Simone Hardeman-Jones joins GreenLight Fund as Founding Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Twin Cities with fifteen years of policy, partnership and advocacy experience. Most recently she served as National Director of Policy and Partnerships at Educators for Excellence (E4E), a national education non-profit where she set the vision and strategy for E4E’s policy priorities and deepened relationships and collaboration with policymakers, advocates and education leaders at the federal and local levels.
Simone has a deep understanding of the role that systems play and the impact they have in the lives of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities and has committed her career to dismantling them. Simone served in the Obama Administration for nearly four years in a variety of roles, including Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. In this role, Simone served as a key advisor to two U.S. Secretaries of Education, and helped to lead the Administration’s efforts working with Congress and the education community to reauthorize the overdue Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Simone also spent six years as a policy advisor to two United States Senators, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the late Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC). In both roles she served as a strategic advisor on a variety of federal, state and local policy and political issues. Simone has also spent time working on multiple political campaigns including as Director of African American Outreach for Senator Klobuchar’s 2006 Senate race.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Simone currently resides in the Twin Cities area with her husband and toddler son. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and serves on the board of the Minnesota Alliance With Youth. Simone holds both a Bachelors and a Masters degree from The American University in Washington, D.C.
To dismantle the systems that for far too long have promoted an inequitable and unjust reality for so many people.