David C. Banks is Chancellor of New York City Public Schools, the largest school system in the nation. Appointed by Mayor Eric Adams on January 1, 2022, Chancellor Banks is reimagining the school experience to build bright starts and bold futures for all New York City children.
In the spring of 2023, Chancellor Banks launched NYC Reads, a transformative effort to align literacy instruction across the entire school system to the science of reading, an initiative that includes professional learning and job-embedded coaching for thousands of teachers. He has also dramatically expanded career-connected learning, such as paid internships, via FutureReadyNYC, Modern Youth Apprenticeship, and other similar programs, which collectively serve hundreds of high schools, with plans to grow.
In addition, Chancellor Banks has prioritized safety, health, and wellness through the Project Pivot initiative, which has grown to 250 schools, and daily mindfulness in all classrooms. He increased supports for students with disabilities by creating a Special Education Advisory Council and adding more than 1,000 seats to NYCPS’ highly effective specialized programs. His administration also offered full-day summer learning and fun, two years in a row, to 110,000 K-8 students in the Summer Rising program—the largest such program in New York City’s history. Under Chancellor Banks’s leadership, overall school enrollment increased in the 2023-2024 school year for the first time in eight years.
Chancellor Banks started his career as a school safety officer, after which he began his first teaching job at P.S. 167. He served as an assistant principal at P.S. 191 before becoming a founding principal at the Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice and then at The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City and Newark, N.J. The Chancellor later served as President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation.
Chancellor Banks is also an author and thought leader, recognized throughout his career as a defining voice on empowering young men of color, and the Eagle Academy model he pioneered has expanded nationally via the Eagle Institute.
For over 30 years, the Chancellor has been a member of One Hundred Black Men of New York, where he served on the Board of Directors. He is a co-founder of Black EdFluencers United, an organization dedicated to influencing and developing the capacity of Black educators, and has also served as a board member for the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, the co-chair of New York City Young Men's Initiative, and a founding board member for the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color.
Chancellor Banks has been recognized by City & State New York on their Education Power 100 and NYC Power 100 lists and was featured on Crain’s 2021 list of notable Black executives. He served on the NYC Mayor’s Taskforce to Reopen Schools in 2020 and on the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce from 2018 to 2020.
The Chancellor is a native New Yorker and a proud graduate of New York City Public Schools. He holds a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University and earned his Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law. He participated in the original cohort of the Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Principals in 2003 and holds an honorary doctorate in education from Wheelock College.