David Harris
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David Harris

Founder & CEO

David Harris launched The Mind Trust, a nonprofit focused on transforming public education, in 2006 with a mission to provide every Indianapolis student the opportunity to attend an excellent school. The Mind Trust advances this vision through three strategies: growing great schools; investing in talented educators to launch and staff these schools; and amplifying the conditions for schools’ success. Through its three incubators, The Mind Trust has helped launch 15 high-quality schools, with another eight more in the pipeline, and has incubated eight nonprofits to provide these schools with critical support. In 2014, The Mind Trust formed a nationally unique partnership with the state’s largest public school district, Indianapolis Public Schools, and the Indianapolis Mayor’s Office to launch independently operated “Innovation Network Schools” within the district. The Mind Trust recruited Teach For America, TNTP, and Stand for Children to Indianapolis and formed a partnership with UNCF to engage the community.

The Mind Trust has impacted the lives of 132,000 students, raised $73 million to advance education change, and helped create the policy and community landscape for reform to thrive. Currently, The Mind Trust is engaged in a six-year effort to launch 40 high-quality schools in Indianapolis to serve an additional 15,000 students.

Before starting The Mind Trust, David spent five years as Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson’s Charter Schools Director, where he built a charter school office that received Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government Award in 2006. He joined Peterson’s team after practicing law with the Indianapolis firm of Baker & Daniels and leading efforts to draft the Peterson Plan, the Mayor’s 1999 strategy for running city government.

David received a BA from Northwestern University and a law degree from Indiana University. He is chairman of the board for Education Cities and serves on the boards of the Nicholas H. Noyes Jr. Memorial Foundation and Teach For America Indianapolis.

In 2007, David was among 25 education leaders selected for the Aspen Institute and NewSchools Venture Fund’s inaugural Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Program. David has received College Summit’s Let Talent Shine Award, Teachers’ Treasures Caring Spirit Award, Hope Academy’s Faces of Hope Award, Marian University’s Franciscan Values Award and Indy’s Best and Brightest Award from Junior Achievement of Central Indiana. In 2013, he was featured as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s “Profiles of Change” series. He was also named one of Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 and was the inaugural winner of the St. Richard’s Episcopal School’s Eugene S. Pulliam Founders Medal for alumni who “demonstrate creative leadership and service that has benefited society.”