Director, Strategic Initiatives
Gabe Friedman serves as Director, Strategic Initiatives. In this role, he manages Turnaround for Children’s involvement in the Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Initiative and supports the Founder and Senior Science Advisor. He joined the organization in 2017 as Director, Policy and Business Development.
Before joining Turnaround, Gabe served as National Program Director at Eye to Eye, the only nonprofit organization run by and for people with learning “disabilities,” such as dyslexia and ADHD. There, he oversaw the organization’s programmatic efforts to unlock greatness in the one-in-five students who learn differently. Previously, as Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at City Year, Gabe worked alongside City Year’s president and other members of the senior leadership team. He now proudly serves on City Year New York’s associate board.
Gabe began his career as a Fulbright Fellow in Brazil. He returned to the United States to work on former Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s educational policy team, then served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Education in the Office of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
Gabe holds a B.A. in history from Yale University and is pursuing an MPA from New York University.
What book has influenced you the most?
I regularly return to Buzz Bissinger’s “A Prayer for the City” for inspiration. The author chronicles former Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell’s first term as seen through the eyes of his indefatigable chief of staff and a cast of Philadelphia’s finest – citizens committed to making their city a safer, more welcoming and more vibrant place for all its inhabitants. The book opens with a heartbreaking scene in which the mayor, comforting the family members of a wounded police officer, monitors the status of several other officers wounded in the line of duty. Though Rendell, his team and the other characters whose stories appear throughout the book face frustration and sadness, “A Prayer for the City” carries a message of hope about human decency and the promise of urban life.
What motivates you?
Progress. I am inspired and motivated by people eager to leave the world better than how they found it.