Dave Levin

Co-Founder, KIPP; Co-Founder, Relay GSE


After graduating from Yale University, Dave joined Teach For America where he taught fifth grade in Houston, Texas, for three years. In 1994, he co-founded the Knowledge is Power Program with Mike Feinberg, and the next year went on to found KIPP Academy in the South Bronx. Dave served as Superintendent of KIPP NYC until 2012. He now leads the KIPP Teaching and Learning Labs team at the KIPP Foundation along with continuing a board leadership role within KIPP NYC. Dave and Mike have been awarded the Thomas Fordham Foundation Prize for Valor; the National Jefferson Award for Distinguished Public Service by a Private Citizen; the Charles Bronfman Prize, an honorary degree from Yale University; and the Presidential Citizen's Medal, our nation's second highest presidential award for a private citizen. Dave and Mike's work is the subject of the best-selling book by Jay Matthews, Work Hard, Be Nice: How Two Inspired Teachers Created America's Most Promising Schools. Additionally, KIPP’s ground-breaking work on character development is featured in Paul Tough’s book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.