Our Founder

David Harris, Founder of The Mind Trust

David Harris is a partner with The City Fund, which launched in 2018 to partner with cities to build innovative public school systems. Before he joined The City Fund, David launched The Mind Trust in 2006 with former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson to help create an education landscape in Indianapolis that would give every child the opportunity to receive an excellent education. Under his leadership, The Mind Trust raised close to $73 million to incubate and launch new, innovative schools and education nonprofits in Indianapolis through its three education incubators. To date, these incubators have helped develop 29 high-quality, fully-autonomous charter and district schools and 12 education nonprofits. In 2011, The Mind Trust released its groundbreaking Opportunity Schools Plan that led the launch of Innovation Network Schools in Indianapolis Public Schools.

Before founding The Mind Trust, David spent five years as Peterson’s charter schools director, where he built a charter school office that received Harvard University’s Innovations in American Government Award.  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.

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 also was 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 benefitted society.”

David received a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a law degree from Indiana University. He serves on the boards of The Mind Trust, the Nicholas H. Noyes Jr. Memorial Foundation, City Education Partners, and Teach For America Indianapolis.