Nashville newcomer Natasha Kamrani, a former teacher, attorney and school board member, is the new president of the Nashville Public Education Foundation, the revamped nonprofit organization announced last Friday.
Formerly known as the Nashville Alliance for Public Education, the foundation exists to identify opportunities for private investment in public education initiatives.
“When we began the search for the leader of the Foundation, we had no idea that someone of Natasha’s ability would be available, much less have recently moved to Nashville,” said Margaret Dolan, who chairs the foundation.
“She knows the work of education at the classroom level, at the school board level and at the national foundation level. And she’s been a leader at each of those levels.”
Kamrani is married to Chris Barbic, superintendent of the Tennessee Department of Education’s Achievement School District, the governing body that oversee the state’s lowest performing schools.
Kamrani and Barbic moved from Houston to Nashville last year.
Kamrani is a former Teach for America teacher, who taught English as a second language to recent immigrants in Houston’s public school system, before becoming the executive director of Teach For America’s Houston office. In 2000, she received a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Houston Law Center.
After practicing law, Kamrani was elected to the Houston Independent School District Board of Education, where she worked with her colleagues to enact policies concerning teacher effectiveness. Later, she served as the executive director of the Arnold Family Foundation, based in Houston, with a national focus on reform of the public school system.
“Natasha Kamrani has a great combination of skills and experience in both education and philanthropy,” Metro Director of Schools Jesse Register said in a statement. “We are working to make Metro Schools the first choice for Nashville’s families and we look forward to working with her as we accelerate student achievement.”