Meet the Chancellor and Deputy Chancellors who lead the New York City Department of Education
David C. Banks, Chancellor
David C. Banks is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. Appointed on January 1, 2022, he is the former President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, and the founding principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City and Newark, N.J. David is a lifelong New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, and a proud graduate of New York City public schools. After a year working as a school safety officer, he began his first teaching job at P.S. 167. From there, he went on to become a founding principal at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, and later at the Eagle Academy for Young Men, which he founded in 2004. The Eagle model has since been adopted in schools throughout all five New York City boroughs and Newark, N.J., expanding nationally through the Eagle Institute.
Daniel Weisberg, First Deputy Chancellor
As First Deputy Chancellor, Dan Weisberg is focused on ensuring that the Department’s strategies advance Chancellor Banks’ vision and priorities, The First Deputy Chancellor’s office manages a portfolio that includes Postsecondary Readiness, Human Resources, Policy, and Enrollment.
For over a decade Dan helped lead TNTP, one of the premier education non-profit organizations in the country, serving as its Chief Executive Officer for the past seven years. The organization supports approximately 300 school systems across the country on talent, academics, community engagement and policy, reaching over 12 million students a year.
Prior to joining TNTP, Weisberg served as Chief Executive of Labor Policy and Implementation for the NYC Department of Education under Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein. In this role he was responsible for leading the DOE’s relationships with its union partners, including negotiating groundbreaking collective bargaining agreements covering teachers and principals. Additionally, Dan played a key role in establishing a rigorous tenure system for teachers, incentive pay for principals aligned to student outcomes, and creating after-school intervention and enrichment time for underserved students.
Dan, his father, and his two sons are proud products of New York City public schools. Weisberg has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia College and is a graduate of New York University Law School.
Kara Ahmed, Ed.D., Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood Education
As Deputy Chancellor of Early Childhood Education, Dr. Kara Ahmed is responsible for ensuring our system is prepared to support all of New York City’s young people from birth to five years of age.
For the past 14 years, Kara was the Principal for the Department of Education’s Living for the Young Family Through Education (LYFE) program, which she transformed into a nationally recognized, city-wide, early childhood education program. Under her leadership, LYFE now models a three-generation strategy supporting student parents, their children, and their families. Kara began her career as an early childhood educator and then became the Early Childhood Supervisor for New Brunswick Public Schools. There she led all operational and programmatic aspects related to the public school and private provider preschool programs. Kara also led the implementation of preschool inclusion to guarantee children with identified disabilities were naturally integrated into general education preschool classrooms. Kara went on to work with William Patterson University to support the New Jersey DOE’s implementation of preschool across the state, and she taught graduate courses at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Kara has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University. She has a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Education Policy, both from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Savita Bharadwa, Chief Strategy Officer
As Chief Strategy Officer, Savita Bharadwa is responsible for coordinating across divisions on critical strategic initiatives aimed to support students, families and staff.
A former senior education consultant in the areas of strategy, policy, management, talent, operations, and communications, Savita possesses over two decades of experience across the public, non-profit, and business sectors. Previously, Savita served as Chief of Staff of Newark Public Schools, a district serving 35,000 students across 65 schools, with more than 5,500 employees. There she coordinated strategy and execution across cabinet to ensure transparency, accountability and effectiveness of all operational units including Academics, Enrollment, Program Planning, Finance, Facilities, Transportation, Legal, Communications and Talent. Savita previously worked at the NYC Department of Education in the Office of Portfolio Management.
Savita holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley; an MBA from Columbia Business School, and a Masters of Education Leadership from the Broad Residency (now the Yale School of Management).
Desmond Blackburn, PhD, Deputy Chancellor of School Leadership
As Deputy Chancellor of School Leadership, Dr. Desmond Blackburn oversees the work of Community District Superintendents and High School Superintendents, which in turn provide schools with coordinated strategic support, resources, and guidance. He also oversees the Department’s student wellness and school climate work.
Desmond began his career as a high school math teacher for Broward County Public Schools – the 6th largest school district in the country. Over the course of nearly 20 years in that district, he served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of school improvement, area superintendent, and chief of school performance & accountability.
Desmond was appointed as superintendent of the Brevard Public Schools (BPS) district. Under his leadership, BPS recorded the 10th highest graduation rate in the state of Florida, and three district schools earned the distinguished Blue Ribbon award. Most recently, Desmond served as chief executive officer of the New Teacher Center, a national non-profit organization accelerating educator effectiveness.
Desmond holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Florida, an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. He is an alumni of the Broad Superintendent’s Academy
Kenita D. Lloyd, Deputy Chancellor of Family and Community Engagement + External Affairs
As Deputy Chancellor of Family and Community Engagement and External Affairs, Kenita Lloyd oversees the Chancellor’s priority of authentically engaging families, as well as the Department’s external affairs work.
Kenita most recently served as Chief Operations Officer at The Eagle Academy Foundation, where she was instrumental in the foundation’s growth and ability to support the Eagle Academy for Young Men schools, overseeing the foundation’s budget, day-to-day operations and marketing, and communications and development efforts.
