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Lisette Nieves

Distinguished Clinical Professor

Administration, Leadership, and Technology

Lisette Nieves is currently the President of the Fund for the City of New York (FCNY), an institution charged with developing and helping to implement innovations in policy, programs, practices and technology in order to advance the functioning of government and nonprofit organizations in New York City and beyond. Key FCNY programs include the Cash Flow Loan Program that has lent over a billion dollars in interest-free loans over the last twenty years and the Partnership Program which provides back-office support and capacity to 80 diverse nonprofit organizations. Also, FCNY hosts the Community Fellows Program and selects the annual Sloan Public Service Awards and Sloan Math and Science Teaching Awards.

Prior to the Fund Lisette was the Director of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a Full Clinical Professor at NYU Steinhardt where she co-led the design and implementation of a new doctoral program in Leadership and Innovation. Lisette is also a Distinguished Clinical Instructor with NYU, overseeing doctoral students and supporting research initiatives. Lisette holds a B.A. from Brooklyn College, a B.A./M.A. from the University of Oxford, an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a doctorate with distinction in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Truman Scholar, Rhodes Scholar, Aspen Pahara Fellow, and a Richard P. Nathan Public Policy Fellow.

For over 25 years, Lisette has served in a variety of cross-sector leadership positions. She is an experienced social entrepreneur, public sector leader, and scholar. Lisette founded Lingo Ventures, which is focused on growth, talent recruitment/retention, and change management. Lisette served as the Belle Zeller Distinguished Visiting Professor in Public Policy at the City University of New York at Brooklyn College. Lisette has also held senior leadership positions in the municipal and federal government. She also served as an Obama appointee on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where she co-chaired the higher education subcommittee and supported the production of two reports and convenings.

Lisette also served as the founding Executive Director of Year Up NY, an innovative workforce development program, wherein the span of five years she grew the organization from a $250,000 seed grant to a $6 million operation with over 20 corporate partnerships. Her interest in the workforce and education led to her dissertation on the relationship between student work and school roles, for which she received the 2016 Dissertation of the Year Award by the (NCSD – AACC). Her areas of interest include community colleges, college pathways, workforce and education partnerships which are all represented in her co-authored new book:  

Working to Learn: Disrupting the Divide between College and Career Pathways for Young People

Her board affiliations include the Edwin Gould Foundation, The Education Trust, NewSchools Venture Fund, Jobs for the Future (JFF), Propel America, AmeriCorps Board (Presidential Appointee and Senate Confirmed) and Education for Seapower Advisory Board (Naval Secretary Appointee).

Selected Publications

  • Anderson, N. and Nieves, L. (2020). Working to learn: Disrupting the divide between college and career pathways for young people. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Andre Perry, Lisette Nieves and Yolanda Gallegos. (2017). Higher education must stand up for Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria is Trump’s Katrina. Web. October 2, 2017.
  • The Higher Education Committee of President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. (2012). Enriching America through the 21st Century: Increasing Latino Postsecondary Completion. The White House Department of Education. Washington D.C.
  • The Higher Education Committee of President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. (2014). Postsecondary Access and Completion for All: Latinas/os in America’s Future. The White House Department of Education. Washington D.C.


Educational Leadership

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