VENUS VELEZ

Venus brings over 20 years of experience in the field of education, with a focus on equity and excellence. Her work has included district level reform efforts, community engagement, talent recruitment, selection and development, organizational development, non-profit management, program design and evaluation, and project management.

Venus spent the earlier part of her career working in non-profit educational organizations, developing and leading college preparation programming for high school students from underserved communities. She then went on to work with the NYC Department of Education (DOE), initially supporting high school reform efforts, working with a team of school leaders to phase out larger failing campus high schools and replace them with a more successful model of new small specialized high schools. She then supported the DOE’s community engagement strategy – working across the city to build support for the reform efforts and district restructuring, and supporting the launch of a new parent and community engagement structure. Working closely with the Superintendent, Venus led the creation of a new parent engagement office in a region serving 139 schools. She then served as a Director in the Central Office working with the parent and community engagement teams across the city to implement engagement initiatives set out by the Chancellor. In her role Venus led various citywide parent and community engagement programs, helped train school leaders in engagement strategies, led a citywide professional development initiative, and managed the screening, hiring process, and placement of community/parent engagement staff throughout the city.

After leaving the NYC DOE, Venus continued work in education, but also spent time on an independent project with her husband to bring a product to market - from idea inception, to patent, to launch. She vetted and built a project team and helped successfully negotiate a licensing contract with a top sporting goods company to get the product into retail. She continued her work in education primarily in a consulting capacity, supporting non-profit educational organizations, working on talent searches for educational leadership roles, and supporting other district level reform efforts, including supporting the redesign of the human resource department and talent management systems for Newark Public Schools and Syracuse City School District. Finding and placing top talent to do the important work of education reform and equity continues to be a passion for Venus, and she continue to be involved in numerous recruitment efforts, sourcing and matching the best leadership talent with various non-profit educational organizations, charter management organizations, and school districts.

Venus completed her undergraduate work at Wesleyan University, the Education Policy Fellowship Program at Columbia University, Teacher’s College, and holds an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business in NYC. She lives in NYC with her husband and three children.