Prior to joining The Eagle Academy Foundation, Lloyd was appointed Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. There she managed policy initiatives escalated to the Governor’s office and was responsible for ensuring community voices were heard and prioritized, facilitating high-level relationships with local leaders and constituent groups on issues including the Specialized High School Admissions Test and the launch of a targeted K-2 education campaign. Kenita has also held leadership roles at the Museum for African Art, the National Action Network, and the New York City Mission Society (Minisink Townhouse).
Kenita holds both a BA and MPA from New York University.
Carolyne V. Quintana, Deputy Chancellor of Teaching and Learning
As Deputy Chancellor of Teaching and Learning, Carolyne Quintana is focused on the Chancellor’s priority of holistically reimagining how New York City students learn.
Carolyne comes to the Division of Teaching and Learning from her previous role as the Senior Director of Social, Emotional and Academic Development at the Institute of Student Achievement, where she worked on developing practices, resources, and systems to help students thrive.
Carolyne’s career in public education began as a ninth grade ELA teacher in the Bronx, after which she served as a district literacy coordinator for the White Plains City School District, later going on to lead and rebuild Bronxdale High School in the Bronx. She subsequently focused on leadership development as a New Principal Support Coach, coaching new school leaders across New York City, before leading the Affinity Schools Citywide Office at the NYC DOE.
Carolyne holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin, and Masters degrees from Bank Street College and The New School Graduate Faculty. She is currently pursuing her doctorate at Fordham University.
Juan J. Rosales, Chief of Staff
As Chief of Staff, Juan leads the Chancellor's Office and is responsible for driving communications and collaboration between the Chancellor and DOE senior leadership, as well as City Hall and other city agencies.
Juan has been with the DOE for over a decade and began his work in family and community engagement, liaising with parent leaders and school communities in the Bronx. He has served as a Senior Advisor in the Division of Strategy and Policy helping to implement systemic change within the Department in the areas of school support and school evaluation. Most recently, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the former Chancellor.
Juan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Emma Vadehra, Chief Operating Officer / Deputy Chancellor for Operations and Finance
As Chief Operating Officer, Emma Vadehra oversees finance and budget, procurement, the division of instructional and information technology (DIIT), school health, and school operations, which includes facilities, transportation, school food, emergency planning, and space management.
Emma most recently served as the founder and executive director of Next100, a think tank and policy leadership development program that works to build a more diverse, inclusive, and effective public policy sector, and a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. Emma previously served as chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama administration, where she worked closely with the White House and across the department to develop, execute, and oversee the administration’s pre-K-through-workforce education agenda.
Until recently, Emma proudly served on the boards of Blue Engine and Govern For America, and on the Federal Advisory Committee of Results for America, and as a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. She has a JD from Yale Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. Emma is a native New Yorker.
Additional Senior Leaders
Karine Apollon, Chief Diversity Officer
Karine Apollon is the New York City Department of Education’s Chief Diversity Officer. In this role, she leads the DOE’s MWBE strategies to greatly expand economic opportunities for women- and minority-owned businesses and our diversity, equity and inclusion strategies in hiring practices. Previously, Karine served as Chief Executive Officer of the educational nonprofit Reading Partners. Prior to this, Karine worked for over two decades in a variety of leadership roles at the children’s publisher Scholastic, where she scaled literacy and mentorship initiatives and launched Scholastic’s family and community engagement work, with a focus on supporting and empowering marginalized communities.
Jade Grieve, Chief of Student Pathways
Jade Grieve is the Chief of Student Pathways, overseeing all postsecondary readiness and work-based learning initiatives. Jade previously worked at Bloomberg Philanthropies and America Achieves in a variety of leadership roles related to postsecondary pathways, most recently as leader of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Career and Technical Education Portfolio. She has also worked extensively in federal and state agencies of the Australian government, including as senior education advisor to the Prime Minister and Education Minister of Australia.
Dr. Jawana M. Johnson, Chief of School Culture, Climate and Well-Being
Dr. Jawana M. Johnson is the New York City Department of Education’s Chief of School Culture, Climate and Well-Being. In this role, she leads all initiatives related to student wellness and school climate, including safety, physical and emotional well-being, and community school initiatives. Dr. Johnson previously served as the Chief Achievement Officer for the Eagle Academy Foundation, where she supported principals, district leaders, and teams from local and national partner schools through strategic solutions, leadership coaching and capacity building, targeted instructional and operational support, and crisis management. Dr. Johnson is a career educator and school leader. Over the past 20 years, she has worked at the DOE and at Harlem Children’s Zone in a variety of instructional roles, including principal, resident principal, director of curriculum and instruction, assistant principal, and teacher.
Liz Vladeck, General Counsel
Liz Vladeck is the General Counsel, representing and advising the DOE on all legal matters, including general practice issues, labor and employment matters, equal opportunity, employee discipline, special education, administrative/state/federal law and compliance, and commercial transactions. Prior to joining the DOE in 2021, Liz served as Senior Labor Policy Advisor in the New York City Mayor’s Office of Policy & Planning and as a Deputy Commissioner and founding Director of the Office of Labor Policy and Standards in the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.