Deborah M. McGriff, PhD, is a Managing Partner at New Schools Venture Fund. She has been working to improve public education in underserved communities for more than four decades. She serves as a board member for Beyond12, the Diverse Charter Schools Coalition and numerous charter schools, including two charter management organizations in the National Charter Schools Hall of Fame. She is also a member of Harvard Kennedy School of Government Program on Education Policy and Governance Advisory Board. Her career began as a teacher in New York City Public Schools. She was the first female assistant superintendent in Cambridge, MA, and the first female deputy superintendent in Milwaukee, WI. In 1991, Dr. McGriff became the first female General Superintendent of Detroit Public Schools where she opened 25 choice and empowered schools. Crain’s Detroit Business named her the 1992 Newsmaker of the Year. After Detroit and before joining NewSchools, she was Executive Vice President a Edison Learning where she established innovative schools infour states and the District of Columbia.