Jemina Bernard, who led major initiatives for the New York City Department of Education, Teach for America and most recently was CEO of ROADS Charter High Schools, will join Young Women’s Leadership Network as Executive Director on November 2, 2015.
“We are thrilled to have someone of Jemina’s vision and caliber join the organization as we celebrate our twenty year anniversary and map out a course for the future,” said YWLN Founder and public education reformer Ann Tisch. “Her experience leading innovative programs to further the educational dreams of underserved communities is completely aligned with our mission of using education to break the cycle of poverty,” added Tisch.
“I feel incredibly privileged and honored to join the YWLN team this November, as Executive Director,” said Bernard. “I know from my own personal and professional experiences that access to an excellent education is the greatest lever for success and have devoted my career to making that a reality for young people,” she added. “I cannot wait to get started at YWLN this November to support the great work of the team, our board, our supporters and schools to do the same.”
Bernard, a graduate of Yale University and Columbia Business School, began her career in education almost fifteen years ago after stints in global business consulting with Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers. In her most recent position as CEO of ROADS Charter High Schools, she led the start-up of two charter high schools serving over 400 students who are over-age, under-credited and mostly court-involved, homeless, in foster care and/or in child-protective services. At Teach for America, Bernard held leadership positions as Executive Director, during which she raised $12 million dollars for the organization, and Senior Vice President of Regional Operations, where she managed the executive directors of 6 regions focused on increasing educational opportunities for children growing up in low-income communities.
Bernard began her career in education at the New York City Department of Education with increasing levels of responsibility, ultimately taking on the position of Chief Operating Officer in the Office of New Schools. Prior to her post as COO, she ran the city’s Office of Parent Engagement and was in charge of leading Mayoral and Chancellor reform initiatives to increase parental involvement. While in that position, she also managed a central budget of more than ten million dollars. Starting with the DOE as a Youth Engagement Manager, she administered programs and services for school-age homeless children, including the development of an equity-based model for allocating more than $7 million dollars to support their academic achievement needs.
“I am confident that with the breadth and impact of Jemina’s leadership, YWLN will even reach even greater heights as a forerunner of all-girls public education and comprehensive college counseling in high-need schools,” said Tisch.