Molly O’Donnell

Manager, Reimagine Learning Fund

In her role as a Manager with the Reimagine Learning Fund, Molly leads work with our network of 20 grantees, developing a learning community in which these grantees connect virtually and in person. Molly works with the Reimagine Learning team to provide monthly capacity building webinars, regular targeted advisory sessions, and connects grantees to one another and experts in the field to enhance their work. Molly also supports the Reimagine Learning regional strategy, managing the development of a case study on the Lawrence Acceleration Academies in Lawrence, MA and a strategic planning process in Salem, MA.

Molly has always been drawn to a career working in education. Much of her inspiration comes from seeing the work of her mother who is a public school teacher in her 45th year of teaching. Her first job in education was in New Orleans as an AmeriCorps member after Hurricane Katrina. She was struck in her work by the overlapping and complex challenges so many of her students faced and at the same time overwhelmed by their capacity to love, their curiosity, and intrinsic motivation to learn even in circumstances that were far from ideal. At New Profit, Molly sees the intersection of management sciences and social justice coming to life in a way that will help shift the sector and she is excited to be a part of the process.

Prior to joining New Profit, Molly worked for Root Cause, a non-profit research and consulting firm in Boston. While at Root Cause Molly assessed non-profits on organizational and programmatic best practices and provided strategic recommendations and support to implement these practices. She also managed a collective impact working group providing training to 300 youth workers across the City of Boston and developing survey and assessment tools for all summer youth workforce programs in Boston. Prior to her work at Root Cause, Molly worked at an alternative school program called Open Schools NW in Portland, OR. While at Open Schools, she worked closely with teachers, school leaders, and families to develop strong support systems to keep students engaged and on track in school. As a liaison to Portland Public Schools, she co-created interventions and systems to support students identified as most at risk of dropping out. She also worked as a member of Equity Team and the Collaborative Action Research for Equity (CARE) team. These two teams worked to train educators on creating culturally relevant curriculum for students of color. Molly holds a Master’s of Public Policy and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Heller School at Brandeis University and a B.A. in International Affairs from Lewis & Clark College.