Our Team

We are a diverse and dedicated team of experienced leaders who are passionate about partnering with local communities.

Beverly Francis

Director of Finance

Beverly Francis is the Director of Finance with City Fund. She is the former Chief Financial Officer of CityBridge Education, where she led the organization’s financial and operational work. Beverly is a graduate of Northeastern University and Florida International University.

Blair Mindak

Executive Assistant

Blair Mindak is an Executive Assistant with City Fund, supporting partners with scheduling, operations, and logistics. Blair has an AA degree from Meramec College.

Chris Barbic


Chris Barbic is a partner with City Fund. He founded YES Prep Public Schools (winner of the very first Broad Prize for best charter organization in the nation) and was most recently the founding superintendent of the Achievement School District, where he led Tennessee’s effort to rapidly turnaround the bottom 5% of schools in the state. Chris is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

David Harris


David Harris is a Partner with City Fund. He is the founder/former CEO of The Mind Trust, which drove sweeping changes to how education is delivered in Indianapolis. David is a graduate of Northwestern University and IU Law School.

Elise Albert

Executive Assistant

Elise Albert is an Executive Assistant with City Fund, supporting partners with scheduling, operations, and logistics. Elise has a BA in Psychology from Westmont College.

Ethan Gray


Ethan Gray is a Partner with City Fund. He is the former Founder and CEO of Education Cities, a national nonprofit that supported and advised city-based education organizations on their efforts to grow great public schools. Ethan is a graduate of Harvard College and holds an MA from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Jessica Peña


Jessica Peña is a Partner with the City Fund. She is a former Partner at Education Cities, a national nonprofit that supported and advised city-based education organizations on their efforts to grow great public schools. Previously, she was a founding member of Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP). Jessica has a BA from Trinity College and a JD from New York University School of Law.

Kameelah Shaheed-Diallo

Operating Partner

Kameelah Shaheed-Diallo is the Operating Partner with City Fund. She is the former Senior Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement for The Mind Trust, where she worked to ensure that community stakeholders were involved and invested in reshaping public education to best serve students. Kameelah is a graduate of DePauw University and Indiana University School of Law.

Ken Bubp


Ken Bubp is a Partner with City Fund. He is the former executive vice president of The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit working to significantly expand the number of excellent public schools in the city. Ken holds a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University and an MBA from Indiana University – Kelley School of Business.

Kevin Huffman


Kevin Huffman is a Partner with City Fund. He is the former state commissioner of education in Tennessee, where the state had the nation’s highest growth on NAEP during his tenure. Kevin is a graduate of Swarthmore College and New York University School of Law.

Kevin Leslie

Director of Grants and Operations

Kevin Leslie is the Director of Grants and Operations with City Fund. He previously worked at Education Cities as the Finance and Operations Director. Kevin is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and San Jose State University.

Kevin Shafer


Kevin Shafer is a Partner with City Fund. He is the former Chief Innovation Officer of Camden Public Schools, where he was charged with increasing public school quality and access across the district. Kevin is a graduate of Wake Forest University.

Kristen Forbriger

Director of Communications

Kristen Forbriger is the Director of Communications with City Fund. Previously, she led external relations for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA) and the Philadelphia School Partnership. Kristen is a graduate of Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Liset Rivera

Director of Events

Liset Rivera is Director of Events with City Fund. She previously worked as Event Manager for Education Cities, a national nonprofit that supported and advised city-based education organizations on their efforts to grow great public schools. Liset has a BS in Business (Marketing) from San Jose State University.

Mali Locke

Director of Development

Mali Locke is the Director of Development at City Fund. Most recently, she was a Director at the Center for Strategic Philanthropy at the Milken Institute. Mali has a BA in French Literature from Yale University and an MS in Organizational Change Management from the New School University.

