Deborah McGriff
Managing Partner


  • Charter schools
  • College readiness
  • Demographics and diversity
  • STEM education

Deborah M. McGriff is a managing partner with NewSchools Venture Fund, where she focuses on closing the demographic gap between students, executive leaders and governing boards. Through leadership positions at NewSchools Venture Fund and EdisonLearning, she has expanded access to innovative, high-quality charter schools for low-income and working class students in 16 of the nation’s largest cities in a dozen states and Washington, D.C. She began her career in 1970 as a teacher in Community School District 13 of the New York City Public Schools. She was the first female assistant superintendent in Cambridge, Mass., and the first female deputy superintendent in Milwaukee, Wis. In 1991, McGriff became the first female general superintendent of the 200,000-student Detroit Public Schools, where she successfully opened 25 choice and empowered schools. McGriff’s impact in the education reform movement was recognized in 2013 at The Center for Education Reform: “Before It Was Cool Conference” and by her selection as a Pahara-Aspen fellow.