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Audience in Lecture






Chief Executive Officer


KIPP Foundation


Shavar Jeffries is chief executive officer of Kipp Foundation. Prior to KIPP, he served as president of Democrats for Education Reform. Shavar has dedicated his life to expanding opportunity for young people. This commitment stems from his personal experience. Shavar was raised in Newark, New Jersey by his grandmother, a public school teacher, who instilled in him a deep respect for the value of education. After receiving scholarships to Duke and Columbia Law School, Shavar worked as a civil rights lawyer, starting with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where he worked on voting rights matters. After clerking with a federal appeals judge, Shavar joined Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, where he represented the University of Michigan in litigation defending its policies to expand access for students of color. Shavar subsequently worked at the Gibbons P.C. law firm as a civil rights fellow, and the Seton Hall Law School Center for Social Justice, where he represented families in cases involving school finance, special education, parental choice, and civil rights. Shavar took leave from the Center for Social Justice to serve as counsel to the New Jersey Attorney General, where he supervised several state departments, including the Juvenile Justice Commission, the civil rights division, and the state’s multi-state litigation portfolio. From 2010-2013, Shavar served on the Newark school board, including a term as board president from 2010-2011. Shavar ran for Newark mayor in 2014, receiving 46% of the vote, a high water mark for first-time municipal candidates. Shavar is also a partner with the Lowenstein Sandler law firm.

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