

I am most inspired by people doing good deeds when they don't have to.

Favorite College Course:

Management Accounting

Jonathan Cowan
Chief Research, Data & Innovation Officer
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Jonathan Cowan

Chief Research, Data & Innovation Officer

"What I love about KIPP is our constant focus on what's best for kids and our relentless quest to learn and get better."

As the Chief Research, Data & Innovation Officer at the KIPP Foundation, Jonathan Cowan partners with and oversees: KIPP’s national Research & Evaluation, Insight & Analytics, KIPP Through College, and Technology teams.

Prior to joining KIPP, Jonathan spent over ten years at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he assisted senior executives of large, complex organizations in addressing strategic, operational, and organizational issues and in managing large scale change. As a principal and then as a partner and managing director at BCG, Jonathan spent several years helping to build and lead BCG’s public education practice. Jonathan has an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a BS in applied mathematics from Yale University.

Jonathan lives in the greater Chicago area with his wife Kris and their three sons.

Favorite College Course:

Intro to Micro Economics

Favorite quote:

Work hard. Be nice.

Claire Godwin
Chief of Policy & Public Affairs
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Claire Godwin

Chief of Policy & Public Affairs

Claire Godwin joined the KIPP Foundation in 2012 where she worked on the national Government Affairs and Development teams. Since joining the Foundation, Claire has raised over $80M to support the growth and sustainability of the KIPP network.

Claire then served as the Chief of Staff to the national CEO, Richard Barth, for three years. In this capacity, Claire was responsible for managing the national board of directors, fundraising, communications, strategic planning and designing and piloting new initiatives, including the first national KIPP scholarship programs, Goldberg and Amplify.

Most recently Claire transitioned to leading the national Policy & Public Affairs team, where she manages the public policy, advocacy, marketing, and communications efforts to grow the KIPP network and advocate for policies that make it easier for students to afford college and overcome other barriers to success.

Claire holds a bachelors of social work from Belmont University. She began her career at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. She currently serves on the board of The Knowledge House and lives in Washington, DC with her husband.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

“When you think about giving up, remember why you started.” – 5th grade KIPPster, KIPP Summit Academy

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

A professional soccer player

Chief Learning Officer Freddy Gonzalez
Freddy Gonzalez
Chief Academic & Talent Systems Officer
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Chief Learning Officer Freddy Gonzalez

Freddy Gonzalez

Chief Academic & Talent Systems Officer

"I'm passionate about helping students of color succeed in our world and have choice."

Freddy Gonzalez leads teams across the Foundation to create and improve curriculum and assessment for the KIPP network; support KIPP regions in improving student achievement; work alongside KIPP network leaders to facilitate opportunities for professional growth and development; develop overall talent strategy; and share KIPP’s resources and practices with other district, charter, and education organizations.

Before joining the KIPP Foundation, Freddy worked at KIPP Austin College Prep as a teacher, assistant principal, and finally as principal for seven years. Under his leadership, the school earned Recognized or Exemplary ratings every year and earned distinctions in all possible categories. Prior to KIPP, he was the lead counselor with Settlement College Readiness Program in New York City.

In 2019, Freddy joined the board of EdFuel, a national nonprofit that helps education organizations recruit and retain top talent. He lives in Austin, TX and earned his master’s degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Kelly Clarkson's roadie

Favorite Quote:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." MLK Jr.

Shelley Goode
Chief Development Officer
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Shelley Goode

Chief Development Officer

Shelley is charged with leading fundraising initiatives for the Foundation. She came to KIPP most recently from Oxfam America, where she served as Vice President of Resource Development. She has 30 years of experience in fundraising, marketing and communications, and nonprofit leadership.

Shelley has promoted solutions and raised funds for issues that include women’s empowerment, STEM initiatives, poverty, migration, homelessness and affordable housing, addiction as well as the reintegration of veterans back into society. She has tackled issues that challenge local environments and emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion as elements of the solutions. Shelley has raised hundreds of millions of dollars throughout her career, building high-level relationships with individual, foundation, and corporate donors. She has served some of the world’s largest and most respected institutions – including Volunteers of America, the Smithsonian Institution, Spelman College, Syracuse University, and Johns Hopkins University.

Shelley currently serves on the boards of The College of William & Mary Foundation, the Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust (MS GIFT), and the Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has also led the boards of the Arlington Community Foundation and Doorways for Women and Families, a nonprofit organization in Arlington, VA offering shelter and programs to abused, homeless, and at-risk women and families. Shelly holds a B.A. in arts administration and political science from Mary Baldwin University. She is a 2014 graduate of the Leadership Arlington Signature Program and a 2015 graduate of Leadership Greater Washington.

FAVORITE QUOTE:

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn." - Mary Catherine Bateson

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

A backup singer

KIPP Foundation Chief People Officer Valerie Hamilton
Valerie T. Hamilton
Chief People Officer
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KIPP Foundation Chief People Officer Valerie Hamilton

Valerie T. Hamilton

Chief People Officer

"I am surrounded by dedicated and passionate people who give of themselves in tremendous ways to help KIPP achieve results."

