A Personal Message from NAF’s New CEO, Lisa Dughi
Dear NAF Nation,
It is my great honor to mark my first day as CEO of NAF by reaching out to all of you, the community that has built and sustained NAF’s future ready movement for decades. I do so with both gratitude for the past, and excitement for the future. Over the past nine years, I have been fortunate enough to watch NAF grow and develop in ways we are all deeply proud of. I have had the opportunity to connect with many of you and it is your stories and your perspectives that continue to inspire me – I will lead with your voices and experiences guiding me.
Today is both the start of a journey for me and the end of an incredible era of leadership by my predecessor, JD Hoye. The foundation from which we will build is thanks to JD and I will be forever grateful for her guidance and mentorship for the journey ahead.
As we head into a summer that promises a much needed “return to normal,” we cannot forget about the once unthinkable circumstances and challenges of the past 16 months. This deep disruption brought about an opportunity to re-evaluate and, in many ways, reaffirm our core purpose. COVID has not only highlighted the inequities in our society, but it has deepened them. Our work has never been more crucial. We can settle for nothing less than accelerated and significant progress towards addressing economic mobility for people under-invested in communities, particularly children of color. Thanks to all of you, NAF has accomplished so much, yet we all know much more needs to be done.
I am thrilled to lead NAF and our collective contributions to overcoming these immense national challenges. Over the past year we have embarked on a new strategic plan focused on doing more of what we know works – and doing so for more students. This includes:
- ensuring that inclusion, diversity, equity and access are at the forefront of organizational decisions and strategies;
- deepening our work in key geographies to double our reach to young people, elevate the student voice, and increase access to work-based learning opportunities;
- creating a more technology enabled organization;
- and scaling employer partnerships and pipelines, all while preparing students with the competencies and skills that will prepare them to be our future leaders.
In taking on this new role, I will build on the great success and foundation of this organization. I am eager to work together with the Board, our dedicated staff, and you, our valued network members, to achieve our shared goals and mission. This is how we build the more equitable future we seek for our country. COVID has taught us how strong we are as a network, how creative NAF educators are, how dedicated and committed our partners are, and how motivated NAF students are towards their futures. Harnessing this new hard-earned knowledge, experience, and fortitude as we joyfully return to our schools, colleagues, friends, and families, will fuel the change we seek. I look forward to hearing from and learning from all of you as we, together, enable more students to truly Be Future Ready.
All the best,