Melody Chou O’Conor

Chief of Staff

Melody Chou O’Conor is the Chief of Staff with City Fund. Previously, she served as Chief of Staff at KIPP St. Louis and at Teach For America. Melody is a graduate of Columbia University and Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

Neerav Kingsland

Managing Partner

Neerav Kingsland is the Managing Partner of City Fund. He is the former CEO of New Schools for New Orleans. As CEO of the organization, Neerav helped develop the strategy and led the transformation of New Orleans’ schools. Neerav is a graduate of Tulane University and Yale Law School.

Noor Iqbal

Director of Analytics

Noor Iqbal is the Director of Analytics with City Fund. She formerly worked as a Director on the education team at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and as a senior policy associate at MIT’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Noor is a graduate of Harvard University and the London School of Economics.

Sherae Dinkins

Executive Assistant

Sherae Dinkins is an Executive Assistant with City Fund, supporting partners with scheduling, operations, and logistics. Sherae has a BA in Communications from Neumann University.


John Arnold

John Arnold is Founder and Co-Chair of Arnold Ventures. The philanthropy’s core mission is to invest in evidence-based solutions that maximize opportunity and minimize injustice.

Mr. Arnold is also Founder of Centaurus Capital LP, a family office investment fund with a specific focus on the energy industry.  

Previously, Mr. Arnold founded and was CEO of Centaurus Energy, a multi-billion dollar energy commodity hedge fund.  Prior to founding Centaurus Energy, he held various positions within Enron’s Wholesale Division, including Head of Natural Gas Derivatives. In May 2012, John announced his retirement from Centaurus Energy to concentrate on philanthropic activities. 

Mr. Arnold serves on the boards of Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an investor-led venture capital firm dedicated to funding transformational technologies that will reduce global greenhouse gas emissions; Civica, Inc., a nonprofit generic pharmaceutical company; and City Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting new governance models in K-12 education.  He holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University and lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and three children.

Reed Hastings

Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997. In 1991, Reed founded Pure Software, which made tools for software developers. After a 1995 IPO, and several acquisitions, Pure was acquired by Rational Software in 1997. Reed is an active educational philanthropist and served on the California State Board of Education from 2000 to 2004. He is currently on the board of several educational organizations including KIPP and Pahara. Reed is also a board member of City Fund. Reed received a BA from Bowdoin College in 1983, and an MSCS in Artificial Intelligence from Stanford University in 1988. Between Bowdoin and Stanford, Reed served in the Peace Corps as a high school math teacher in Swaziland. Reed is married with two children.

William M. Lewis, Jr.

William M. Lewis, Jr. is a Managing Director and Co-Chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard Ltd.  Since joining Lazard in 2004, Mr. Lewis has advised a number of global corporations including ADT, Alexion, American Express, Amgen, Boeing, CBS, EnerSys, Fortress, Hess, Maytag, Metalmark Capital Partners, Owens Corning, Procter & Gamble, Silver Lake Partners, Smurfit Stone Container, Texas Instruments, Tyco, WestRock, Whirlpool and Xerox. In addition, Mr. Lewis chairs the Firm’s Global Investment Banking Managing Director Promotion Committee.

Mr. Lewis was born in Richmond, VA.  He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, MA in 1974 and received the Academy’s highest award, the Aurelian Honor Society Award.  In addition, he played Varsity Football, Basketball and Lacrosse. Mr. Lewis graduated with honors from Harvard College in 1978 where he also played Varsity Lacrosse.  Mr. Lewis received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1982. 

Mr. Lewis was elected a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley in 1989, becoming the firm’s first African-American Managing Director.  Between 1994 and 2004, Mr. Lewis was head or co-head of the Global Banking Department, the Global Mergers & Acquisitions Department and Morgan Stanley Realty.  His last position at Morgan Stanley was Co-Head of the Global Banking Department where he was responsible for the firm’s global industry practices and regions which accounted for revenue in excess of $2 billion. In addition to his transaction, business development and management responsibilities at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Lewis was also chairman of the firm’s charitable foundation, chairman of its diversity task force, member of the firm’s Political Action Committee, and member or chairman of numerous other internal committees including recruiting, mentoring, promotion, evaluation and compensation.