NCLC Staff

Reginald Lewis, Executive Director

Effective September 2016, Reggie Lewis comes to the NCLC after serving as executive director of The Chad School Foundation, Inc., a Newark-based education policy and advocacy organization that seeks to improve conditions in public school systems serving disadvantaged and at-risk youth.  Housed at the Rutgers University-Newark’s Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, NCLC is a citywide post-secondary attainment initiative that seeks to increase the percentage of Newark residents who hold degrees, certificates, and other high-quality credentials to 25% by the year 2025.
Reggie brings to his new role at the NCLC more than 15 years of senior management experience from the philanthropic, non-profit, state, and municipal government sectors. He has held positions with the Ford Foundation in New York, New York; Joyce Foundation in Chicago, Illinois; Victoria Foundation in Newark, New Jersey; and The Fund for New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Jersey. While at The Fund for New Jersey, he co-edited Better Schools, an issue report that outlined strategies for improving New Jersey’s K-12 public schools. He has also served as City Administrator for the City of East Orange, New Jersey, and an Obama appointee on the U.S. Commission on Presidential Scholars. In addition to his duties at NCLC, Reggie is serving as Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration. A cum laude graduate of Morehouse College, Reggie holds a Masters in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.

Chanel Donaldson, Communications and Special Projects Manager

Chanel Donaldson oversees all aspects of NCLC communications, including media coverage (television, news articles), marketing and promotional materials, and social media/web presence. Chanel also develops and writes grant proposals and interim reports to funders who support NCLC programs and capacity.

Prior to assuming her role as Communications and Special Projects Manager, Chanel  worked with NCLC and the Cornwall Center for over 3 years as an Associate Program Manager and Reserach Associate. Chanel has previous research expereince in public policy, education, transportation, and psychology. Chanel is also a Public Policy Fellow with Leadership Newark, Class of 2019. She holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology from the Steinhardt School at New York University.

Kimberly Ledgister, YLSP Project Manager

Kimberly Ledgister serves as the Project Manager for the Youth Leadership & Success Program (YLSP). Kim has over 8 years of experience mentoring, teaching, and supporting youth through dynamic community focused programs. She currently oversees YLSP, a college pathway program for traditional and opportunity youth.

Formerly, Kim served as Program Coordinator for the ALI College Success Centers, Program Director for Bethany Cares Inc. Freedom School, and a teacher for English learners in South Korea.

Kimberly holds a Master of Public Administration from Seton Hall University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Christine Harding, PAS Program Associate

In her role as Program Associate, Christine provides programmatic support to the Pathways to Achievement and Success Program and assists with external communication and research for NCLC. Prior to joining the Newark City of Learning Collaborative, Christine graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and History.

Pooja Gupta, Project Consultant

Pooja Gupta currently works as a Project Consultant for the Newark City of Learning Collaborative. In her role, Pooja primarily works on the development of the NCLC data infrastructure, management of partnership relationships, and the development and implementation of the NCLC Project Management Tool.

Prior to joining NCLC as a consultant, Pooja  worked as an Associate Program Manager at the Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies at Rutgers University-Newark. Her work with NCLC focused on partnership development, conducting research, and analyzing data, along with assisting with program implementation. Pooja also previously served as a Student and Academic Services Assistant at the Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration, where she assisted with day-to-day administration. Beyond that, Pooja has more than 9 years of experience working in immigration and New York City government. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics at Temple University and her Master of Public Administration at the Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Kristi Donaldson, Postdoctoral Associate in Education Research and Policy

Kristi Donaldson is a Postdoctoral Associate in Education Research and Policy in the Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC) and the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark. She is working to develop NCLC’s data infrastructure, including measurement of key educational indicators, and a report on Newark students’ post-secondary pathways and outcomes with faculty at SPAA. 
Kristi earned her Ph.D. in Sociology with a minor in Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame, with concentrations in education, statistics, and research methods. Her research focuses on educational equity, school segregation, and tracking, particularly related to advanced courses and programs at the high school level. Prior to coming to RU-N, she was the coordinator of the Program for Interdisciplinary Educational Research in the Institute for Educational Initiatives, and a research assistant in the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, both at Notre Dame. She also served on the American Educational Research Association’s Division G Executive Board. 

Anthony N. Jones, Higher Education Partnership Liaison

Anthony N. Jones is an Educator, Mentor and Coach with a passion for youth. Anthony currently is the Higher Education Liaison for Newark City of Learning Collaborative and Newark Public Schools, where his role centers on building and enhancing a college-going culture in the city of Newark and Newark Public Schools.
Anthony previously worked at Rutgers University- Camden as Program Director of College Access collaborating with a cross-section of stakeholders in Camden to increase post-secondary access to students and families. Anthony has also worked at Columbia University as an Academic Counselor and Instructor for the Rutgers Future Scholars Program, which serves students in Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark.
Anthony holds both a B.A. in English and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Rutgers University and a certificate in Managing for Execution from Cornell University.