Valerie leads the Talent Team, ensuring the KIPP Foundation is a great place to work by partnering with team and family members to recruit and onboard top talent and provide staff with resources and opportunities to grow and be successful.

Valerie previously served as the Chief HR Officer for Ipsos, a global market research firm, and was Vice President, Human Resources for Global Technology and Operations at MetLife. She became an incredible human resource leader over the years by employing a consultative approach to her partnerships with clients as well as leading the planning, program development and leadership/management development departments for Time Inc., The New York Times, and Sterling Drug. Valerie holds a Master’s degree from New York University, and a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.

A native Long Islander, Valerie is deeply involved in her community serving in various roles within her church, supporting local advocacy efforts, and relishing all that Broadway has to offer. More than anything, she loves spending time with and traveling with her family

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Professional photographer

Who inspires you?

My parents because they were nurturing, loving and forthright about the challenges that life would hold.

KIPP Foundation General Counsel Nolan Highbaugh
Nolan Highbaugh
General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
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KIPP Foundation General Counsel Nolan Highbaugh

Nolan Highbaugh

General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

"What drew me to KIPP and what keeps me here is that it's about 'kids first' above everything else."

Nolan provides legal counsel to the KIPP Foundation on a wide range of issues including strategic decisions, transactions, human resources, governance, and real and intellectual property.

Prior to joining KIPP, Nolan worked as an Associate in the Public Finance Department of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP. Before entering law school, Nolan was a Budget and Policy Analyst for both the Chief Administrative Office of Los Angeles County and the Office of Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. in the City and County of San Francisco. He currently serves on the governing boards of Huckleberry Youth Programs in San Francisco and The Berkeley School in Berkeley, CA.

Nolan attended U.C. Berkeley (Go Bears!) where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy and a Master’s in Public Policy. He earned his JD from Stanford Law School and is a member of the California State Bar Association. Even more noteworthy, Nolan volunteers as a Section Leader for the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade with nine years and counting under his belt.

Favorite Quote:

"You can observe a lot by just watching." Yogi Berra

Favorite College Course:

Constitutional Law - my favorite class of all time.

KIPP Co-Founder Dave Levin
Dave Levin
Co-Founder                                            
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KIPP Co-Founder Dave Levin

Dave Levin

Co-Founder                                            

"Whenever people question or have doubts about the future, they just need to come into a KIPP school and see the tremendous effort and optimism of our students and teachers. They will see the best of America at work."

From teacher, to principal, to Executive Director, Dave has taken on many roles since co-founding KIPP in 1994. Dave currently works with KIPP leaders on instructional innovation, leadership development, and teacher training.

Throughout his career, Dave has been awarded: The Robin Hood Foundation’s John F. Kennedy, Jr. Hero Award, an Ashoka Fellowship, the National Jefferson Award for Distinguished Public Service by a Private Citizen; the Charles Bronfman Prize, a national service award from Spelman College, Honorary degrees from Duke and Yale University; and the Presidential Citizen’s Medal, our nation’s second highest presidential award for a private citizen.

Outside of KIPP, Dave co-founded three organizations: Relay Graduate School of Education, the Character Lab, and Zearn. Dave lives in New York City with his wife, two sons, and two labs, Bubbles and Rocket.

Favorite College Course:

Daily Themes: a writing course

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A yellow lab

Benny Vásquez
Chief Diversity Officer
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Benny Vásquez

Chief Diversity Officer

As the organization’s first Chief Equity Officer, Benny Vásquez is responsible for setting and implementing an overarching vision of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) that works to eliminate systemic organizational marginalization and promotes inclusion and anti-racist practices.

Benny’s journey includes working as the Co-Executive Director of Center for Racial Justice in Education where he trained educators in dismantling racism in their classrooms and communities. He was also the Director of Diversity at The Town School and the Director of Education at GLSEN – the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

In addition to being a published author, his work has included co-chairing the Diversity Committee for the New York Association of Independent Schools, training public school teachers on the Respect For All initiative, collaborating with the NEA in developing materials for No Name Calling Week, and developing social justice focused programing for mission based non-profits. He is also one of the co-founders of The CARLE Institute (Critical Analysis of Race and Learning in Education): An Institute for White Educators.

Benny Vásquez describes himself as a lifelong learner and a seeker of justice. A native of Brooklyn, he graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in African American Studies and Sociology, He has masters in Curriculum and Teaching from Columbia University and an MPA from the Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.

Benny identifies as a parent and an Afro-Latinx Black Queer intersectional activist who has a strong passion for social justice, liberation and anti-racism work within communities and anywhere where children learn.

What was your favorite course in college?

Black Feminism and Masculinity: Dialogue, Struggle and Alliances

Favorite quote:

“¡Pa’lante Siempre Pa’lante! – The Young Lords

Meet a Few KIPP Foundation Teammates

Opportunities at the KIPP Foundation

KIPP schools, KIPP regions, and the KIPP Foundation – are united by a common mission, a commitment to excellence, and a belief that if we help children develop the academic and character strengths they need for college and choice-filled lives, they will be able to build a better tomorrow for themselves, for their communities, for us all.