NCLC Announces Reginald Lewis as Executive Director

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An Announcement from the Newark City of Learning Collaborative and Rutgers University – Newark

We are thrilled to announce that we have been able to convince a multi-talented education champion and senior management professional, Reginald Lewis, to join the Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) as its new Executive Director and lead this vital collective impact project toward realizing our “unprecedented” agenda. As you know, the NCLC is one of the signature strategic initiatives at Rutgers University – Newark and the organizational center of gravity for our community’s collective agenda to increase the college-going rate in Newark to 25% by 2025. Many across our community—certainly many among the NCLC’s 60+ partners—know Reggie and his broad and comprehensive background of work in the public sector both in Newark and across the country. He is regarded as a “thoughtful and astute bridge builder, experienced with working with disparate stakeholders,” and with “an unparalleled commitment to education.”

Reggie comes to the NCLC after serving as executive director of The Chad School Foundation, Inc., a Newark-based education policy and advocacy organization that seeks to improve conditions in public school systems serving disadvantaged and at-risk youths. He brings to his new role at the NCLC more than 15 years of senior management experience from the philanthropic, non-profit, state, and municipal government sectors. He has held positions with the Ford Foundation in New York, New York; Joyce Foundation in Chicago, Illinois; Victoria Foundation in Newark, New Jersey; and The Fund for New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Jersey. While at The Fund for New Jersey, he co-edited Better Schools, an issue report that outlined strategies for improving New Jersey’s K-12 public schools. He also has served as City Administrator for the City of East Orange and was appointed by President Obama as a Member of the U.S. Commission on Presidential Scholars. It is plain to see that Reggie’s experience intersecting education, philanthropy, and government position him to be a tremendous asset. Rutgers University – Newark looks forward to benefitting deeply from his experience and expertise as Reggie assumes a position as Professor of Practice in the School of Public Affairs and Administration concurrent with his appointment with the NCLC.

Reggie joins the NCLC as it is increasing its momentum, following several wonderful developments and successes that have put us on a trajectory for the next level of community building and impact as noted by Kim McLain, former President and CEO of the Foundation for Newark’s Future, who acknowledged that “The NCLC has galvanized the Newark education sector in an unprecedented manner.” Through funding from the Lumina Foundation in 2014, the NCLC successfully developed a two-year strategic plan to launch its efforts in Newark. Many of the plan’s activities have been carried out, and a new plan will be developed over the next few months. Successful programs such as the Newark College Institute and the Summer Leadership Program have worked with hundreds of students over the past few years to prepare them for college. The work of the NCLC has bridged connections with national college attainment networks and funders, such as the National League of Cities, National College Access Network, and the Lumina, Victoria, Ford and Kresge Foundations, all supporters of the NCLC’s college access and career developments initiatives.

These accomplishments have positioned the NCLC to transition from a centralized hub of college readiness and attainment resources to a strategic network that incubates college pathway programs, tracks student attainment, evaluates program effectiveness, and builds stronger partnerships with Newark’s corporate partners and regional community colleges.

Similarly, we are also excited to announce that Mahako Etta, who has been an indispensable part of the NCLC from its launch, will continue in her role as Program Manager, building on her work over the past three years. She led the strategic planning processes for the NCLC as it grew from a startup network to a dynamic organization. She comes with ten years of experience as a program manager, research associate supporting global partnerships between RU-N and South Africa, and affiliated faculty at RU-N, including the Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, the Graduate School, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Mahako will be central to the continued work of the collaboration.

By strengthening the NCLC’s leadership in these ways, the NCLC is now poised to fully realize its bold new vision and the collective potential of our partners to usher a new era of post-secondary attainment to our great city. Please join us in welcoming Reggie and thanking Mahako as, together, they lead the NCLC into this new era of increased impact.


Nancy Cantor       Dale Anglin          Jeremy Johnson
Chancellor            NCLC Co-Chair   NCLC Co-Chair