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Desmond Blackburn Steps Down as New Teacher Center CEO to Join New York City Department of Education

CEO Desmond Blackburn

With both sadness and immense gratitude, the New Teacher Center (NTC) Board of Directors today announced that Desmond Blackburn, PhD, has stepped down from his post as Chief Executive Officer and accepted a position as Deputy Chancellor of School Leadership with the New York City Department of Education.

The board has unanimously appointed Chief Program Officer Atyani Howard and Chief Operating Officer Arthur Mills IV to the roles of interim co-CEOs, effective immediately.

“We are grateful for Desmond’s contributions over the past four years, which have energized and focused NTC’s mission while navigating a pandemic and a racial equity movement,” said Shruti Sehra, chair of NTC’s Board of Directors. “We wish him well in New York and are thrilled he’ll carry with him the spirit of our mission, vision, and a national understanding of how to support educators to excel in their craft and knock down inequities facing students.”

Dr. Blackburn played a critical role in advancing NTC over the past four years and he will support the new leadership team behind the scenes in the weeks ahead to ensure a smooth transition. We thank him for his dedicated leadership in:

  • Guiding NTC through the last 21+ months of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Spearheading the refresh of NTC’s mission and vision as a student-centered, equity-focused, coaching-led professional learning organization
  • Overseeing the creation of an all- BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Color) executive management team, a rarity in education-focused nonprofits
  • Diversifying NTC’s talent with a focus on equity and inclusion as part of hiring and recruitment
  • Launching a new five-year strategic plan with internal and external priorities that leverage our legacy of coaching-based professional learning to build a service portfolio that supports NTC’s five priority student communities

“I am humbled to have served NTC, helping advance its vision for equity during a critical time,” said Dr. Blackburn. “This organization is on the leading edge of a movement to create equity in education. Atyani and Arthur are visionary leaders who have propelled much of our innovation and transformation, and I have deep confidence in their boundless capacity to guide NTC forward to meet this moment.”

Over the next few weeks, Offor, a leading talent search firm, will begin the process of an equity-centered process to identify NTC’s next CEO. The process will include a diverse team of board members, staff, educators, community partners.

During this transition period, we will continue building on NTC’s strong foundation of success in providing essential services to school district communities. We thank you for your continued support as we move forward on NTC’s journey to realize equity, impact, and a vision for thriving schools.

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