Meet Our Chief Executive Officer

On July 1, 2013, Katie Duffy became the first Chief Executive Officer of Democracy Prep Public Schools. In this role Katie oversees operations of the entire network, working to systematize curriculum and culture as well as expand the network to new regions with the help of a federal Department of Education grant.

Katie joined Democracy Prep in its first year and has overseen the growth and management of the network from one to 17 campuses, from a staff of 10 to a staff of 700, and from 125 scholars to more than 5,000. “At Democracy Prep we believe that growth matters most. If that’s true, it cannot just be about size, but it’s got to be true about quality. So my job is to continue to push the envelope and at the same time be true to the Democracy Prep DNA,” Katie said of her role.

Katie has been a superlative leader at Democracy Prep having managed the external affairs team and served as Chief of Staff. In 2011, she led New York State’s first successful public charter school turnaround as executive director of Harlem Prep, which grew from the third percentile citywide to the 96th percentile in just one academic year.

Before arriving at Democracy Prep, Katie held leadership positions at Prep for Prep, The Women’s City Club of New York, and Harlem Day Charter School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion from Mount Holyoke College, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from The George Washington University, and has completed an executive education program at Columbia Business School.

“Rather than being an up and out model where scholars succeed by going to college but then leave their communities and their neighborhoods, we want success to resonate with our scholars returning to their communities and making their world a better place.” – Katie Duffy, Chief Executive Officer